The following free webinars are being offered as part of the STEP 2022 Webinar Series, presented by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA).

Each webinar qualifies for 1 continuing development hour (CDHs).

Registration will close for each event at 4 pm on the Wednesday before the webinar.  For additional information, please contact sara.finnimore@trca.ca.

Presentation Schedule: March – December 2022

* Please note that webinars and guest speakers may be subject to change.

March 24, 2022 – Engineering Vegetated Roof Systems to Optimize Stormwater Management

Presenters: Karen Liu & James Weldon (Next Level Stormwater Management)

Dr. Karen Liu has been conducting green roof research since 2000. Before joining the private sector, Karen was a lead researcher of green roof programs at the National Research Council and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She was a key participant in developing the national wind testing standard for vegetated roofing CSA A123.24. Additionally, Karen has vast practical experience having worked on hundreds of projects around the world.

James Weldon’s background is in architecture and engineering, and he has worked in the construction industry in a design role for the past 7 years. He was an architectural representative for a pre-cast concrete manufacturer and a structural designer for an engineering firm in British Columbia. A passion for sustainable building practices led him to the green roof industry working on many unique and exciting projects across the country.

Abstract: This presentation aims at audience who are interested in using green roof for stormwater management. We will first explain the underlaying causes of stormwater challenges in the urban areas. Because of the lack of space at grade, cities are looking to the many unused rooftops for solution. Green roof is an effective source control tool with multiple co-benefits to offer. The plants and substrate absorb rainfall and reduce runoff volume. As water percolates through the substrate, peak flow is delayed and reduced. We will discuss the concept of retention: quantify the effectiveness of lightweight water retention layers using water-retention-to-weight ratios and demonstrate their performance with a publicly available online Green Roof Retention/Evaporation Model. We will also discuss the concept of detention: illustrate its importance in stormwater management, particularly during back-to-back storms, and compare various detention technologies on the market. Finally, we will introduce the new friction detention green roof, explain how it works and how it compares with existing technologies. We will use video to explain the concepts and engage the audience using interactive polls. At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to incorporate retention and detention into a green roof system and convert it into an effective stormwater management tool.

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March 31, 2022 – Overview of the Ecological Land Classification System: Baseline data for understanding, assessing, and protecting natural heritage

Presenter: Dawn Renfrew (CVC)

Dawn Renfrew is a Senior Specialist, Natural Heritage Inventory at Credit Valley Conservation. She runs CVC’s Natural Heritage Inventory (aka Natural Areas Inventory) program since its beginning, 15 years ago. Dawn has been a botanist her entire life, starting as young as 5 years old, picking flowers in her neighbourhood forest in Burlington, learning their names, habitat, and plant community associations. She went on to earn a B.Sc. (Botany) at University of Toronto, a M.Sc. (Biology) at Acadia University and a Ph.D (Botany) at University of British Columbia. Her Natural Heritage Inventory team at CVC conducts biological inventories throughout the Credit River watershed, focusing on vegetation community inventories using ELC, botanical inventories, breeding bird inventories, breeding frog and bat inventories. These inventories form part of the foundation of biological data that many of CVC’s programs and projects, planning, restoration, and stewardship activities rest on.

Abstract: This webinar will briefly review what Ecological Land Classification (ELC) for Southern Ontario is. Then, we will go into depth about the different types of information the data set contains and how to understand the data. Finally, we will explore several innovative ways that ELC data can be used by municipalities to assess their natural areas and protect natural features. This webinar is directed toward those who use ELC data in their planning, assessment and protection work (i.e. it is not a primer on how to collect the data from the field).

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

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April 7, 2022 – Part I: Natural Asset Inventory and Condition Assessment: From street trees and parks to woodlands and wetlands

Presenters: Tatiana Koveshnikova, Scott Sampson & Lauren Moretto (CVC)

Tatiana Koveshnikova is an ecological economist with over 15 years of experience in the valuation of ecosystem services and socio-economic modelling. At Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), Tatiana manages Ecosystem Goods and Services program and leads the development of projects and tools on natural asset management to support both CVC’s and municipal partners’ needs.

Scott Sampson is the Manager of Natural Heritage Management at Credit Valley Conservation. He has worked as an ecologist for 25 years conducting field inventories and wetland evaluations across the Credit River watershed. Scott and his team of ecologists are responsible for developing strategies, plans and tools to guide the protection and restoration of the watershed’s natural heritage system. His most recent work includes the development of tools to support natural asset management, ecological offsetting, and the development of CVC’s ecohydrology program.

Lauren Moretto is a Technician of Ecosystem Goods and Services in the Ecological Goods and Services Division at Credit Valley Conservation. Her work encompasses research and tool development related to the measurement and valuation of ecosystem services provided by natural assets. She aspires to help municipalities recognize the value of and effectively manage their natural assets, while balancing this with sustainable and informed growth.

Abstract: Natural assets, including forests, wetlands, and other green space, provide many critical services to municipalities, like improving air quality, storing carbon, and managing stormwater. However, without proper monitoring, maintenance and long-term management/restoration, the level of service provided by natural assets can diminish. Creating a natural asset inventory and conducting a natural asset condition assessment can help municipalities to keep track of their natural assets and ensure that they are maintained in good condition. Natural assets in good condition will provide better levels of service and help build resiliency to climate change impacts.

In this webinar, we build on the municipal case studies in the Credit River Watershed to walk through the steps to create a natural asset inventory, including effective organization and categorization of assets. We then present CVC-developed approaches to quickly assess the condition of municipal natural assets, including both larger natural areas as well as manicured green space and street trees. The information gathered can be used to assess and monitor the condition of natural assets, identify management issues, and set priorities.

*Please note: this webinar is part one of a three part series and is 90-mins

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

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April 21, 2022 – Sustainable Technologies Applied at the Residential Level – Rain Ready Ottawa: The City’s residential rainwater management program for private property

Presenter: Simon Greenland-Smith (City of Ottawa)

Simon Greenland-Smith is an Outreach and Communications Coordinator at the City of Ottawa’s Climate Change and Resiliency Section. As coordinator of Rain Ready Ottawa, he led the development of the program including key partnerships with industry, other municipalities, and local ENGOs. He believes that communications are a key to conservation and harnessing the human capacity to improve our environment.

Abstract: Rain Ready Ottawa is the City of Ottawa’s residential rainwater management program for private property. The program is a response to the Ottawa River Action Plan and municipal council direction to boost adoption of private property residential actions which can help ameliorate stormwater quantity and quality issues in tributaries to the Ottawa River.

Rain Ready Ottawa is a multi-faceted approach to engage and incentivize residents, and to build landscape industry capacity to design, install and maintain stormwater management features on residential property. Additionally, the program targets to homeowners in priority stormwater retrofit areas, with information and education across the City. A robust communications and outreach plan supports the overall program. Four parallel components provide a diversity of tactics that can be scaled up in order to meet Ottawa’s long-term stormwater retrofit targets:

  • Industry capacity building
  • Home assessments
  • Financial rebates
  • Communications and outreach

The presentation will provide an overview of Canadian and US voluntary rainwater management program and provide background on the development of Rain Ready Ottawa. We will share preliminary results from the first year of operations of the program and offer key insights into advancing municipal stormwater programming.

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

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April 28, 2022 – Fish and Wildlife Passage at Bridges and Culverts: Existing conditions and priorities for mitigation

Presenter: Erika Nardone (CVC)

Erika Nardone is a Technician on the Landscape Science team at Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). She holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and an M.Sc. from the University of Guelph. Erika’s professional background in the conservation sector includes positions in government, not-for-profit organizations, and conservation authorities. Since joining CVC in 2015, Erika has worked on a broad range of projects and initiatives related to natural heritage systems, land use and land cover analyses, landscape connectivity, watershed planning, and road ecology. Erika has been involved in coordinating CVC’s Road and Valley Crossings project since its inception in 2015.

Abstract: Where roads cross watercourses, existing infrastructure (e.g. bridges and culverts) can create barriers to fish and wildlife movement. As a result, landscape connectivity is impacted. In response to this issue, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) undertook the Road and Valley Crossings Project. This webinar will showcase how CVC characterized existing conditions for fish and wildlife passage at bridges and culverts across the Credit River Watershed. CVC further identified priority locations for mitigation or upgrade to improve habitat connectivity. The results can inform restoration and management activities and be incorporated into long term infrastructure planning. This strategic planning tool can help focus limited resources on priority locations that maximize connectivity benefits for fish and wildlife. The results can also be integrated with other natural asset planning tools, such as tools that identify priorities for erosion and flood mitigation. By integrating these priorities, CVC can further strategically support future municipal infrastructure planning by identifying sites where upgrades can have multiple benefits.

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May 5, 2022 – Part II: Level of Service, Valuation and Life-Cycle Costing for Natural Assets: Approaches and examples from CVC-led projects

Presenter: Tatiana Koveshnikova (CVC)

Tatiana Koveshnikova is an ecological economist with over 15 years of experience in the valuation of ecosystem services and socio-economic modelling. At Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), Tatiana manages Ecosystem Goods and Services program and leads the development of projects and tools on natural asset management to support both CVC’s and municipal partners’ needs.

Abstract: Natural assets provide a variety of ecosystem services, but how can one measure and value the level of service provided by these assets? This critical step builds the capacity of municipalities to effectively manage their natural assets to maintain the services they provide.

This webinar builds on the previous webinar and the municipal case studies in the Credit River Watershed: once we have created a natural asset inventory and assessed asset condition, we can begin to assess level of service provided by natural assets, the monetary value of these services, and the costs of maintaining a sustainable level of service. In this webinar we will: a) discuss how to measure the level of service of natural assets and to predict changes to level of service under various risk and climate scenarios; b) explore valuation methodology services provided by natural assets, and c) review life cycle costs for natural asset management and restoration.

*Please note: this webinar is part two of a three part series and is 90-mins

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

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May 19, 2022 – Assessing the Feasibility of Communal Green Stormwater Infrastructure on Private Property

Presenter: Shannon Malloy (CVC)

Shannon Malloy is a Specialist with the Integrated Water Management team at Credit Valley Conservation. Shannon began her career at CVC in 2013 monitoring low impact developments to verify performance and track maintenance needs. Her current role focuses on supporting innovative stormwater management studies as well as collaborating with municipal partners on all phases of low impact development implementation.

Abstract: Despite the proven benefits of low impact development (LID) stormwater management (SWM) there are still barriers preventing wide-scale implementation, particularly on private property in developed areas. CVC studied an approach to overcome these challenges and will present on a FCM funded initiative that evaluated the technical and financial feasibility of communal LID systems on private property. An overview of project activities will include:

  • Existing condition evaluation and base map preparation
  • Designing Communal LID systems: Selecting design criteria, how to select LIDs to meet the design criteria and optimizing the design using one water principles and for LID co-benefits
  • Developing a 2D PC SWMM model for existing stormwater conditions, LID retrofit designs and climate change scenarios.
  • Cost estimates for the communal design including an overview of how principles of the Drainage Act were applied to fairly distribute project costs to the affected land and roads (private-public cost sharing).

The presentation will highlight lessons learned and resources that were created to help with transferability of the project concept, including an Aggregation Methodology that lays out a process to consider communal private side SWM in the Municipal Class EA process and an E-Learning module with steps for designing communal LID retrofits. We will conclude with the current impact of the study and next steps.

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June 2, 2022 – Climate Considerations for Management of Natural Features

 Kata Bavrlic & Yvette Roy (CVC)

Kata Bavrlic is a Senior Analyst who is responsible for analyzing and reporting on CVC’s long-term monitoring data sets and integrating that information into the watershed planning process. Although a terrestrial ecologist by training, Kata has spent the last 13 years exploring how plants, animals and the abiotic components of forest, wetland, stream, and groundwater ecosystems in the Credit River Watershed have changed over the years in a rapidly urbanizing landscape.

Yvette Roy is a Senior Specialist who oversees CVC’s Landscape Science Program. Yvette has worked in ecology with Credit Valley Conservation since 2009. A large focus of her work has been supporting and implementing CVC’s Natural Heritage System Strategy. This strategy aims to connect, protect, and restore a system of natural areas in the watershed. Under this umbrella, Yvette is involved in landscape scale research and tool development, including work on issues involving watershed stressors, climate change, and the urban forest.

Abstract: This webinar will showcase some of CVC’s recent work evaluating long-term climate trends in the watershed and discuss how these trends are impacting the natural heritage system. CVC’s long term monitoring program has evaluated 75 years of climate data, and has been monitoring forests, wetlands, and streams since 1999. We will speak to some signals of climate change that we are detecting in forest, wetland, and stream ecosystems through our Integrated Watershed Monitoring Program (IWMP) and other data sources. Locally, we have observed warming stream and air temperatures, the arrival of new species to the watershed and the impacts of pests and pathogens on ecosystem features and functions. Given that we are already seeing the impacts of climate change, we will touch on tools and strategies to manage natural assets, in particular the natural heritage system, in the face of this change. We will discuss what CVC is doing to address some of these impacts, and how we can work with our municipal partners on strategies and tools to support their strategies.

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June 9, 2022 – Vancouver’s Green Infrastructure Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program

Sheri DeBoer & Julie McManus (City of Vancouver)

Sheri DeBoer is a rehabilitation project manager in the Green Infrastructure Implementation branch at the City of Vancouver. She has degrees in environmental science from Mount Royal College and landscape architecture from the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at the University of Calgary.

Julie McManus is an operation and maintenance project manager in the Green Infrastructure Implementation branch at the City of Vancouver. She has over 10 years’ experience working in the conservation, education, and green infrastructure in Ontario and Vancouver.

Abstract: In 2019, the City of Vancouver adopted the Rain City Strategy, a 30 year plan to change how the city manages rainwater using green infrastructure.  Over the next 3 decades Vancouver aims to convert 40% of impervious spaces to better manage rainwater using nature based solutions on both public and private property. To reach this goal, the City of Vancouver is not only implementing new projects, but also looking at how to use maintenance and rehabilitation to improve the function of its current green infrastructure, some of which has been in place for over 20 years using older design standards.  This presentation will provide an overview of two new programs started by the city’s Green Infrastructure Implementation team in 2021, Green Infrastructure Operation & Maintenance, and Rehabilitation of Bioretention Assets, covering the challenges, successes and lessons learned.

The Rehabilitation program is an annual program where we target 10-15 problematic assets per year and update them to current design standards. Some older assets saw little to no maintenance over their lifespan and other assets were simply not designed with rainwater infiltration as priority. The assets are prioritized based on their lack of function, and criticality within a watershed. The work includes excavation, regrading, the installation of a sediment pad and planting. The 2021 program saw 15 existing bioretention curb bulges and raingardens rehabilitated. City staff also took the opportunity to engage local schools, including starting a monitoring program with a local high school.

In the pilot year of Vancouver’s Green Infrastructure Operation and Maintenance program, the city provided routine and restorative maintenance to 136 bioretention assets and 32 permeable pavement sites, all of which had received little to no maintenance to date. To build industry capacity, the city hired two different contractors and provided onboarding training.  This not only helped to set expectations, but also build relationships that supported strong communication throughout the first year of maintenance.  This presentation will also cover how the city worked with a social enterprise to trial both routine and restorative maintenance on permeable pavement and using volunteers to support ongoing bioretention maintenance.

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June 23, 2022 – CVC Ecosystem Offsetting Guidelines

Presenter: Scott Sampson (CVC)

Scott Sampson is the Manager of Natural Heritage Management at Credit Valley Conservation. He has worked as an ecologist for 25 years conducting field inventories and wetland evaluations across the Credit River watershed. Scott and his team of ecologists are responsible for developing strategies, plans and tools to guide the protection and restoration of the watershed’s natural heritage system. His most recent work includes the development of tools to support natural asset management, ecological offsetting, and the development of CVC’s ecohydrology program.

Abstract: Join CVC’s Scott Sampson on a webinar sharing CVC’s Ecosystem Offsetting Guideline. Ecosystem offsetting is an approach to compensation guided by principles and strategies that strive to achieve a net gain in ecosystem function to offset the negative impacts of development through the creation or restoration of natural features. Offsetting is one important tool in managing our natural assets, to address negative impacts of development, population intensification. Offsetting provides an opportunity to further protect and maintain biodiversity functions, flood resiliency, and climate change mitigation services associated with our natural heritage system.

CVC’s Ecosystem Offsetting Guideline was approved by its Board of Directors in 2020. The guideline provides best practices for the application of offsetting to improve fairness and consistency, and transparency while ensuring full compensation for the loss of natural heritage features and functions. This presentation will discuss ecosystem offsetting, its principles and the approach provided in CVC’s Ecosystem Offsetting Guideline.

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

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September 8, 2021 – Part III: Building Business Case for Natural Assets: Examples and tools from municipalities in the Credit River Watershed

Presenters: Tatiana Koveshnikova & Christine Zimmer (CVC)

Tatiana Koveshnikova is an ecological economist with over 15 years of experience in the valuation of ecosystem services and socio-economic modelling. At Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), Tatiana manages Ecosystem Goods and Services program and leads the development of projects and tools on natural asset management to support both CVC’s and municipal partners’ needs.

Christine Zimmer is a Chief Specialist in Watershed Risk Assessment at Credit Valley Conservation Authority.  She leads the development of climate risk tools and research to support CVC and partners adapt and manage watershed resources. Christine is committed to sharing CVC’s leading-edge research and technologies having led more than 40 conferences reaching over 6,000 professionals and community members over the last 16 years.

