Cooper Marsh land purchase extends conservation of important coastal wetland and forest habitats
November 17, 2023, South Glengarry, ON – Ducks Unlimited Canada, (DUC), and Raisin Region Conservation Authority, (RRCA), are celebrating the recent acquisition of 10.4 acres, (4.1 hectares) of valuable connective land in the St. Lawrence River watershed. The property allows for an expansion of the Cooper Marsh Conservation Area, a popular destination for nature lovers and birders alike.
Nestled on the picturesque north shore of the St. Lawrence River, a few minutes’ drive from South Lancaster, the 663-acre Cooper Marsh Conservation Area is part of the larger Charlottenburgh Marsh – one of the most significant wetlands in all of Ontario. The RRCA actively maintains, enhances, and restores this natural area, which also features viewing blinds and towers, and a 12-kilometre system of boardwalks and nature trails.
“Cooper Marsh is a one-of-a-kind jewel. It’s an important site for waterfowl and provides habitat for several threatened wildlife species,” said Marie-Paule Godin, Manager of Provincial Operations, Ontario, DUC. “Beyond the provision of critical wildlife habitat, this land acquisition will expand the delivery of essential services like water filtration, flood mitigation and carbon sequestration, all while providing more green space for recreation. We are fortunate to have such a great partnership with the RRCA and to work together in expanding this important property.”
The property was acquired from private landowners and purchased with the financial support of the Canada Nature Fund, a Government of Canada’s Department of Environment and Climate Change program in partnership with Conservation Ontario. International contributors included Ducks Unlimited Inc., the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants administered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as state agencies through the Fall Flights Initiative.
“The Raisin Region Conservation Authority is incredibly grateful for the support from our partners who made this property acquisition possible. Acquiring this property ensures the continued protection of a provincially significant wetland and the Cooper Marsh Conservation Area community trail system,” Lisa Van De Ligt, Team Lead, Raisin Region Conservation Authority said.
The partnership between DUC and RRCA is a strong one. The two organizations continue to collaborate and invest in the wetland infrastructure at Cooper Marsh. Currently, the partners are undertaking extensive maintenance work at the Marsh, including repairs to the dyke and pump systems which provide important wildlife habitat at the Marsh. As a reminder, Cooper Marsh will be temporarily closed as of November 20 for the project and is set to re-open mid-January.
For more details on restoration work at Cooper Marsh, read this online DUC article:https://www.ducks.ca/stories/partnerships/infrastructure-improvements-for-the-cooper-marsh-conservation-area/ or visit rrca.on.ca.