February 2, 2021 — The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority has announced the completion of two wetland restoration projects.
The projects are located at Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve, King Township, and Luck Conservation Area, Innisfil, and add to the 50,800 hectares of wetlands currently in the Lake Simcoe watershed.
“These two wetland projects will improve wildlife habitat, and once established, will reduce local flood risks and mitigate the effects of climate change, while providing a destination for nature seekers,” explained Christa Sharp, Manager of Restoration for LSRCA. “Not only do wetlands play an essential role in keeping our communities safe from flooding, but they also serve another critical purpose – capturing and storing carbon.”
Wetlands are often referred to as natural sponges. During a flood, they function like a tub that stores overflowing water, reducing the severity of downstream flooding. Wetlands also store carbon in their soils, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“As we face a climate crisis and more than 100 countries pledge to set net-zero emissions goals, wetlands offer a known, proven solution. Despite these critical functions, wetlands continue to be one of the most threatened natural features, with more than 70% of the world’s wetlands degraded or destroyed,” Sharp says.
In addition to the five acres of new wetland features, these restoration projects included tree and shrub plantings, native wildflower seeding, and the creation of new features such as habitat mounds, which will become homes for species like bank swallows.
Celebrate World Wetland Day by visiting a local greenspace or conservation area close to home.
See if you can spot a wetland on your walk or find out more about the Lake Simcoe watershed wetlands at LSRCA.on.ca/watershed-wetlands.
Within the past five years, LSRCA has partnered or led the creation of wetlands in locations such as Rogers Reservoir, East Gwillimbury, Pangman Springs, Whitchurch-Stouffville and Lion’s Park, Newmarket.
It is the mission of LSRCA to work with our community to protect and restore the Lake Simcoe watershed by leading research, policy and action.
Article and photo courtesy of LSRCA
In the photo: A fallow 2-hectare field connected to high quality wetland and forest habitat presented the perfect opportunity for restoration. Luck Conservation Area now features an enhanced wetland (including three vernal pools) that will help mitigate the effects of climate change.