Municipal Natural Assets Initiative — Cohort 2 National Project Summary Report: Oshawa Creek, Ontario
David Suzuki Foundation and partners
Authored by: Michelle Molnar, Jeff Wilson, Josh Thiessen, Amy Taylor, Haruna Monri, Bryan Karney, Michelle Whitbread, Patrick Lee, Harshad Patel, Lucy Lovric, Julie MacIsaac, Lucy Benham, Perry Sisson, Cheekwan Ho
Partners: Smart Prosperity Institute, Town of Gibsons, Roy Brooke and Associates
Cities, Climate solutions eco-assets, Ontario, community and culture, economics, land use, natural capital, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative
The City of Oshawa, Ontario, initiated the MNAI Oshawa Creek project to better understand the conditions, functions and values of the natural assets along the Oshawa Creek, and to make the area more resilient to storm events. Additionally, the city wants to ensure the developments upstream of the project area manage both water quantity and quality before it goes into the Oshawa Creek, and do not contribute to downstream erosion, flooding, water quality degradation and habitat loss.
The project measured how the natural assets are currently reducing erosion and maintaining water quantity and quality, and identified opportunities to improve both through natural asset management and low-impact development practices.
The project results indicate that the natural assets in the seven-kilometre project area, excluding the floodplain, have a value of $18.9 million in terms of how they are currently managing stormwater. When including the full length of the creek and surrounding flood plain, the total value of the Oshawa Creek watershed increases to between $392 million and $414 million.
Results demonstrated that preventative measures to protect natural assets upstream of the project area are required to manage post-development stormwater flows. These findings can support the city’s ongoing asset management efforts, and provide a rationale for the project being replicated in other areas.
Municipal Natural Assets Initiative — Cohort 2 National Project Summary Report: City of Courtenay, British Columbia
This project summary shows how natural infrastructure can help local governments and communities reduce flood risks. Communities like the City of Courtenay recognize it is as important to understand, measure, manage and account for natural assets as engineered ones.
Municipal Natural Assets Initiative — Cohort 2 National Project Summary Report: Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick
With increasingly frequent and intense rainstorms along the Saint John River causing major flooding and other issues, the Town of Florenceville-Bristol explored how natural assets such as forests could help manage stormwater, erosion and flooding at lower cost and increase resilience to climate change.
Municipal Natural Assets Initiative — Cohort 2 National Project Summary Report: Riverview, New Brunswick
The Town of Riverview, N.B., valued stormwater management services of wetlands in hopes of avoiding building new infrastructure. The wetlands and surrounding areas provide valuable storage. If it is lost, increasingly costly stormwater designs will be needed.
Municipal Natural Assets Initiative — Cohort 2 National Project Summary Report: Sparwood, British Columbia
The District of Sparwood found ways to improve water quality in the Elk River through management of natural assets in a community concerned about the large stormwater flows that regularly dump sediment and other urban runoff into the river.
Municipal Natural Assets Initiative — Cohort 2 National Project Summary Report: Village of Riverside, New Brunswick
The Village of Riverside-Albert partnered with the Southeast Regional Service Commission (SERSC) to increase understanding of natural assets in the community and to learn how to manage them for a sustainable drinking water supply.