Connecting watershed-scale land-use with coastal wetland ecologicalintegrity: The tributary – coastal wetland nexus in Durham Region

Coastal wetlands and embayments are sensitive ecosystems located between rivers and the shoreline of lakes. Human activities (e.g., urban development and agriculture) on land can influence the functioning of these ecosystems and the quality of water that flows through them. Healthy coastal wetlands can offer significant services in the form of water quality purification, flood control, and storm surge protection, as well as provide important habitat for wildlife. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has collected water data from multiple coastal wetlands in western Lake Ontario over the last decade. From this dataset, we hope to understand 1) How water quality changes in the wetlands prior to entering/mixing with water along the shores of Lake Ontario, and 2) how water-quality has changed over the last decade in these coast wetlands in response to environmental drivers like climate and water-level fluctuations.

Kathryn Thomas
Faculty Supervisor: 
Andrea Kirkwood
Partner University: