What is the Natural Areas Inventory Project?
The Region of Peel and the Credit River watershed are one of the fastest growing regions in Canada. Given the tremendous development pressures this area will be facing over the next 5-10 years, it is essential that the existence and composition of natural areas in the area are known and their functions are understood. To facilitate the protection of key natural areas, and to maintain a healthy environment for all, detailed information on these natural areas must be accurate, up-to-date, in context and accessible as a single, cohesive source. Currently, information on natural areas comes from a variety of sources. Much of the existing information is dated and scattered, and significant data gaps exist.
Why are we doing this?
The Natural Areas Inventory Project was initiated to address the gaps in information and data in the area of the Credit River watershed and the Region of Peel. A collaborative effort between Credit Valley Conservation, the Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club and the South Peel Naturalists’ Club, the project’s objectives are to assemble and assess existing biological and ecological information, conduct a data gap analysis, carry out field inventories to address the data gaps and to analyse and report the results in a municipal and watershed context.
What information will the project provide?
The Natural Areas Inventory Project will identify significant natural heritage features and functions and will document species distributions and status in the study area. The inventory work will include invasive and exotic species and hence will help address issues associated with these species. This will provide the general public, non-governmental organizations and local, regional, provincial and federal government agencies with a better understanding of the environment in the Credit watershed and Peel region. It will support further education of the public, stewardship initiatives and protection and sound ecosystem management to ensure long-term community health.
Credit Valley Conservation, the Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club and the South Peel Naturalists’ Club have collaborated successfully in past endeavors. They share the common goals of promoting enjoyment and understanding of nature and the environment, of working toward the protection and conservation of natural areas and encouraging wise and responsible management of natural heritage resources.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the Region of Peel have also teamed up, contributing their resources and expertise in support of the NAI project.