Point Pelee Marsh Restoration Project – Public comments invited from May 11 to June 10, 2021

May 11, 2021 – Parks Canada must decide whether the proposed project Point Pelee Marsh Restoration Project , located in Point Pelee National Park is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Parks Canada will be assessing this project using a Detailed Impact Assessment.

To help inform this decision, Parks Canada is issuing this notice of intent to make a determination and inviting comments from the public on the project's potential effects on the environment as the public consultation for this proposal. All comments received will be considered public. For more information on the public nature of your comments, individuals should consult the Privacy Notice on the Registry website.

In order to submit comments or request a copy of the Draft Detailed Impact Assessment report, contact:

Point Pelee National Park
407 Monarch Lane, RR 1
Leamington, Ontario N8H 3V4
Telephone: 519-322-2365 or 1-888-773-8888
Email: pc.pelee.info.pc@canada.ca

Comments must be submitted by June 10, 2021.

Project Summary: Since 1959, the overall percentage of open water area in the Pelee Marsh has decreased by 10% due to the expansion of cattails and Phragmites, degrading the habitat quality in the marsh. The park is proposing to use mechanical means to increase the open water in the marsh and decrease the aerial extent of invasive species. Heavy equipment will be used to cut channels and ponds in strategic areas win the marsh. Hand tools and small scale herbicide will be used to remove invasive plants. The target is removal of approximately 8ha of floating cattail and Phragmites mats as well as 1ha of rooted Phragmites.

Scope of Assessment: The focus of the DIA will be on the proposed project implementation in relation to impacts and monitoring throughout the lifecycle of the project. Areas for management activities which have been included in this impact assessment are the Marsh Boardwalk, Tiessen's Channel, and management areas A, B, C, D, E, and F. The DIA will not revisit analysis, conclusions, or decisions that have been made through previous planning efforts including supporting direction from the Point Pelee National Park of Canada Management Plan (Parks Canada 2010) and the Multi-species Action Plan for Point Pelee National Park of Canada and Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada (Parks Canada 2016).

The report describes the geographic and temporal scope of the assessment as well as the DIA's focus on elements of the project with the greatest potential to result in adverse impacts on valued components, including the use and operation of aquatic based machinery (aquatic vegetation cutter, aquatic weed harvester, and amphibious cutter), and post-project site maintenance.

The geographic scope of impact assessment encompasses the full extent of the marsh and any lands immediately adjacent that may be used for access or to stage project work. The scope of assessment will also include any lands that are used for the creation of habitat mounds or used for the disposal or burning of vegetation piles.

The temporal scope of assessment begins following the completion of preliminary site survey work in the field and extends throughout to the scheduled completion date of project work. The temporal scope of assessment will include the review of post-project follow-up monitoring in ensuring that any adverse impacts have been mitigated or will be repaired, and in evaluating the long term success of ecosystem restoration as intended.

The valued components included in the assessment are:
• Water Quality Composition
• Species at Risk Fish and Fish Habitat Function (spawning)
• Marsh Aquatic Habitat Structure (open water, Tiessen's Channel, cattail mat edge characteristics)
• Native Vegetation and Species at Risk Plants
• Snake Health and Habitat
• Turtle Health and Habitat
• Previously Unidentified Cultural Resources
• Marsh Birds
• Marsh Fish
• Mussels
• Marsh Plants
• Snakes
• Turtles
• Other Marsh Fauna
• Marsh Characteristics
• Water Quality
• Cultural Resources
• Visitor Experience

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