Aquatic Habitat & Biodiversity

Applied research into aquatic habitat and biodiversity helps Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to understand, mitigate, and enhance aquatic ecosystem health.

TRCA stream electrofishing team conduct monitoring of local aquatic habitat and biodiversity

Applied Research on
Aquatic Habitat and Biodiversity

Healthy aquatic ecosystems have habitat that supports biodiversity by fostering strong linkages with natural terrestrial systems.

Land use development and climate change continue to have negative consequences for aquatic ecosystem health within TRCA’s watersheds. Identifying and prioritizing habitat and biodiversity that are at high risk of loss within the jurisdiction can facilitate conservation management decisions.

aerial view of Lake Ontario waterfront from Bluffers Park to Carruthers Creek
Land use development in the rapidly urbanizing GTA significantly impacts aquatic ecosystem health.

The science generated from the following research and analysis projects helps TRCA in its ongoing efforts to support healthier aquatic habitat across the GTA:

  • Assessing aquatic coldwater habitat risks
  • Determining habitat compensation and enhancement outcomes for aquatic communities
  • Establishing instream thermal classification for characterization and impact analysis
  • Identifying cumulative effects of stormwater management ponds for thermal and chloride loading
stormwater management pond
Stormwater management pond
  • Identifying sensitive aquatic species presence and change in biodiversity within aquatic ecosystems
  • Mapping, characterization, and impact analysis for riparian areas
  • Monitoring for the assessment of aquatic biodiversity
  • Producing fish and restoration management plans
  • Providing watershed and sub watershed plan characterization and impact analysis


TRCA Watershed Planning and Ecosystem Science: