Evaluating the effectiveness of aquatic habitat restoration on the Toronto Waterfront for fish communities over multiple decades

Biodiversity within aquatic ecosystems in the Laurentian Great Lakes has been impacted by numerous stressors and the Toronto Waterfront is an example of these impacts, which has experienced rapid urban growth and expansion over the past 200 years. To improve degraded aquatic ecosystems, the restoration of aquatic habitat that supports fish biodiversity has been a staple of redevelopment along the Toronto Waterfront.Understanding how the size, type, and environmental conditions of habitat enhancements contribute to resulting biodiversity outcomes is uncertain. The purpose of this research is to better understand the response of fish communities to restoration within different habitat types (e.g. coastal wetland). Secondly, we will build on this by using a novel sampling technique within restored habitats (hydroacoustics and drone imagery). This information will help to guide the implementation of future restoration projects across the waterfront to ensure the best possible outcome for fish communities and ecosystem health.

Sebastian Theis
Faculty Supervisor: 
Mark Poesch
Partner University: