Wetland Conservation

Why is wetland conservation anything to be concerned about?

Well wetlands are crucial habitat for waterfowl and many other wildlife and plants serving as the ecosystem for over 600 species of wildlife in Canada!  Wetlands perform essential serves to us that we are mostly not even aware of: mitigate flooding, provide a source of water in droughts, prevent erosion, clean our water and can even help to mitigate climate change by helping to store greenhouse gases.  Most importantly wetlands, just like the Wye Marsh, offer one of the best sources for low impact recreation and learning opportunities for people in all walks of life.

But even with all those crucial roles that wetlands play they are still one of the most threatened habitats/ecosystems on Earth.  Due to agriculture, urbanization, development (sprawl of humans) and industrial activities over 70% of wetlands have already been lost or degraded.

Wetland restoration is a long and difficult process so the best practice is to protect the wetlands that remain.  And by reading this page you are already becoming aware of the issues that face wetlands and can hopefully make some positive contributions to there protection. 

What is a wetland?

A wetland is any area that holds water either temporarily or permanently.  Some wetlands hold water year-round while others may only hold water for one or two months each spring.

What are the different types of wetlands?

  • ​Marsh - Marsh is the predominant wetland found at Wye Marsh and is often characterized by the presence of cattails and other reeds, rushes and sedges.  Marshes are also characterized by slow or standing water.
  • Swamp - Swamps are wetlands that are characterized by seasonally standing or moving water as well as occasional trees and shrubs.
  • Fen - Fens are peatlands dominated by grasses, sedges, reeds, black spruce and tamarack. 
  • Bog - Bogs are also peatlands, but are dominated by peat mosses and black spruce trees.
  • Open Water - Shallow or open water is characterized by water depths less than 2 metres and are usually transitions stages between lakes and marshes.

What types of wetlands are found at Wye Marsh?

At Wye Marsh we have four of the five types of wetlands.  Marsh, swamp, open water and fen.

Sara Street, Wye Marsh Executive Director briefly explains the different different types of wetlands.