Importance of Great Lakes wetlands

Importance of Great Lakes Wetlands
Over the past 50 years more than 66% of southern Ontario wetlands have been lost to urban and rural development, drainage and pollution. As our valuable wetlands disappear or are diminished in function, education becomes all the more critical to restoring and maintaining wetlands to protect biodiversity.

This issue makes the work of Friends of Second Marsh of the highest priority as we prepare to build the Great Lakes Wetlands Centre at Oshawa’s Second Marsh to demonstrate to the local and broader community, school children and tourists the value of having an urban wetland in our area.
Great Lakes coastal wetlands are interfaces between land and water and are directly influenced by the waters of the Great Lakes. These coastal wetlands provide habitat for wildlife and help reduce sediment, nutrient and contaminant loading, making them essential sites for water quality improvement
Wetlands are unique environments. They play a vital role in the Great Lakes ecosystem by:
  • Providing critical ecological functions and habitat for plant and animal populations
  • Serving as a major source of oxygen
  • Capturing and retaining eroded sediments in runoff
  • Providing flood storage capacity
  • Potentially acting as carbon sinks to reduce the impact of green house emissions, and
  • Acting as natural water purifiers.