Windsor

$2M for marsh restoration at Point Pelee National Park

The marsh at Point Pelee National Park is getting a funding boost from the federal government. 

The Point Pelee property is 70 per cent marsh

The marsh at Point Pelee National Park is getting a funding boost from the federal government.  (Parks Canada)

The marsh at Point Pelee National Park is getting a funding boost from the federal government. 

After extensive upgrades to its boardwalk and observation towers, funded by Parks Canada, last year, now the marsh itself is getting $2 million for a restoration project. 

The Point Pelee property is 70 per cent marsh — and acting park superintendent Lindsay Rodger said it desperately needs restoration. 

"It's an internationally significant wetland," said Rodger. "Our analysis shows the marsh is in poor and declining condition."

According to Rodger, being disconnected from its "home watershed" for the last 200 years has led to a slow decline in its overall health. 

"We have invasive species moving in and taking up more room. We have more cattail growth, which lowers the diversity of the marsh," said Rodger. "It's really impeding the natural functions of the wetland."

Wetlands, like at Point Pelee, are home to thousands of different plant and animal species. (Bob Becken/CBC)

The $2 million will allow "the most ambitious project ever" at the Park to get underway. Rodger said the project will involve the Indigenous community and others who have wetland knowledge. 

"We're hoping that along our way of opening up the marsh, getting it healthier, is it will allows us to expand opportunities for visitors," said Rodger, adding that restoration and visitor enjoyment can go "hand-in-hand."

Rodger said piloting various approaches should begin some time next year. 

Lindsay Rodger spoke with Afternoon Drive's Chris dela Torre. Listen to the full interview here:

Point Pelee National Park in Leamington is 70% marsh. It's considered an internationally significant wetland — and now, it's getting some serious investment. This week, the federal government announced $2 million for a Marsh Restoration Project. We spoke to acting park superintendent Lindsay Rodger. 7:05

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