City of Toronto Subcommittee on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Public Meeting
The Subcommittee on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation was recently created by the city of Toronto in order to help achieve a goal of reduction of greenhouse gases of 80% by 2050. Their first meeting (Monday, March 2) is open to the public and will discuss the subcommittee’s goals and objectives. They would like to hear from members of the public about what the subcommittee should have achieved or created by their end of their two year term, and how you or your group would like to be involved in the subcommittee’s work.
More information here
Winter Waterfowl Event
Many duck species seen in Toronto during the winter migrate from the Arctic where they breed, and on Saturday, March 7 Toronto Region Conservation will teach you about these species as you watch them on their wintering grounds.
Registration with the TRCA
Reviving Native Plants at the Riverwood Conservancy Talk
Canada’s endangered Carolinian forest is home to rare native wildflower species. The importance of including them in our gardens will be the subject of this talk by Dr. Nina Barabas on Thursday, March 19 at 1pm. This talk is presented by North American Native Plant Society and the Toronto Botanical Garden.
Urban Watershed Forum
A full day of presentations, seminars and workshops on sustainable approaches to urban watershed management, which is critically important to conservation work. Student price for tickets is only $10. Held at the Brickworks in the Don Valley on Friday, March 20.
Registration with Evergreen
Spring Birding Workshop at High Park
This two day workshop will teach you how to find and identify birds of Ontario by sight and sound, and how to use binoculars and field guides. The first day is indoors where you will learn the necessary skills, and the second day you will practice what you learned while exploring High Park. Wednesday, May 6 and Saturday, May 9.
Ontario is home to the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, consisting of over 720,000 hectares of agriculturally and environmentally significant land from Rice Lake in Northumberland County west to the Niagara River. The belt forms a semicircle around the Golden Horseshoe – Canada’s most populated area and one that is rapidly growing. Recognizing the need to protect farms and natural areas from the ever-increasing threat of urban sprawl, the provincial government passed the Greenbelt Act in 2005. The overarching goals were to:
- “Protect against the loss and fragmentation of the agricultural land base and supports agriculture as the predominant land use;
- Give permanent protection to the natural heritage and water resource systems that sustain ecological and human health and that form the environmental framework around which major urbanization in south-central Ontario will be organized; and
- Provide for a diverse range of economic and social activities associated with rural communities, agriculture, tourism, recreation and resource uses.” (Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 2005)
Today, Ontario’s Greenbelt protects over 216,000 acres of forest, lakes, wetlands, and river valleys that 78 provincially listed species-at-risk call home. It helps keep our water safe by requiring buffers around wetlands and the headwaters of all major rivers that feed the Greater Toronto Area. It provides a worthy example of system-based conservation planning, where emphasis is placed on protecting the connectedness of natural features across the diverse ecozones of the Niagara escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine instead of selecting just one or a few areas of interest. Finally, the Greenbelt provides unique recreational opportunities so close to the city, with over 10,000 km of natural trails to explore.
On February 28th, the Greenbelt will turn 10 years old, and later this year the Greenbelt Plan will be up for review. To learn more about the Greenbelt and the possible threats it faces in the coming years visit:
SCB-TO Member Spotlight: Karl Lamothe, MSc
I am currently a PhD student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. My research interests are in the field of freshwater aquatic ecosystem conservation and management. Freshwater ecosystems are extremely interesting as they are instrumental in providing valuable ecosystem services, as well as harbouring some of the highest levels of biodiversity despite only covering a small fraction of the Earth’s surface. My Masters research focused on understanding population structure of largemouth bass, a highly regarded sport fish, in Arkansas reservoirs. The objective of my PhD research is to demonstrate how ecological resilience theory can aid in sustaining the socially desired state of Ontario’s aquatic ecosystems to the projected increases in disturbance as a result of human-induced pressures. Ecological resilience describes the ability of an ecosystem to absorb disturbance without undergoing major change in its overall structure. Quantifying ecological resilience will demonstrate the vulnerability of freshwater systems to major change, therefore providing valuable information to aquatic ecosystem management. I have personally been involved with SCB-TO since 2013-2014. Besides being immersed in my research, I enjoy bicycling the Toronto streets, as well as being creative with yeast, hops, barley, and sugar. Fun fact: my favorite type of fish is a sculpin.