Wetland Restoration Program

Project by the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority.

Location: Chatham-Kent, ON.

For more information on this project, please contact Greg Van Every, Environmental Technical Assistant, Chatham, ON.

Purpose

OBJECTIVES:  With the added partnership of the WHC, the LTVCA adds to the much needed funding from Ducks Unlimited Canada to satisfy the demand for wetland restoration within valuable headwater areas and source water protection zones.  There are currently several wetland projects which are on a waiting list.  Over 35 projects in Chatham-Kent have been completed in 2015, and the interest continues to grow.  Our objective is to implement as many of these projects as we can to build a network of bird and wildlife areas, improve water quality, and manage water tables by stabilizing them with recharge areas.

EXPECTED RESULTS:  Wetlands will work as green infrastructure within the Mississippi and Atlantic migratory bird flyways.  They will achieve increased nutrient control and phosphorus mitigation.  Water tables will be maintained for residence on private well systems.  Improved migratory bird resting, staging grounds, and wildlife habitat will be created.

Long-term conservation impacts and benefits

  • Increased migratory bird, vegetative, animal, & reptile species populations;
  • Biodiversity of current ecosystem;
  • Improved water quality;
  • Progression of ecosystems and corridor linkage throughout the restoration areas.

New tools, methodologies, landscape practices or protocol

Through enhancing/fostering our relationship with private landowners and the agricultural sector in a more cooperative way rather than enforcement, we are developing a protocol unique to southwestern Ontario to win cultural change. Strategic partnerships within this prime agricultural area will increase cultural understanding of the benefits of sound ecological elements to our landscape and improve support for greater conservation benefit.

Stewardship

Upland habitat restoration is included in the project proposal at a 3:1 ratio.  This means that for every 1 acre of water surface area restored 3 acres upland stewardship will be completed to ensure the potential of ecosystem establishment.  Individual sites will have unique requirements which may include some or all of the following: reforestation, tall grass establishment, specific forb requirements, and nesting structure installations.  In some cases soil erosion prevention measures will be required on specific sites.   Landowners will be required to monitor and maintain sites for a minimum of 3 years.