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Wetlands

beaver trail picA wetland is land that is seasonally or permanently covered by water where the water table is close to or at the surface level. The abundance of water causes the formation of hydric soils; hydrophytic and water tolerant plants dominate and favor these conditions.

Wetlands are essential to the continued health of our planet. For people and wildlife wetlands have an extensive impact on water quality and quantity.In the past wetlands have been undervalued. Because of this many of Canada's wetlands have been drained.

According to Greg Siekaniec, Ducks Unlimited Canada's CEO, "We can't afford to lose any more wetlands. Communities are suffering the effects of wetland loss, like impacts on water quality, lost habitat, flooding and drought".

Read more about wetlands in the fact sheet "Wetlands: why should I care"?

Locally, the Shore Ridges Conservation Area contains a wetland that has been designated as Provincially Significant.

The Shore Ridges Conservation Area contains three of four classifications of wetlands defined under the "Manual of Implementation Guidelines for the Wetlands Policy Statement" Ministry of Natural Resources 1992.

During the 1990's the SSMRCA staff completed a wetland evaluation to determine the significance of the Shore Ridges wetland which was reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources, designating it as a Provincially Significant Wetland.

The evaluation showed that 25% of the wetland is a fen, 74% is swamp and 1% is marsh. Fish,wildlife, vegetation, recreation, size and location are all factors in determining Wetland significance.

What can you do to help conserve wetlands?

  • Increase vegetation in wet areas and beside creeks with native plants;
  • Remove garbage from wet areas;
  • Volunteer to monitor habitat for birds and frogs;
  • Visit you local conservation areas;
  • Tell your friends and family why we all need to protect our precious wetland areas;
  • Organize a wetland clean-up event;
  • Promote wetland awareness by using the hashtag #WetlandsForOurFuture #WorldWetlandsDay on social media on February 2, 2016.

Additional information on Wetlands is available from:

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Fact Sheets: