For people living in central Ontario, Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay are important natural resources. They are vital sources of drinking water. They help drive the economy by generating millions of dollars in tourism every year. The problem? Pollutants are depositing large amounts of phosphorus and other nutrients into the lakes. Cleaning up Lake Simcoe starts with protecting the wetlands around it.
These wetlands store excess water. They remove contaminants before they reach the lake and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is leading efforts that will make a difference.
The Lake Simcoe Georgian Bay Wetland Collaborative is a new, comprehensive wetland conservation program that includes landowner outreach, municipal engagement and research. DUC has teamed up with Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and the Severn Sound Environmental Association to protect and restore our critical natural resources for future generations to enjoy. And just how are we doing?
Over the last year, the Collaborative has worked with more than 75 landowners across the region to conserve wetlands and raise awareness about wetland values. From installing nest boxes and livestock exclusion fencing, to restoring drained wetlands, numerous projects that provide habitat for countless species have already been completed, with many more on the way.
On top of getting our feet wet in the field, we’ve been busy on dry land talking to municipal councils, commenting on Official Plan reviews, and providing tools and resources to assist in planning. We’ve seen great examples of municipalities going above and beyond provincial policy to protect natural assets like wetlands, and we’re looking forward to more in the coming year.
Our research program has also taken flight, with updated information on wetland loss in the Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay region. Having a better understanding of what we’ve already lost and why, will help efforts to protect and restore wetlands through municipal planning and conservation.
Want to get involved? If you live in the Lake Simcoe or Georgian Bay region and want to help protect wetlands in your backyard, we can help! Learn more…