Integrated Restoration Prioritization

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1 Integrated Restoration Prioritization Habitat Restoration and Environmental Monitoring Projects Section Restoration Services Division

2 Definition Restoration Prioritization is a process of combining various strategies, plans and initiatives for both terrestrial and aquatic systems, upon which a vast assortment of environmental data as well as threats to ecosystem health can be overlaid. The goal is to create a repeatable decision-making tool for restoration site selection that is empirically defensible. Restoration objectives are based on identifying ecological impairments and improving ecosystem function. Restoration goal is to protect and restore ecosystem function and resilience to benefit ecological goods and services.

3 Objectives: Restoration Objectives 1. Restore natural hydrologic processes and aquatic systems by reversing, repairing or mitigating alterations and impairments 2. Restore and/or increase natural cover (wetland, riparian, forest, and meadow) 3. Enhance landforms and restore soil and soil processes to promote self-sustaining natural communities 4. Restore critical habitat for target species

4 Eco-Hydrological Approach to Restoration Opportunities Planning

5 Restoration Opportunity Plans (ROP) Utilizes GIS, drainage lines and catchment boundaries to target historic headwater drainage features and low order streams ROP data collected in the field by trained technicians to identify and prioritize individual opportunities ROP sites are real implementable restoration projects

6 Current Restoration Opportunity Coverage The Restoration Opportunities Bank There are many restoration opportunities WHERE DO WE START?

7

8 TRCA Prioritization Process Data Used in Catchment Analysis Category Metric Priority Rationale Natural Cover Areas of low riparian cover Areas in need of more riparian cover Hydrology Aquatic Natural Heritage Land-Use Areas of low wetland cover Areas of low forest cover Areas of significantly altered hydrology Flood prone areas Areas with extreme In-stream temperatures On-line ponds and priority instream barriers Reaches with poor water quality (FBI) High value ecological areas with low natural cover Areas for natural corridor connections Areas for wetland corridor connections Current and future land-uses Areas in need of more wetland cover Areas in need of more forest cover Areas where impairments and threats to hydrologic function are likely and are in need of restoration/remediation Catchments within and upstream where flow attenuation and erosion mitigation measures are needed Upstream areas that are in need of mitigation to reduce in-stream heating (planning, on-line pond removal) Areas where facilitating fish movement is needed Upstream areas that are in need of mitigation to improve water quality Areas to increase natural cover that are adjacent to areas with significant existing cover Areas of low natural cover than can contribute most to connecting areas of high natural cover Most suitable areas with low wetland cover to connect to adjacent to high wetland cover Areas where restoration or mitigation is needed based on threats to ecosystem function

9 The DRAFT Results Percent Natural Cover: High Score for Low Percent Cover

10 Altered Hydrology: High Score for Highly Altered Catchments

11 Aquatic Conditions (Thermal, FBI, Barriers): High score for high temp, poor FBI, barrier occurrence

12 Natural Heritage Score: High Score for Important Natural Heritage Areas with Low Percent Natural Cover

13 Total Integrated Restoration Planning Score

14

15 Next Steps Finalize the overlay data and thresholds Include urban metrics Complete IRP assessment for the Rouge Watershed Ground truth results Implement restoration project in priority catchments in the Rouge Complete IRP for entire jurisdiction Implement restoration projects in priority catchments Utilize overlay data on restored catchments to determine a measured change

Restoration Planning and Development of a Restoration Bank

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