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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

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​​​​​Restoration Strategy Targets 

The Natural Heritage System and Restoration Strategy outlines opportunities for en​hancement and protection, with the goal of restoring the watershed to its natural state. This strategy supports the enhancement of targeted areas such as grassland habitat and corridor restoration, as well as creates regional and local linkages to provide connectivity across the watershed. 

With the help of our stakeholders and partners, we will implement the following 39 actions to achieve a sustainable and resilient Natural Heritage System. The 39 actions are categorized into 6 different areas and supported through various LSRCA programs.

  1. Protection
  2. Land Planning and Management
  3. Monitoring and Data Collection
  4. Research and Tools
  5. Outreach and Education
  6. Partnerships

Protection


​​​Action Item​​
​T​imeframe
​Corporate Services
Ecological Management​ ​Education and Engagement
Greenspace Services​
​Planning and Development Services
​Water Risk Management
​Watershed Studies and Strategies
1 - Implement the NHSRS through re​view and comment of land development applications under the Planning Act, Environmental Assessment Act and Conservation Authorities Act
Ongoing




​x
​x

​2 - Encourage the incorporation of the NHSRS and its recommendations into Provincial Plans and regional and local Official Plans
Ong​oing
​x

​x
-​
​3 - Engage stakeholders of the watershed to protect, restore and enhance the targeted areas of the NHS in addition to core features
Ongoing
​x
x​
x​
x​x​x​x​
​4 - Integrate the NHS and associated strategies into subwatershed plans and implementation guidelines
​Ongoing


​​x
5 - ​Assist partners to protect, restore and enhance grassland habitat identified in the NHS
​Within 5 years

​x

​x
​x
​x
​x
​6 - Protect, maintain or enhance ecologically significant groundwater recharge areas
​Ongoing
​x


​x
​x
​x
​x
7 - ​Integrate the NHSRS into existing and future LSRCA strategies, plans and guidelines, where appropriate.
​Ongoing
​x
​x

​x
​x
​x
​x
​8 - Incorporate the NHSRS into sustainable centered strategies, projects and programs such as Low Impact Development (LID) guidelines, RainScaping program, and Carbon Reduction Strategy
​Ongoing
​x

​x
​x
​x


​Land Planning Management

​​​​Action Item​
​Timeframe
​Corporate Services
Ecological Management​ ​Education and Engagement
Greenspace Services​
​Planning and Development Services
​Water Risk Management
​Watershed Studies and Strategies
9 - Incorporate the NHS into Conservation Area Management Plans and land holding assessments
Within 3 years


x
10 - Incorporate the NHS into the Land ​Management Acquisition Strategy prioritizing areas for acquisition, restoration and creation
Within 3 years
x


11 - ​Create trail guidelines that lessen impacts to the NHS while bringing communities to natural areas
​Within 3 years
​x
​x
​12 - Implement green infrastructure such as parklands, LID SWM systems, street trees, urban forests, natural channels, permeable surfaces and green roofs
​Ongoing
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​13 - Integrate current and future data collection and monitoring programs with the NHS to maintain high quality and useful database records
​Ongoing
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​14 - Integrate the NHS into long-term monitoring programs including prescribed targets that align with the restoration strategy such as the Watershed Health Report Card
​Ongoing
​x
​x
​x
​x
15 - Inventory areas that will be vulnerable to changes in land use practice and/or climate change and develop mitigation measures and management opportunities
​​Within 5 years
​x

​x
​x
​x
​16 - Continue monitoring programs within the NHS that collect information regarding aquatic and terrestrial barriers in order to determine management opportunities
​Ongoing

​x
​x
​x
17 - ​Update the landcover layer on a 5 year monitoring cycle and assess changes to NHS cover and related causal factors
​Ongoi​ng
​x
​x
​x
​18 - Partner with the MNRF & MOECC, or similar Lake Simcoe watershed programs to identify high quality areas in the Lake Simcoe watershed and initiate a monitoring program to monitor the quality of the NHS at the regional and local scale
​Ongoing
​x

​x
​x



​Monitoring and Data Collection

​​​​Action Item​
​Timeframe
​Corporate Services
Ecological Management​ ​Education and Engagement
Greenspace Services​
​Planning and Development Services
​Water Risk Management
​Watershed Studies and Strategies
​13 - Integrate current and future data collection and monitoring programs with the NHS to maintain high quality and useful database records
​Ongoing
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​14 - Integrate the NHS into long-term monitoring programs including prescribed targets that align with the restoration strategy such as the Watershed Health Report Card
​Ongoing
​x
​x
​x
​x
15 - Inventory areas that will be vulnerable to changes in land use practice and/or climate change and develop mitigation measures and management opportunities
​​Within 5 years
​x

​x
​x
​x
​16 - Continue monitoring programs within the NHS that collect information regarding aquatic and terrestrial barriers in order to determine management opportunities
​Ongoing

​x
​x
​x
17 - ​Update the landcover layer on a 5 year monitoring cycle and assess changes to NHS cover and related causal factors
​Ongoi​ng
​x
​x
​x
​18 - Partner with the MNRF & MOECC, or similar Lake Simcoe watershed programs to identify high quality areas in the Lake Simcoe watershed and initiate a monitoring program to monitor the quality of the NHS at the regional and local scale
​Ongoing
​x

​x
​x​
​​

Research and Tools

​​​​​Action Item​
​Timeframe
​Corporate Services
Ecological Management​ ​Education and Engagement
Greenspace Services​
​Planning and Development Services
​Water Risk Management
​Watershed Studies and Strategies
19 - Integrate the NHS into the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plan and Adapting Forestry Programs for Climate Change to assist with identifying priority areas for migration corridors and afforestation that both sequester carbon and promote biodiversity resilience in the NHS
Within 3 years

x
x
20 -​Develop a tributary Fisheries Management Plan and accompanying Coldwater or Brook Trout Recovery Strategy
​Within 5 years
​x
​21 - Utilize the NHS to support the initiatives of the LSRCA Restoration Funding Program
​Ongoing
​x
​22 - Develop tools for restoration, such as planting guidelines and edge management plans
​Within 3 years
​x
​x
​23 - Utilize the NHSRS as a tool to achieve targets for Lake Simcoe like reducing nutrient and pollutant loading and improving ecological health

​Ongoing
​x
​x
​x
​x
​24 - Utilize the NHSRS to drive research in carbon reduction, climate change, urban restoration, natural capital, LID macro-economic modelling, e-flows, phosphorous offsetting, ecological offsetting, water balance offsetting and salt reduction
​Ongoing
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​25 - Explore the benefits of human health and nature with partners in the watershed to support planning and decision making of resource capital
​Ongoing
​x

​x
​x
​26 - Develop and implement tools that reduce pressures and enhance ecosystem services in urban systems
​Ongoing
​x
​x
​x
​x
​27 - Use research from urban forest studies to promote enhancement in targeted NHS supporting areas within settlement boundaries
​Within 5 years

​x
​x
​28 - Prioritize opportunities within the NHS using the SPOT to achieve targets of the NHSRS
​Within 1 year

​x
​x
​29 - Prioritize removal of aquatic and terrestrial barriers in the NHS identified with the SPOT to improve migration corridors
​Within 1 year

​x
​x
​x
​30 - Develop a GIS viewer tool for staff to support program uptake of the NHSRS
​Within 1 year
​x
​x


​Outreach and Education

​​​​​Action Item​
​Timeframe
​Corporate Services
Ecological Management​ ​Education and Engagement
Greenspace Services​
​Planning and Development Services
​Water Risk Management
​Watershed Studies and Strategies
31 - Provide support for restoration projects to protect, connect and enhance core NHS and supporting areas on rural agricultural, residential, conservation authority, and public properties
Ongoing

x
​32 - Develop new and/or expand existing stewardship incentives to watershed stakeholders that encourage land and water best management practices
​Within 5 years
​x
​x
​33 - Incorporate the NHSRS into landowner outreach materials and programs
​Within 2 years
​x
​x
​x
34 - ​Engage stakeholders of the watershed, including residents, corporations, and academia institutions, in the protection, enhancement and restoration of the NHS
​Ongoing
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​35 - Integrate objectives of the NHSRS into citizen science programs to fill data gaps, improve observations in the watershed and support monitoring of the watershed, including BioBlitz events and research activities
​Ongoing

​x
​x
​x
​x
​36 - Develop or modify education materials to engage school and community programs and build appreciation and recognition of the NHS
​Within 3 years
​x
​x
​x
37 - Report results of the NHSRS in LSRCA communication materials, such as annual reports, watershed health reports and science newsletters
​Ongoing
​x
​x


​Partnerships


​​​​​Action Item​
​Timeframe
​Corporate Services
Ecological Management​ ​Education and Engagement
Greenspace Services​
​Planning and Development Services
​Water Risk Management
​Watershed Studies and Strategies
38 - Build on existing partnerships with watershed stakeholders to collaborate on the protection, restoration, management and monitoring objectives of the NHSRS
Ongoing
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
​39 - Collaborate with municipalities, First Nation's communities, conservation authorities, NGOs, public organizations and the Province to connect natural heritage systems and promote consistent protection for natural heritage systems across the watershed and southern Ontario
​Ongoing
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x
​x