Abstract: Climate change poses potential risks to our economy, environment, and community well-being. Natural assets – wetlands, forests, and other green space – play a key role in helping communities mitigate and adapt to these impacts and delivers important services, such as flood mitigation and urban heat island reduction. While provincial and federal regulations encourage investment in green infrastructure and natural assets, there is lack of evidence, guidelines, and tools available for municipalities to evaluate cost-benefit scenarios and build the business case for investing in natural assets. CVC will present a suite of financial and asset management planning tools to support municipalities and conservation authorities in addressing these technical gaps. In particular:

  • Business Case for Natural Assets (BC4NA) builds evidence and develops guidance for effectively inventorying, measuring, and managing the contribution of natural assets to municipal services delivery, and

Risk and Return on Investment Tool (RROIT) quantifies financial return on investment by reducing flood and erosion risks with green and natural infrastructure solutions

*Please note: this webinar is part three of a three part series and is 90-mins

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

September 15, 2022 – Reducing Winter Salt Application on Commercial Parking Lots: Case study and design guidelines

Pam Strong (LSRCA) & Lorna Murison (CVC)

Pam Strong is an Integrated Watershed Management Specialist with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA). Her work is focused on LSRCA’s salt reduction efforts, and watershed planning and reporting. Pam’s educational background is in ecology.

Lorna Murison is a Coordinator with Credit Valley Conservation’s (CVC) Water and Climate Change Science Division. She conducts water quality monitoring and modeling and leads many of CVC’s road salt management initiatives. Her educational background is in environmental studies and GIS, and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in environmental science and management.

Abstract: Parking lots have become a considerable source of winter salt in our watersheds. Salt application on parking lots can be reduced by considering winter maintenance needs during the design phase, and by implementing salting best practices on an established lot. This webinar will explore both, through presentations on LSCRA’s Parking Lot Design Guidelines to Promote Salt Reduction and with a case study of salt management and monitoring at Credit Valley Conservation’s head office.

LSRCA’s Parking Lot Design Guidelines show how four design features (grading and stormwater collection, snow pile placement,  sidewalk design and pedestrian flow, and landscaping) can be incorporated into the design of parking lots to reduce the amount of salt needed to be applied to a site to maintain safe surfaces for all users. These features, and their potential benefits, will be explored.

CVC provides an example of how changes to operations can play a role in reducing salt use. CVC has created a salt management plan for their parking lot, which contains walkways, permeable interlocking pavers, and traditional asphalt surfaces. Their goal is to maintain staff and client safety while reducing salt use. This plan, the results of the first year of this study, and results of similar studies on parking lot salt use will be presented.

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

September 29, 2022 – Biodiversity Matters in Managing Natural Assets: Working together to protect and manage the species that make up our natural heritage for watershed health and resilience

Laura Timms (CVC)

Laura Timms is a Senior Specialist in Natural Heritage Management. Laura’s work involves analyzing data from CVC’s monitoring and inventory programs to develop tools and strategies for biodiversity conservation and management. This includes projects such as identifying forested areas of high and low climate vulnerability and assessing local species of conservation concern, as well as coordinating the scientific aspects of CVC’s Butterfly Blitz citizen science program. Laura is also an Adjunct Professor in Forest Conservation at the University of Toronto, and has done research on insect diversity, invasive species, biological control, and conservation. She served on the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario for one term, and also contributed to the recent State of Ontario’s Biodiversity Report.

Abstract: Scientists around the world have been sounding the alarm about the loss of biodiversity. One recent report found that between 1970 and 2016, populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish have declined 68 per cent on average worldwide. Our local biodiversity is in better condition than many other places in the world. However, the species that live in the Credit River Watershed still face significant threats from habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change. Thousands of species of plants and animals call the watershed home, including many rare and threatened species. These plants and animals provide many key ecosystem services – including water purification, temperature regulation, and flood mitigation – that we can’t afford to lose. Luckily, the major threats to biodiversity in our area can be prevented and mitigated if we work together. In this webinar, we will provide an overview of the ongoing global crisis of biodiversity declines and will discuss what is known about the status of local biodiversity. We will highlight existing local programs focusing on biodiversity conservation and management and suggest additional actions that could be taken to slow down and even reverse biodiversity declines.

