Three heavyweight, environmentally conscious organizations have teamed up to improve the infrastructure that maintains the thriving wetland at Wawanosh Wetlands Conservation Area.
The Wawanosh Wetlands are located off Blackwell Side road, between Highway 402 and Michigan Road.
Ducks Unlimited Canada, the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority and Enbridge Pipelines Inc. have come together to ensure that it remains a healthy and vibrant habitat for many years ahead.
Wawanosh Lake, originally the site of a large inland marsh and lake environment, was drained in the 1800s so that it could be used for agriculture. In 1980, the Lambton Wildlife Inc. Board identified the Wawanosh area, west of Blackwell Side road, north of Highway 402, as worthy of preservation.
This area had been used as a borrow pit for the construction of the 402.
In 1983-84, LWI contributed $10,000 to the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority as seed money for the purchase of what is now known as the Wawanosh Wetlands. The lands were re-worked into a wetland and opened in 1988.
Enbridge's total investment of $210,000 in Canadian wetlands preservation in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan has allowed Ducks Unlimited Canada to ensure the Wawanosh Wetlands remain a thriving habitat moving forward.
"The portion of our total investment that we earmarked for the Wawanosh project will help DUC refurbish the area's water management system, earthen berm, trail network and signage," said Ken Hall, senior advisor, community relations, Enbridge. "We have invested in DUC since 1986, as we strongly believe in the conservation and education initiatives that it champions across Canada. Our support of Wawanosh is part of a greater partnership we have with DUC and other partners to support the remediation of the entire Great Lakes watershed."
Like wetlands in other parts of Ontario, the Wawanosh wetland provides Ontario residents with a wide range of ecological benefits, which include cleaning our air and drinking water, recharging ground water supplies and easing the effects of flooding and droughts.
The SCRCA maintains ownership and management of Wawanosh, including its walking trails, viewing towers, public access and parking that support outdoor recreation and education.
"Wawanosh is a tremendous asset for our region," Andy Bruziewicz, chair of the SCRCA said, "We very much appreciate the support of Enbridge and work of Ducks Unlimited Canada to help ensure Wawanosh remains a beautiful national treasure for our community."