Using Coastal Wetland Monitoring Data to Determine the Effectiveness of Restoration Actions
by Dan Moore and Heather Pankhurst, Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority
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About the Presentation
A critical component of the restoration process involves setting goals and objectives that reflect a desired change in a measurable indicator. However, many restoration projects fail to accomplish this for a variety of reasons, such as the complexity of the task, the lack of a planning framework, insufficient background data, and/or funding limitations. In the absence of SMART goals and objectives, evaluating restoration success is difficult and when attempted, often misrepresents the results. This presentation will discuss how Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority uses data from two long-term coastal wetland monitoring programs to set goals and objectives and evaluate project success. Using Oshawa Second Marsh as an example, we will discuss the design of the long-term monitoring programs, how that informs developing meaningful goals and objectives, and how we can use these to determine the success or failure of restoration actions.
About the Presenters
Dan Moore is an Aquatic Biologist currently working at Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA). He completed a diploma at Durham College in Environmental Technology, his undergrad at Trent University in Environmental Sciences, and his MEnvSc at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). His research includes evaluating aquatic ecosystem health through the use of biological, physical, and chemical proxies, evaluating the impact of Common Carp on Lake Ontario Coastal Wetlands, and developing processes and evaluation tools for advancing wetland restoration practices. At CLOCA, he leads the Integrated Monitoring Watershed Program (IWMP), manages restoration projects, assists in plan review for development applications, and helps guide watershed management through the development of watershed plans. Dan is currently the President of the Ontario Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and the Vice-Chair of the Lake Ontario Coastal Wetland Restoration Working Group.
Heather Pankhurst has been the Wetland Biologist at the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority for the past 11 years. She coordinates and implements the Durham Region Coastal Wetland Monitoring Project (DRCWMP). Over the past two years she has been working to adopt a planning framework to support achieving the successful implementation of coastal wetland conservation and restoration projects. The use of this framework provides a consistent and scientific-based approach to project planning to maximize the achievement of project goals. The data collected through DRCWMP aids CLOCA in evaluating the threats and challenges at each coastal wetland, help to inform the setting of SMART goals and objectives for wetland restoration, and are the basis for monitoring the effectiveness of restoration actions at achieving goals and objectives.
About the Series
The Interagency Ecological Restoration Quality Committee hosts monthly Webinars in an effort to bring restoration practitioners from across the country together to present and discuss the innovations aimed at improving the quality of ecological restoration data. Presentations are approximately 45 minutes in length, followed by open discussion.
About the Committee
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Great Lakes National Program Office established this Committee (including federal agencies, contractors, and ecological restoration practitioners) in June 2012 to share and develop quality practices that facilitate collection of reliable data for ecological restoration projects funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This Webinar series supports this collaborative effort; please join us! Contact Lou Blume (USEPA Quality Manager) for more details.