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

October 13, 2022 – Detailed Design and Implementation of a Smart Blue Roof for Building Level Stormwater Management at CVC’s Head Office

 Rohan Hakimi, James Cowan & Samantha Pelayo (CVC)

Rohan Hakimi is an Engineer working on the Integrated Watershed Management team at Credit Valley Conservation. As part of this team, he provides technical support for the implementation of green infrastructure, low impact development and pollution prevention projects to improve community resiliency and to protect the environment. Prior to his time at CVC, Rohan worked abroad in irrigation and water management.

James Cowan is a Technician with the Integrated Water Management team at CVC. James is a recent graduate of the University of Guelph’s Environmental Engineering program, and his current role is to support green infrastructure and low-impact development projects at CVC.

Samantha Pelayo is a Technician with the Integrated Water Management team at CVC. Samantha has a MASc. in Civil Engineering with a focus on hydrology of Low Impact Development (LID). At her current role, she focuses on assisting in the planning and delivery of LID projects, as well as supporting in the knowledge transfer obtained by implementing LID projects.

Abstract: The ICI sector covers 20-30% of urban lands and is comprised of large buildings with extensive flat roof areas surrounded by paved surfaces and a relatively small amount of open space. As a result, ICI lands generate the largest runoff volumes per unit area of all urban land uses and put strain on the municipal stormwater system. The stormwater network in many ICI areas was under-designed and is highly vulnerable to surcharging, creating liabilities for municipalities. Furthermore, municipalities face limitations to the amount of stormwater which can be effectively managed in existing urban areas using public lands alone. As an adaptive and innovative approach to managing stormwater, smart blue roofs use existing rooftops in ICI areas to detain rainwater. This rainwater can offset potable water usage and can provide evaporative cooling benefits during hot months. Smart blue roofs can use smart, active control technology to automatically respond to various climate scenarios. Smart blue roofs have potential to reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts for the municipality, community, and ICI sector. This presentation will provide an overview of CVC’s pilot project to design and construct a Smart Blue Roof on our head office building and will share lessons learned. The presentation will introduce smart blue roof design, operation and maintenance considerations and outline their potential to assist municipalities and private lands to better manage stormwater at the source.

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

October 20, 2022 – Effective Stream Restoration Techniques

Kat Lucas (Ontario Streams)

Kat Lucas graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science, Zoology, and a Master of Environmental Science with a focus on aquatic toxicology and fish reproduction. She has recently completed a Certificate of Community Development, Engagement, and Leadership from X University. Kat and the team at Ontario Streams develop and execute vital conservation work to protect and restore local aquatic ecosystems.

Abstract: Ontario Streams is a registered environmental charity dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of streams and wetlands, through education and community action. Established in 1995, we have worked closely with numerous communities, conservation organizations, and landowners to develop lasting partnerships environmental stewardship.

With over 26 years of environmental restoration experience, Ontario Streams continues to demonstrate leadership in freshwater ecosystem rehabilitation through our impactful conservation projects and programs. Our most significant work to date has taken place in Southern Ontario, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) where the ever-increasing rates of urbanization have resulted in a dire need for rehabilitation. Our priority is on restoring streams and wetlands through on-the-ground work, including in-stream habitat enhancement, native tree and shrub planting, and garbage cleanups. We also led the collaboration to develop the Ontario’s Stream Rehabilitation Manual which outlines bioengineering techniques to restore stream function and habitat.

This webinar will highlight Ontario Streams’ methods for effectively improving streams in the GTA. We prioritize using techniques that mimic natural channel design to ensure impactful and long-lasting enhancement of the habitat. We invite you to learn more about stream rehabilitation and how to develop your own projects to protect and restore these sensitive ecosystems.

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

October 27, 2022 – Bird Friendly Buildings

Christina Kovacs (CVC)

Christina Kovacs is a Natural Heritage Management Specialist at Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), where she has worked since 2010. Her professional experience includes working for various governments, universities, consulting, and conservation authorities. Working for the biodiversity conservation and management program, Christina develops tools and strategies, including field inventory protocols and significant wildlife habitat mapping. Christina is also the lead biologist on many bird inventories in the Credit River watershed. She collects baseline bird data that is used in these tools and strategies and provides recommendations to better manage birds and their habitats. Christina supports many projects at CVC including various restoration and conservation area projects.

