A Review of Watershed Restoration Practices and Partnerships in the Toronto region
With the continued urbanization of cities through the Great Lakes Basin, the continued degradation of these areas will occur without substantial efforts to restore the natural environment. The research in this paper explores the sustainability of the watershed restoration project implemented in the Toronto region of Ontario Canada. It is assessed through the use of four indicators: Land and Water Acquisition, Adaptive Management, Funding Process, and Public Participation and Community development. The lessons learned through the research, interviews, and analysis of four watershed restoration case studies in the Toronto region help to inform and improve on the methods and tools used for watershed restoration projects across the Great Lake Basin. The normative UPE framework used to assess the sustainability of watershed restoration projects uncovered some significant issues in the entire watershed management framework. This combined with pragmatic methods and tools like adaptive management, provides insights and information concerning the intricate relationship between watershed restoration and the social, political and economic sphere. The recommendations for future watershed restoration work include enacting a streamlined watershed restoration communication centre, a standardizing an adaptive management framework through consistent funding tactics, and implementing innovative public engagement tools. This is all to help advance the sustainability of the watershed restoration projects, and the overall health and sustainability of the Toronto region watersheds. This might ultimately shift us from an era of watershed degradation in the Toronto region to an era of watershed restoration and help mitigate the impacts from urbanization through sustainable watershed restoration projects.