The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Riverine Flood Status
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Lake Simcoe Shoreline Status
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Low Water Status
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Natural Heritage System and Restoration Strategy Targets

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

​​​Actions:

Implement the NHSRS through re​view and comment of land development applications under the Planning ActEnvironmental Assessment Act and Conservation Authorities Act.

Timeframe - Ongoing

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

Encourage the incorporation of the NHSRS and its recommendations into Provincial Plans and regional and local Official Plans

Timeframe - Ongoing

​Corporate Services

Planning and Development Services 

Engage stakeholders of the watershed to protect, restore and enhance the targeted areas of the NHS in addition to core features

Timeframe - Ongoing

Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Education and Engagement

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Integrate the NHS and associated strategies into subwatershed plans and implementation guidelines

Timeframe - Ongoing

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Assist partners to protect, restore and enhance grassland habitat identified in the NHS

Timeframe - ​Within 5 years

Ecological Management​

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

​Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Protect, maintain or enhance ecologically significant groundwater recharge areas

Timeframe - Ongoing

Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Education and Engagement

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

 Watershed Studies and Strategies

Integrate the NHSRS into existing and future LSRCA strategies, plans and guidelines, where appropriate.

Timeframe - Ongoing

​Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

​Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

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

Timeframe - Ongoing

​Corporate Services

Planning and Development Services 

​Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

​Land Planning Management

​​​Actions:

​Monitoring and Data Collection

Incorporate the NHS into Conservation Area Management Plans and land holding assessments

Timeframe - Within 3 years

Greenspace Services​

Incorporate the NHS into the Land ​Management Acquisition Strategy prioritizing areas for acquisition, restoration and creation

Timeframe - Within 3 years

Greenspace Services​

Create trail guidelines that lessen impacts to the NHS while bringing communities to natural areas

Timeframe - Within 3 years

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

Implement green infrastructure such as parklands, LID SWM systems, street trees, urban forests, natural channels, permeable surfaces and green roofs

 Timeframe - Ongoing

Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

​Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Integrate current and future data collection and monitoring programs with the NHS to maintain high quality and useful database records

Timeframe - ​Ongoing

Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Education and Engagement

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Integrate the NHS into long-term monitoring programs including prescribed targets that align with the restoration strategy such as the Watershed Health Report Card

Timeframe - Ongoing

Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

Inventory areas that will be vulnerable to changes in land use practice and/or climate change and develop mitigation measures and management opportunities

Timeframe - Within 5 years

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

​Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

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

Timeframe - Ongoing

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Update the landcover layer on a 5 year monitoring cycle and assess changes to NHS cover and related causal factors

Timeframe - Ongoing

Corporate Services

Planning and Development Services 

Watershed Studies and Strategies

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

Timeframe - Ongoing

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Watershed Studies and Strategies

​​​Actions:

Research and Tools

Integrate current and future data collection and monitoring programs with the NHS to maintain high quality and useful database records

Timeframe - Ongoing

​Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Education and Engagement

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Integrate the NHS into long-term monitoring programs including prescribed targets that align with the restoration strategy such as the Watershed Health Report Card

Timeframe - Ongoing

​Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

Inventory areas that will be vulnerable to changes in land use practice and/or climate change and develop mitigation measures and management opportunities

​T​imeframe icon  Timeframe - Within 5 years

Ecological Management​ icon  Ecological Management​

planning icon   Planning and Development Services 

water quality icon ​Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies icon  Watershed Studies and Strategies

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

 Timeframe - Ongoing

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Watershed Studies and Strategies

 ​Update the landcover layer on a 5 year monitoring cycle and assess changes to NHS cover and related causal factors

Timeframe - ​Ongoing

​Corporate Services

Planning and Development Services 

Watershed Studies and Strategies

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

Timeframe - Ongoing

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Watershed Studies and Strategies

​​​Actions:

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

Timeframe - Within 3 years

Ecological Management​

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Develop a tributary Fisheries Management Plan and accompanying Coldwater or Brook Trout Recovery Strategy

Timeframe - Within 5 years

Ecological Management​

Utilize the NHS to support the initiatives of the LSRCA Restoration Funding Program

Timeframe - Ongoing

Ecological Management​

Develop tools for restoration, such as planting guidelines and edge management plans

 Timeframe - Within 3 years

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Utilize the NHSRS as a tool to achieve targets for Lake Simcoe like reducing nutrient and pollutant loading and improving ecological health

Timeframe - ​Ongoing

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

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

Timeframe - Ongoing

​Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Explore the benefits of human health and nature with partners in the watershed to support planning and decision making of resource capital

Timeframe - Ongoing

Corporate Services

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

Develop and implement tools that reduce pressures and enhance ecosystem services in urban systems

Timeframe - Ongoing

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Use research from urban forest studies to promote enhancement in targeted NHS supporting areas within settlement boundaries

Timeframe - Within 5 years

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Prioritize opportunities within the NHS using the SPOT to achieve targets of the NHSRS

Timeframe - Within 1 year

Planning and Development Services 

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Prioritize removal of aquatic and terrestrial barriers in the NHS identified with the SPOT to improve migration corridors

Timeframe - Within 1 year

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Watershed Studies and Strategies

Develop a GIS viewer tool for staff to support program uptake of the NHSRS

Timeframe - Within 1 year

Corporate Services

Greenspace Services​

Outreach and Education

​​​Actions:

Provide support for restoration projects to protect, connect and enhance core NHS and supporting areas on rural agricultural, residential, conservation authority, and public properties

Timeframe - Ongoing

Ecological Management​

Develop new and/or expand existing stewardship incentives to watershed stakeholders that encourage land and water best management practices

Timeframe - Within 5 years

​Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Incorporate the NHSRS into landowner outreach materials and programs

Timeframe - Within 2 years

​Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Planning and Development Services 

Engage stakeholders of the watershed, including residents, corporations, and academia institutions, in the protection, enhancement and restoration of the NHS

 Timeframe - Ongoing

Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

Watershed Studies icon    Watershed Studies and Strategies

 ​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

Timeframe - ​Ongoing

Ecological Management​

Education and Engagement

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

Develop or modify education materials to engage school and community programs and build appreciation and recognition of the NHS

Timeframe - Within 3 years

Corporate Services

Education and Engagement

Planning and Development Services 

Report results of the NHSRS in LSRCA communication materials, such as annual reports, watershed health reports and science newsletters

Timeframe - Ongoing

Corporate Services

Planning and Development Services 

Partnerships

​​​Actions:

Build on existing partnerships with watershed stakeholders to collaborate on the protection, restoration, management and monitoring objectives of the NHSRS

Timeframe - Ongoing

Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Education and Engagement

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

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

Timeframe - Ongoing

Corporate Services

Ecological Management​

Education and Engagement

Greenspace Services​

Planning and Development Services 

​Water Risk Management

Watershed Studies and Strategies

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