ERCA celebrates World Wetlands Day

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ERCA celebrates World Wetlands Day

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An excavator pushes around sand delivered by a dump truck at Hillman Marsh Beach on May 8, 2019. High lake levels have eroded large portions of the be

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An excavator pushes around sand delivered by a dump truck at Hillman Marsh Beach on May 8, 2019. High lake levels have eroded large portions of the beach.
An excavator pushes around sand delivered by a dump truck at Hillman Marsh Beach on May 8, 2019. High lake levels have eroded large portions of the beach. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Essex Region Conservation Authority is marking World Wetlands Day Wednesday and focusing on the call to take action for wetlands.

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Two major projects are currently underway — at Hillman Marsh Conservation Area in Leamington and adjacent to Holiday Beach Conservation Area in Amherstburg — to expand and improve wetland habitat in the Essex region.

Extensive repairs and reinforcements are being installed at Hillman, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada and with funding from the province.

The wetland was previously sheltered from heavy wave action on Lake Erie by a long beach ridge. But that sand ridge has been washed away and the protective system of earthen dykes has been breached in sections.

The work will protect wetland containment systems.

In Amherstburg, a new .75-acre wetland is being created that will feature turtle habitat with nesting areas and basking logs. Excavated earth from the new wetland will be used to create topographical interest for the Holiday Beach Cycling Trail.

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The Amherstburg Community Foundation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and others are helping to fund the project.

“Both of these wetland projects are important to help mitigate flooding, create habitat and improve water quality for Lake Erie,” said Tim Byrne, ERCA chief administrative officer.

“Wetlands also have value as carbon sinks, and provide habitat for important species at risk,” Byrne said. “We are sincerely grateful to all partners who are investing in this type of important green infrastructure.”

jkotsis@postmedia.com

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