Abstract: Have you ever experienced the loud, heartbreaking thud of a bird colliding with a glass window? Many of us have, and bird-window collisions are far more common than we realize. In North America, it is now considered one of the leading causes of bird mortality. Every year, millions of birds die by colliding with glass windows they cannot see. But what can we do about it? This webinar will introduce you to the topic of bird-window collisions and how we can reduce this threat. We will describe why it’s an issue, and how factors like local geography, daytime conditions, and nighttime conditions all influence bird-window collisions. We will also summarize some solutions for new and existing buildings. Finally, we will introduce you to the tools we are developing at CVC to identify hotspot areas for bird-window collisions in the city of Mississauga. Using this information, we can come together to protect these animals that so many of us enjoy.

Click here for the PDF of this webinar

November 3, 2022 – Drivers and Implications of Stormwater Pond Stratification

David Lembcke & Brian Ginn (LSRCA)

David Lembcke is the Manager of Environmental Science and Monitoring with the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority. He oversees a multidisciplinary team responsible for monitoring Lake Simcoe and its watershed and investigating issues affecting its ecological health.   David’s interest lies in the function and performance of stormwater management features. He has conducted a number of studies into the drivers of stormwater pond function as well as in the development of methodologies and resources to improve stormwater pond operation and maintenance.  Most recently he participated in the development and delivery of a municipal stormwater pond maintenance training course.

Brian Ginn is a limnologist at the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. He has a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Master of Science in marine biology the University of New Brunswick, a PhD in limnology from Queen’s University, and is one of three lake managers in Canada certified by the North American Lake Management Society.

Abstract: Drawing from nearly a decade’s worth of stormwater pond monitoring data this webinar will focus on the issue of stratification and its main causes, including winter salt, temperature, and wind exposure. Utilizing this monitoring data, there will also be material on how persistent the stratification can be, and what type of precipitation intensity or wind exposure it takes to get ponds mixed again.  Along with this are the implications on pond performance, including active volume reduction, and event skipping (where a storm event skips across the top of the pond and does not engage the entire pond volume for treatment), as well as what prolonged stratification does for bottom water DO and nutrient desorption.

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November 17, 2022 – Implementation from Design to Monitoring of Blue-Green Systems: Creating connected and multi-beneficial solutions for the road right-of-way in Vancouver

Cherie Xiao, Connor Redman, Alex Scott & Cassandra Humes (City of Vancouver)

Cherie Xiao is a registered Landscape Architect and Project Manager with over 18 years of experience managing all phases of integrated green infrastructure planning, design, and implementation. She has developed a diverse portfolio of highly complex and urban public open space projects throughout Canada, US, and China.

Connor Redman is a green infrastructure construction coordinator with the City of Vancouver. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, political science, and Native American studies from the University of Lethbridge as well as a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Manitoba.

Alex Scott is a green infrastructure designer with the City of Vancouver, supporting the planning, design, and implementation of capital projects in the city’s right-of-way. Through this experience, she has a holistic understanding of the design requirements for rainwater management, implementation challenges, and unique co-benefits that green infrastructure brings to the urban public realm.

Cassandra Humes is a monitoring lead with the City of Vancouver.

Abstract: The City of Vancouver is shifting its approach to managing rainwater through green rainwater infrastructure that protects, restores, and mimics the natural water cycle. To achieve this holistic approach, the City teams and the Park Board are working closely to develop joint blue-green systems projects that meet multiple rainwater management, active transportation, and urban ecology goals. Blue-green systems are a network of connected park-like streets that managed water and land in a way that is inspired by nature and designed to replicate natural functions. In 2021, the City of Vancouver completed construction on three of its first blue-green systems projects, which provided valuable opportunities to pilot new typologies, test different service delivery models, and apply innovative design and construction solutions.

This presentation will provide an overview of the City of Vancouver’s vision for blue-green systems, as well as two case studies on recently completed projects: Richards Complete Street, and Sunset Park Road closure. Preliminary performance data will also be discussed.

Richards Street between Cordova and Pacific Street is part of the first installment of a citywide blue-green system. The system creates corridors that deliver rainwater management, provide active transportation routes to walk, bike, and roll, and add green spaces for the community and wildlife to enjoy. The rainwater tree trenches between Dunsmuir and Pacific capture and clean urban rainwater runoff, while the protected bike path creates safe travelling options. The addition of trees along this corridor contributes to the growth of the urban forest, enhancement of biodiversity, and mitigation of the urban heat island effect. A mix of soil cells and structural soil in combination with permeable pavers and catch basins, allow for the capture of urban rainwater runoff along all 8 blocks of the blue green system. Monitoring devices have been placed in all blocks to track soil moisture as well as standing water depth.

