The Greater Toronto Area Watershed Readiness Pilot Project: Gaging how climate and land use change might impact aquatic ecosystems in urban environments.
Cities are often located near sources of water such as lakes, rivers, and oceans. Due to their location, the effects of climate change and urbanization will introduce unique challenges to aquatic habitats located within cities. These challenges could range from flooding, extreme wind, ice storm damage, extreme heat events, and drought as well as long term climate changes. Not only will climate and land use change impact everyday life and personal property, but these changes will impact the ecosystem components and services of urban drainage systems, i.e., species diversity, water flow systems, nutrient export, dilution of pollutants, habitat for water-based plants and animals. Therefore, it is imperative to understand how to address these environmental impacts before they become too severe to ameliorate. This project will provide the TRCA with innovative research that will allow the conservation authority to measure, mitigate and respond to potential impacts of climate change on aquatic ecosystems in urban environments.