MINESING WETLANDS, ONTARIO, CANADA
Nestled within family farms north of Toronto, Minesing Wetlands is one of Ontario’s most significant marshlands, covering 15,000 acres and designated by the RAMSAR Convention Wetland of International Importance. In spring melting snow swells the Nottawasaga and Mad Rivers. Poor drainage of the underlying clay soil keeps the snowmelt water above ground, forming a seasonal swamp that some have dubbed Okefenokee (Florida) North.
For a cold, northern landscape Minesing supports an extremely high biodiversity as a home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, including globally rare vegetation communities, 225 bird species, regionally rare wetland types, and many provincially and/or globally rare species. Weaving a canoe or kayak among the Minesing’s water loving silver maples is a great recreational pleasure. However, habitat shifting and alteration due to a changing climate threaten Minesing.
Unpredictable variations in rainfall, evapotranspiration and overall water availability could lower the water table and place significant stresses on deciduous and coniferous swamp forests, a major recreational attraction. Since 1953, Minesing has lost about 37% of its forest cover, mainly silver maple trees, largely due to longer and more variable periods of inundation. Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and Dutch Elm disease exacerbated these long-term climate related stresses.
Visit and donate: The Nature Conservancy, which owns property in Minesing, is working with the Friends of Minesing Wetlands and the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority to implement a recently developed biodiversity conservation plan. https://minesingwetlands.ca and https://www.nvca.on.ca.