Wye Marsh A. Delray CC BY 2.0

Wetlands

Protecting and restoring wetlands is vital to conserving biodiversity and adapting to the impacts of climate change. Over 20 percent of the province’s species at risk are directly dependent on wetland habitats. At the same time, wetlands play an important role in storing carbon and controlling water, critical during storms and periods of drought.

Yet less than 30 percent of our original wetlands remain in southern Ontario. In the Niagara and Greater Toronto Area, that number drops to 10 percent.

The government of Ontario is proposing to develop a wetland offsetting policy to enable compensation for the negative impacts of development through the restoration and creation of new wetlands.

Our newest report, 'Navigating the Swamp: Lessons on Wetland Offsetting for Ontario' explores both the promise and the pitfalls of wetland offsetting, with the aim of informing policy development in Ontario.

Read the report summary (PDF: 276 kb).

Read the full report (PDF: 680 kb).

Background

Ontario Nature began documenting the decline of wetlands in 1937. We launched our Wetlands Campaign in 1979 to advocate for greater protection, which successfully led to the Ontario Wetlands Policy in 1992. We continue to advocate for stronger wetland policy, educating the public about the many functions wetlands serve, publishing reports and running workshops to bring together researchers, private landowners, planners, industry leaders and other stakeholders.

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