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© Lora Denis
On World Wetlands Day taking action to protect wetlands is literally at your fingertips. Wetlands are one of the building blocks of Ontario’s proposed Greenbelt expansion and public consultations are underway.
Every year on February 2nd, communities around the world celebrate World Wetlands Day, marking the date of the adoption of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 1971. This year, the theme is “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future” – certainly fitting in terms of expanding Greenbelt protection, considering growth and development pressures across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
With the human population in the region anticipated to grow by about 50 percent in the next 25 years, there’s no time like the present to ensure protection measures are put in place for water features and systems that are vital to our health and well-being – especially considering what we’ve already lost. Less than 30 percent of our original wetlands remain in southern Ontario, and in the Niagara and Greater Toronto Area, that number drops to about 10 percent.
Thankfully the days are gone when draining ‘swamps’ was just assumed to be in the public interest, when most people had no clue about the benefits wetlands provided. Now our governments extol their virtues, which are many and include providing clean and abundant water, controlling flooding and erosion, storing carbon, treating waste and providing recreational and cultural opportunities.
Wetlands are also among the most productive and diverse habitats on Earth. In Ontario, they are home to over 20 percent of our species at risk!
Greenbelt expansion to protect our wetlands from urban sprawl is a good idea, no doubt about it. The only question is whether we can convince the government to go even further and expand the study area to include places like the Luther Marsh, aptly described as “a biological treasure in the headwaters area of the Grand River watershed.” Simcoe County boasts the highest concentration of large wetlands off the Canadian Shield, and yet many fall outside the proposed study area such as Tiny Marsh and Matchedash Bay, a Ramsar wetland (i.e., of international importance).
I keep signing every petition..I have this past summer even seen some horrific examples of the Ontario government and the municipal government totally disregard the rules and refuse to correct the constant development that has no regard for the wildlife where I live.
I was very young when I moved here almost 20 years ago..but instantly knew that this habitat was my responsibility to protect its creatures big and small.
I have many videos and pictures of blantent disregard for getting permits for developing down here.
I have countless emails to the moe and cloca that date back almost 12 years.
This past summer a friend and I rescued a snapping turtle..that wasn’t snapping at all..no help from any of the # we called..in fact got to.d that we could be fined for returning it to the marsh lands where it got fenced out of do to ” bridge expansion”. Found many more examples on pbs of the same thing..dead fish on a newly paved road south of here..etc..etc..
Please contact me if you would like my folders. I have really tried..but it becomes exhausting when the real estate becomes more valuable and the people who are moving in really just want a backdrop.
Also..check out the 55 year lease that the previous provincial government granted Ontario Shores Mental Health? There is a 25 year master plan that is available on the internet..
I cannot keep up with the “progress” or the taxes quite frankly..
We are at your service if you care to see the collection I have amassed.