One of two wetland projects recently completed, Luck Conservation Area in Innisfil / Supplied Photo

February 2nd marks World Wetland Day and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority has reason to celebrate.

They have just completed two wetland restoration projects. One at Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve in King Township. The other at the Luck Conservation Area in Innisfil. These two completed projects bring the total area of wetlands to 50,800 within the Lake Simcoe watershed.

The projects “will improve wildlife habitat, and once established, will reduce local flood risks and mitigate the effects of climate change, while providing a destination for nature seekers,” explained Christa Sharp, Manager of Restoration for LSRCA. “Not only do wetlands play an essential role in keeping our communities safe from flooding, but they also serve another critical purpose – capturing and storing carbon.”

Floods in the area can be mitigated as the LSRCA explains wetlands can act like natural sponges. They take on a role much like a tub to store overflowing water, which reduces flooding down the river. An added benefit is also how wetlands store carbon within their soils, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“As we face a climate crisis and more than 100 countries pledge to set net-zero emissions goals, wetlands offer a known, proven solution. Despite these critical functions, wetlands continue to be one of the most threatened natural features, with more than 70 per cent of the world’s wetlands degraded or destroyed,” says Ms. Sharp.

The recently completed projects also included some tree and shrub plantings, native wildflower seedings and the creation of habitat mounds for local wildlife such as bank swallows.

In addition to the five acres of new wetland features, these restoration projects included tree and shrub plantings, native wildflower seeding, and the creation of new features such as habitat mounds, which will become homes for birds like bank swallows.

The Conservation Authority encourages you to ditch the wifi and explore the great outdoors, including these newly completed projects.