Long Point Crown Marsh Restoration Project, 2014-15
Goals and Objectives
The purpose of this project is to restore and enhance an impaired wetland ecosystem for the benefit of all marsh dependent species including waterfowl. This will be accomplished through littoral zone and depth profile enhancements and the creation of large open water communities within areas which are currently cattail and Phragmites mono-cultures.
The goals of this project are:
1) Restore open water wetland communities to improve the overall quality and diversity of the LPCM.
2) Ensure long-term functioning of restored open water wetland communities.
3) Protect against re-colonization of restored areas by invasive plant communities.
Specific Habitat Products/Results Supported by WHC’s Contributions
WHC’s contribution will result in the creation of open water communities within cattail and Phragmites mono-cultures thereby increasing the function of the marsh (i.e. creating a hemi-marsh of 50% open water and 50% aquatic vegetation) and creating important breeding, staging and wintering habitat for wetland dependent species.
Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetland-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife
The new open water wetland communities will provide enhanced, indeed ideal habitat for waterfowl in this very important Mississippi Flyway staging area. A lesser but still important result will be new waterfowl breeding habitat for resident waterfowl.
Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management
The single biggest direct contribution of this project and those already completed, to the science of wetland habitat conservation/management is the construction technique. Developed through a science based, adaptive management approach, it now serves as a template for Great Lakes coastal marsh rehabilitation for locations with similar morphology and hydrology and where the regulatory regime permits. It is simple, highly cost effective and results in an almost immediate and dramatic habitat enhancement. Habitat interspersion is achieved by creating a mosaic of open water areas in large unbroken tracts of cattail and/or Phragmites. The addition of open-water communities which have no direct hydrological connection to Lake Erie also has the potential to add to the basket of ecological restoration construction techniques by providing a methodology that offers habitat for wildlife that prefers hyrological segregation. Monitoring and the engagement of science partners continues to be imperative to project mandate and success.
The LPCM is a 1650 acre Great Lakes coastal marsh situated on the north side of Long Point in Lake Erie. It is within the Long Point Marshes Complex and is one of the most important coastal marshes on the Great Lakes. It is a significant part of the UNESCO designated Long Point World Biosphere Reserve, designated a Canadian Important Bird Area and a Provincially Significant Wetland.
Final Report: Long Point Crown Marsh Restoration Project
For more information on this project, please contact Jim Malcolm, Past President, Long Point Waterfowler’s Association (LPWA), Port Rowan, ON.