"The $500,000 Fight To Protect A Muskoka Wetland"

"Very few of Ontario’s quickly vanishing marshes and swamps are safe from development. A group of citizens managed to preserve one, but they also found deep flaws in the system".

"From the marshes and swamps that dot the land surrounding the Great Lakes to the bogs and fens scattered farther north, Ontario is a province of many, many wetlands.

If you’ve spent time in the rocky stretches of the Canadian Shield — where water often pools in stony hollows and wetlands can seem a dime a dozen — it can be hard to believe that the soggy landscapes left are just a fraction of what was here 150 years ago, before European settlers began filling them in. In southern Ontario in particular, about three-quarters of the wetlands that once existed are gone.

Of the ones that remain, a vanishing few are protected from development. An even smaller number have been assessed to see if they’re worth preserving: just 30 in the past decade. Fewer still are bestowed with protective status at the end of the expensive, time-consuming assessment process, a title known as “provincially significant.” Only one site achieved the title from May 2021 to May 2022 — which is why it’s so remarkable that a group of citizens managed to secure it this year for a soggy site in Bracebridge, Ont., a stone’s throw from Lake Muskoka."

Emma McIntosh reports for The Narwhal November 29, 2023.

Source: The Narwhal, 11/30/2023