How to be a wetland guardian

Male moose in Algonquin Park Mark Byer/shutterstock

Wetlands do more for cottagers than most of us realize. Keeping our wildlife thriving, our basements dry, and our lakes clean, they’re the unsung heroes of cottage country.Want to pay back the favour? Here’s how:

  • Think twice before you pull up those “weeds” that catch in your boat’s prop: they’re habitat; they’re food.
  • Avoid using fertil­izers that can run off into wet­lands.
  • Don’t let dogs disturb birds that are nest­ing or on a migration stop.
  • Share your knowledge about wetlands with your lake association and your neighbours.
  • Support groups that protect wetlands from development and degradation.
  • Leave your shoreline fringe natural. This edge habitat acts as a thriving mini wet­land eco­system. Native shrubs are a haven for nesting songbirds or a migratory rest stop.
  • Check whether wet­lands on your property qualify for tax benefits, such as the federal govern­ment’s Ecological Gifts Program.

Did you know there are five types of wetland in Canada? Find out if you know your fens from your bogs.

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