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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

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Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

​Goals and Recommendations​


Goal 1 - Ensure that people, properties and communities remain sufficiently protected as climate conditions change

  1. Complete a corporate risk scan to identify LSRCA functional areas, operations, and assets that are vulnerable to extreme weather events
  2. Conve​ne a meeting of partners of the Low Water Response Program to determine how to improve the program in light of climate change
  3. Undertake research to map potential impacts of climate change on groundwater levels
  4. Screen for risks to municipal surface water intakes from contamination as a result of extreme events under climate change conditions
  5. Work with the Province and local municipalities to develop / update intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves that consider climate change
  6. Create regulatory floodplain mapping as well as design storm or event-based floodplain mapping based on updated IDF curves
  7. Develop design storm or event-based inundation mapping to consider future climate change impacts
  8. Explore options to increase coordination and collaboration with partners on existing early detection and rapid response programs to water quality threats
  9. Work with the Province to review water balance policies for developments to ensure that they consider climate impacts

Goal 2 - Increase watershed resistance and resilience to climate change through conservation, restoration, and improvement of natural ecosystems​

  1. Investigate the need to develop​ guidelines for natural channel design to consider climate change
  2. Work with partners to increase forest resilience to climate change through the implementation of recommendations fro​m the ‘Adapting Forestry Programs to Climate Change’ report
  3. Collect data on the success of plants and trees established through our programs
  4. Review the Minimum Planting Requirements to ensure they use climate-resilient plantings
  5. Use models/tools to identify and prioritize areas where groundwater recharge is necessary and will be most useful to protect areas vulnerable to climate change
  6. Work with partners to increase the biodiversity of urban wildlife habitats to adapt to shifts in the timing of life cycle events and other climate impacts
  7. Collaborate with partners to develop an Invasive Species Strategy that considers climate change
  8. Design restoration projects based on design guidelines, modelling, prioritized opportunities, long-term monitoring and watershed plans which consider the influence of climate change
  9. Give preference to restoration projects that also address climate change impacts.
  10. Review restoration best management practices to ensure that they are capable of addressing emerging climate impacts​

Goal 3 - Enhance knowledge of the watershed’s natural environment and its response to a changing climate through science and monitoring for informed and adaptive decision-making​

  1. ​​Support LSRCA departments in incorporating climate impacts into their programs, services, and products
  2. Model in-stream processes to further understand the vulnerability to erosion, infrastructure damage, and phosphorous transport under future climate conditions
  3. Use the results of watershed-scale stormwater optimization modeling to assist planning of stormwater infrastructure (grey and green) under climate change conditions
  4. Investigate whether the 90th percentile storm event will change significantly under climate change
  5. Conduct a stream vulnerability assessment to identify thermal refugia
  6. Incorporate climate change adaptation into LSRCA’s Natural Heritage System Restoration Strategy
  7. Undertake research to further understand the impacts of climate change on aquatic communities
  8. Review current monitoring programs to ensure data collection and analysis of climate, groundwater, and surface water systems are fully integrated
  9. Develop a robust terrestrial natural heritage monitoring program for the watershed​

Goal 4 - Facilitate partnerships and connect people to the watershed in order to build awareness and capacity to adapt to a changing climate in the Lake Simcoe watershed

  1. Coordinate with MECP to ensure that updates to the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan and Lake Simcoe Phosphorous Reduction Strategy incorporate climate change
  2. Engage citizens on their role in keeping the watershed healthy in the context of a changing climate
  3. Work with municipal partners to undertake climate change risk assessments of urban street trees, and associated risks to public safety or public infrastructure
  4. Enhance LSRCA erosion and sediment control initiatives to consider climate impacts
  5. Inspire watershed landowners to increase the resilience of coldwater habitats on their properties
  6. Engage farmers, farming associations and OMAFRA through knowledge exchange meetings to learn how they are adapting to climate change
  7. Engage the Trent-Severn Waterway as they update their watershed plan or rating curve to consider climate change impacts
  8. Work collaboratively with partners to maximize efficiencies and ensure a comprehensive watershed scale approach to climate change adaptation​