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Category: Wetlands (Page 1 of 2)

Top 4 reasons why vernal pools merit our attention on World Wetlands Day

Vernal Pool; Credit: Scott Gillingwater

Vernal pool; Credit: Scott Gillingwater

In honour of World Wetlands Day on February 2, let’s pay tribute to vernal pools. Due to their small size and transient nature, vernal pools are a type of wetland that is easily overlooked. While brimming with water in spring, they may be nothing more than a dry, isolated, depression on the forest floor by summer.

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Help protect wetlands

Wye Marsh, photo credit: A. Delray, The Forest Vixen

Wye Marsh, photo credit: A. Delray, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Add your voice to end wetland woes and help protect wetlands

Help protect wetlands

This petition is now closed.

End date: Nov 16, 2016

Signatures collected: 160

Signature goal: 1000

160 signatures

Prior to the 2014 provincial election, Premier Kathleen Wynne pledged to reverse wetland loss by 2025. Accordingly, the Province has proposed a new wetland conservation strategy, which is open for public comment until November 16, 2016. The strategy, however, is not up to the task of protecting and recovering Ontario’s wetlands. Given weak overall targets, loose commitments and the failure to earmark areas for government investment, it is a recipe for inaction and delay.

The overarching target of the proposed strategy is to achieve no net loss of wetlands by 2030. This means accepting ongoing wetland loss for the next 14 years. This target is woefully short of the Premier’s pledge. Considering the immense value of wetlands, the history of loss and the urgent need to protect them this is nothing short of ridiculous.

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Municipal politics all wet when it comes to wetlands

Credit: Tim Hagen

Credit: Tim Hagen

It seems like wetlands still can’t get any respect from many municipal politicians in Southern Ontario. A case in point: The Town of Georgina in York Region is bending over backward to ensure 30-year-old development approvals for a mobile home park that would destroy a provincially significant wetland are not extinguished.

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Farewell Field Season!

Fen at H.N. Crossley Nature Reserve, CREDIT: Smera Sukumar

Fen at H.N. Crossley Nature Reserve, CREDIT: Smera Sukumar

The perk of being in conservation is the amount of time I spend outdoors. I had the pleasure of visiting 15 of Ontario Nature’s 25 nature reserves this summer. These pockets of wilderness across Ontario are special habitats that we manage and protect. Conservation staff hosted 12 events on our nature reserves, reaching over 300 people!

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Sleuthing for Salamanders

Vernal pool at Altberg Nature Reserve, CREDIT: Noah Cole

Vernal pool at Altberg Nature Reserve, CREDIT: Noah Cole

After a warm winter and chilly start to spring, I joined my Ontario Nature co-workers at Altberg Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Reserve for a good old-fashioned salamander sleuthing event, our first of the season. The Altberg reserve is a tranquil property that has great trails and several vernal pools that are home to a variety of species, including fairy shrimp. Throughout the day we heard lots of woodpeckers and saw evidence of moose on the reserve.

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Whatever you do, don’t call vernal pools puddles!

credit: vernal pool/Brad Carlson CC BY-NC 2.0

credit: vernal pool/Brad Carlson CC BY-NC 2.0

What better day to celebrate vernal pools than March 21st – the International Day of Forests. Vernal pools are those temporary spring flooded areas in your forests. They are known by many names – ephemeral pools, intermittent wetlands, spring wetlands – but whatever you do, don’t call them a puddle!

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For our Water – It’s time to protect Ontario’s Bluebelt!

Cook’s Bay in Simcoe County, CREDIT: Joe Mabel

Cook’s Bay in Simcoe County, CREDIT: Joe Mabel

The momentum that’s building around growing the Greenbelt (#GrowOurGB) couldn’t come at a better time. The provincial government is currently discussing where and by how much our Greenbelt will grow.

Last week, I attended a meeting in Barrie where 150+ people had gathered to discuss Greenbelt growth in Simcoe County. The event, Bluebelt/Greenbelt: Simcoe’s Watershed Moment had a palpable energy as the newly formed Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition brought together community members, local experts, farmers and elected officials representing all levels of government. The motivating discussion focused on how the Greenbelt can help protect valuable water resources – a unifying issue for a community that is so deeply connected to Lake Simcoe.

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Drawing a line to protect the few remaining wetlands in Niagara

wetlands in southern Ontario, credit: Sean Marshall CC BY NC 2.0

A beautiful southern Ontario wetland, credit: Sean Marshall CC BY NC 2.0

Today is World Wetlands Day – celebrated around the globe each year to raise awareness about the importance of wetlands. It is a perfect day to consider the storm that is brewing over wetlands in Niagara.

Wetlands provide critical habitat for wild plants and animals, including more than 20 percent of Ontario’s species at risk. They play a vital role purifying water, controlling floods, reducing erosion and mitigating climate change. These benefits, provided for free, are valued at over $51 billion per year in southern Ontario alone.

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