Dr. Patrick Lawrence

Photo of Patrick Lawrence Coastal Conservation Speaker

Dr. Patrick Lawrence

Dr Patrick Lawrence is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toledo. He received his PhD from the University of Waterloo in 1996 and his research interests include environmental planning, water resources, parks and protected areas, and the Great Lakes.

His first research experience was field work for his Honors Geography thesis while an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo conducted in the Bruce Peninsula in 1986 at the time of the establishment of the BPNP.

His experience in the field of Great Lakes coastal conservation has been in examining watershed planning, wetland management, the role of parks and protected areas in the Lake Erie basin, and he has a long standing interest in the park planning for the BPNP. This work has included involvement with conservation efforts associated with the Lake Huron shoreline, Niagara Escarpment, Long Point World Biosphere, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, and Hiawatha National Forest.

Dr Lawrence has served on the Board of Directors for the Coastal Zone Canada Association, the U.S. Coastal Society, Partners for Clean Streams Inc. (a local non-governmental agency focusing on water quality issues within the Maumee Great Lakes Area of Concern in NW Ohio), and associated leadership roles with the International Association of Great Lakes Research and the East Lakes Division of the Association of American Geographers. Dr Lawrence also currently serves as the chair of the University of Toledo President’s Commission on the River which is undertaking efforts to beautify and restore the 3,700 feet of the Tenmile Creek/Ottawa River that passes through the main campus of the University of Toledo located in NW Ohio.

Professional Affiliation

Professor/Department Chair
Department of Geography and Planning
College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences
University of Toledo

University of Toledo Department of Geography and Planning

2013 Changing Lakes Forum Topic

The Experience and Opportunities for Coastal Conservation in the Great Lakes.

Over the last forty years significant efforts have been made on both the Canadian and U.S. sides of the Great Lakes in the area of conservation of the lands, waters and other components of the coastal ecosystems within the basin. These initiatives include the establishment of formal parks and protected areas by federal, state/provincial, regional and local governments and the involvement of conservation minded organizations, groups and individuals such as the Nature Conservancy.

This presentation is intended to provide a broad overview and perspective on the degree to which coastal conservation has been undertaken in the Great Lakes including examination and review of the planning tools, mechanisms, and approaches utilized to set aside critical habitat, key natural features and process in some form of conservation with the intent to preserve and protect them from various types and degrees of impacts from human activities. Examples will be provided from across the basin, both Canada and the U.S., with special attention to those conservation activities associated with the important interface between the lake waters and shoreland environments. The focus of this review will include both a historical perspective as well as current and future prospects for coastal conservation opportunities. Within the context of this review, important lessons learned and potential opportunities to be pursued will be considered, especially in regards to related advances in parks and protected areas worldwide and emerging conservation concerns and interests within the Great Lakes basin.


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