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Established in 1918, Point Pelee National Park is located in Southwestern Ontario and consists of 15 km2 mainland peninsula as well as Middle Island (18.5 hectares). The park is home to over 60 federally listed species at risk. Approximately 72% of the park’s mainland is comprised of marsh habitat and 19 species at risk are dependent upon its continued presence. Since the late 1950s, the overall percentage of open water habitat in the marsh has decreased by 10 percent (100 hectares) due to habitat alterations, reducing overall habitat biodiversity for all marsh species, including species at risk. The objective of this project is to increase open water and edge habitats in the marsh through removal of invasive floating cattail mats and invasive Phragmites to restore habitat diversity for species at risk where the park can influence recovery. Planning involved an Open Standards workshop to review threats to the marsh and develop a Community of Practice on marsh management, as well as contacting wetland managers from various organizations within Canada and the USA to discuss management methods. This process provided a foundation for the project’s conservation and restoration planning. The park is proposing to use an aquatic vegetation cutter and aquatic weed harvester to recreate open water areas, and use “cut to drown” techniques and herbicide application for treatment of Phragmites in species at risk areas of concern. As such, preliminary management of Phragmites began in summer 2020, expanding on previous small-scale Phragmites removal work within the park, and will continue as the project proceeds. Creation of open water areas in order to increase habitat diversity within the marsh will proceed in 2021.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program