Clear Creek wetlands restoration: Benefiting fauna, flora, pollinators and people

May 19, 2020

Wetlands restoration in Clear Creek, Ontario
According to Randall Van Wagner, Manager of Conservation Lands and Services with the LTVCA, “it’s rare for us to identify a piece of available land of this size in an important migratory route.”

In 2019, the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, Enbridge and other partners completed the five-year Clear Creek wetlands restoration project in Ontario.

The Clear Creek project saw three new wetlands excavated and over 70,000 trees planted from 30 different species on a 140-acre farm field north of Lake Erie, along the Point Pelee and Rondeau Bay bird migration corridors. In addition, plants native to the area were reseeded, including tallgrass prairie and white clover, which helps combat weeds and supports tree health.

Enbridge has two nearby renewable energy projects in Tilbury (Tilbury Solar Project) and Ridgetown (Talbot Wind Farm), and provided $75,000 to the total project cost of $300,000.

The restoration project is important for the region, which happens to be located at the intersection of two major bird migration routes and is home to about 100 times more rare and endangered animals than anywhere else in Canada—not to mention pollinators like bees and monarch butterflies.

The region has lost about 95% of its natural cover due to urban sprawl, farms, and factories, and this restoration project helps provide much-needed cover, plants, and suitable habitats and resting places for animals and pollinators alike.

It’s good for people, too! Wetlands filter sediments and pollution, helping to clean our drinking water, and provide carbon storage, among other important features.

What’s next for the site? The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority is investigating the possibility of adding a trail and informative signs on the property to provide educational opportunity for students and to help all visitors learn about the environmental importance of areas like Clear Creek.