Restoring and Constructing Quality Wetlands for Waterfowl in Prince Edward Island 2013-2014

Final Project Report: Restoring and Constructing Quality Wetlands for Waterfowl in Prince Edward Island, 2013-14

Goals and Objectives

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the Province of Prince Edward Island have been working collaboratively
for more than 30 years, to conserve wetland habitat and associated upland.  Since 1989 with the signing of
the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture (EHJV):
Canada, PEI and DUC committed resources to the delivery of the
North American Waterfowl Management Plan through the EHJV.  This partnership has resulted in the
delivery of more than 600 projects on PEI ranging from wetland restoration to soil conservation to riparian
protection through livestock fencing.

The negative impact of poor agricultural practices on natural aquatic resources has been well documented
Prince Edward Island. Wetland conservation has been promoted by DUC along with other PEI EHJV partners
for over a decade, yet there are still wetlands being altered or destroyed.

The main objective of this project is:

  • To deliver 3 Wetland Restoration/Construction Projects on the agricultural landscape of Prince
    Edward Island

Increasing the number of breeding waterfowl through the restoration of degraded wetlands has been identified
as a key component of the PEI EHJV Implementation Plan (Appendix 1).  This project will contribute to the
waterfowl and habitat goals identified in the PEI EHJV Implementation Plan by helping to offset past wetland
degradation and destruction.

We are proposing to work directly with landowners to deliver 3 wetland restoration/construction projects on
PEI’s agricultural landscape.  Educating landowners on the importance of wetlands and their associated
habitat will also indirectly lead to the long-term protection of existing wetland habitat.  Water quality will be
improved by providing riparian areas between upland and wetlands and over time, we will begin to see
sustainable land use changes in the agricultural landscape.

Specific Habitat Products/Results Supported by WHC’s Contributions

WHC’s contribution will be used to restore/create 3 acres of wetland across Prince Edward Island and
conserve 9 acres of upland habitat.

Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetlands-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife

The wetlands that are restored/created through this project will provide breeding habitat for such waterfowl
species as black duck, wood duck, ring-necked duck, and green-winged teal.  Other species that will benefit
from the restored wetlands may also include red-winged blackbird and Canada Geese.

Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management

Initially, this project is expected to have a direct impact on the participating landowners and on the wetlands
and upland under their direct management. By emphasizing that wetlands act as natural water filters and
purifiers, functions which hold particular significance in agriculturally dominated landscapes and have additional
value as wildlife habitat, it is expected that landowners will be more likely to protect wetlands and associated
habitats on their properties. Understanding how the conservation actions will enhance water regimes in degraded
wetlands and improve surface and groundwater recharge functions are expected to increase the uptake of
biodiversity enhancing wetland BMPs. Furthermore, emphasizing that maintaining wetland habitat also improves
local and regional economics by providing fishing, trapping, hunting, birding, and other recreational opportunities
is also expected to increase their likelihood to undertake these types of projects.

Strong efforts to promote the functions and values of wetlands to the human population are required to curb further
habitat loss and degradation. The increased presence of, and familiarity with conservation actions combined with
the conveyance of the values and functions of wetlands will help instill a strong awareness of the need for wetland
conservation throughout society. On the longer term it is expected that this increased awareness fostered through
the extension and communications component of the project will influence other landowners, watershed and
community groups, and eventually public expectation and policy.

Project Location

The project will be located entirely on private land within the agricultural landscape, which comprises 222,186 hectares
or 39% of the Province’s total of 568,360 hectares. A complete description of the wetland habitat of PEI is included in
the EHJV Implementation Plan.

Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Jana Cheverie, Head of Habitat Retention & Planning (Atlantic
Region), Ducks Unlimited Canada, PEI.