Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Wetland Projects

Ausable Bayfield Conservation thanks all landowners who worked with us for the protection or restoration of wetlands in your area.

Haak Project

The Haak Project is located near the Hullett Marsh. Since 2009, the landowner and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation have planted more than 5,100 trees and shrubs at the site. More than 23 acres of wetland habitat were restored on the site and almost three acres of prairie grasses were planted along the watercourse to create a diverse habitat and enhance the buffer. Today a portion of this area is a hayfield and the landowner is able to control the water levels using a water control structure. In the spring season, this hayfield is allowed to flood and stay wet which provides storage and helps to reduce erosion and the risk of flooding further downstream and provide duck habitat. It is then drained well before it is time to harvest the hay.

Huronview Project

This project was completed over a two-year period. In that time, two wetlands were created (four acres restored). There were 3,700 trees and shrubs planted in six acres of flood plain and a 60-metre watercourse buffer was planted by students.

Four acres of fragile land, which was rocky flood plain, was also retired and planted in trees to enhance the Bayfield River corridor.

This wetland system provides natural corridor from the Bayfield River to an Environmentally Significant Area woodlot.

These wetlands continue to function alongside productive agricultural fields. They now provide a healthy habitat for local wildlife such as snapping turtles, frogs, and water fowl.

Quinn Project

A large portion of unproductive agricultural field (38 acres) was retired for naturalization, by the landowner, rather than draining it for agricultural production.

Five wetlands were created in a very wet area of hard clay soils. More than 19,000 trees and shrubs and 6,000 aquatic plants surrounding the wetlands were planted.

This site is located within a cold-water watershed which supports species at risk.

Layton Project

A three-acre portion of agricultural field was retired from production. The landowner chose to retire this area because one section remained too wet for agricultural production and to recreate the corridor between two forested areas on her property. A 0.5 acre wetland was created and more than 300 wetland plants and shrubs were planted surrounding the wetland. An additional 1950 trees were planted in the remaining 2.5 acres to create a forested habitat and buffer for the wetland.

Van Der Laan Project

A retired sheep pasture was bordered on two sides by roads and separated from the rest of the pastures by a municipal drain. The landowner decided to retire the area and plant it in trees. In one area the trees didn’t grow well due to wet soils. This section was restored to a wetland. A small open water wetland was dug and then planted with wetlands plants and shrubs. It provides increased habitat diversity for waterfowl, insects, and many other animals.

We continue to look for interested landowners who have flooding, soil erosion issues or need more streamside vegetation on their properties in Middlesex and Huron counties. If you’re interested in enhancing wet areas on your property, contact Angela Van Niekerk, Wetlands Resource Technician, at Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2610, or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or e-mail avanniekerk(at) You are invited to contact Angela through our staff contact page.

Last updated: August 16, 2016

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