Sunset Park Road closure transformed a typical street right-of-way bisecting a popular city park into a lush active transportation corridor. The new bioswale manages rainwater runoff from adjacent impervious surfaces, while meeting place-making and biodiversity objectives from the park master planning process. While piloting design and construction typologies for future large-scale blue-green systems, the Sunset Park Road closure project also provided an opportunity for novel cross-jurisdictional working relationships.

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November 24, 2022 – Innovative Subdivision Design: Performance of a pond with upgradient LIDs

Meghan Kline (CVC)

Meghan Kline has worked as a Water Resource Technician with Credit Valley Conservation since 2014. She has an MSc. in Earth Sciences with a focus on hydrology and biogeochemistry. In her current role she focuses on performance monitoring of low impact development practices. Since 2015 she has led data collection, analysis and reporting on stormwater management performance for a subdivision that uses a treatment train approach to manage stormwater.

Abstract: To achieve all stormwater management objectives, from flood control to maintaining the natural water balance and preserving water quality, stormwater management designs may use a treatment train approach that incorporates a combination of conventional and LID stormwater management practices. However, knowledge gaps remain for how the presence of LID practices upgradient in the catchment influence the design, performance, and maintenance needs of wet ponds. This is a consequence of the relative newness of this hybrid approach to stormwater management, meaning there is limited long-term monitoring data available. Since 2015, CVC has been conducting monitoring at a subdivision in Halton Hills that uses a treatment train approach incorporating both LIDs and wet ponds to manage stormwater. This monitoring has been used to answer key questions including: 1) is the wet pond with LIDs upgradient performing as designed? 2) What is the influence of the upgradient LID practices on the performance of the wet pond? and 3) How can the monitoring results inform asset management and future designs? The monitoring results suggest that the pond is in some ways exceeding design requirements but is also not performing quite as expected. The upstream LIDs appear to be providing significant volume reductions which may be impacting the water balance of the pond. Maintenance observations highlight some site-specific maintenance considerations and the importance of routine maintenance for all storms.

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December 1, 2022 – Effects of Pavement Degradation on the Generation of Microplastics in Stormwater

Kelsey Smyth (University of Toronto)

Kelsey Smyth is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on microplastic characterization in stormwater and the use of bioretention cells to mitigate the spread of microplastics in the broader environment.

Abstract: Urban stormwater runoff has been found to be a pathway for microplastics into the downstream environment. Within this pathway, many sources of microplastics exist including two sources of interest: tire wear, a confirmed source, and the wear and tear of pavement, a potential source. In this presentation, Kelsey Smyth will present work about the effects of pavement degradation on microplastics generation in stormwater between pavement types including asphalt, concrete, and recycled rubber. I will compare microplastic characteristics between pavement types from both field-derived stormwater samples and pavement samples which will undergo specialized mechanical testing to simulate tire abrasion with pavement. It is expected that microplastic quantities and polymer types will differ between pavements due to differences in pavement and catchment characteristics such as pavement friction and traffic loads. Results from this study may have implications for pavement sustainability practices such as the use of polymer additives and material choice for parking lots and roadways from an environmental perspective.

December 8, 2022 – The Expanding Wikiverse: Next level guidance to cover the full life cycle of LID facilities

Dean Young (TRCA)

Dean Young works at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority as a Project Manager with the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program.  He focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of innovative water and soil management technologies in an Ontario context.  He manages applied research projects and develops knowledge transfer tools to overcome barriers to widespread implementation. His most recent work includes guidance on the design, inspection and maintenance of Low Impact Development stormwater and soil management best practices.  Dean also participates on national standard development committees relating to the design and construction of green stormwater infrastructure.

Abstract: The LID Stormwater Management Planning and Design Guide Wiki (wiki.sustainabletechnologies.ca) was launched in March 2019 as a joint initiative of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Credit Valley Conservation and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. Developed in consultation with representatives from federal and provincial ministries, municipalities and industry stakeholders, the on-line guide is the first of its kind in Canada and provides a new digital resource for sustainable stormwater planning and design that is well-suited to an era of innovation and rapid evolution. This webinar will provide an overview of the Guide and highlight recent enhancements, including (i) the addition of information from existing LID Guides on construction and inspection and maintenance (ii) integration of planning and design tools like the LID Treatment Train Tool, Life Cycle Costing Tool and detailed design plan review checklists, and (iii) Performance data gathered from local and international sources.

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