Did you know that we have a Provincially Significant Wetland on Horseshoe Lake?
By Jeff Muirhead, M.ASc., P.Eng., Lake Steward, HLPOA
We are very lucky on Horseshoe Lake to have a Provincially Significant Wetland, also known as a “PSW”, on our lake! You can probably guess where it is – it’s that shallow, “weedy” area behind Shuyler’s Island.
This PSW is incredibly important to the health of our lake. Wetlands are nature’s “sponges”, filtering our water and removing excess nutrients and contaminants by way of their unique soils and plants. As one of the most densely populated lakes in the Haliburton Highlands, this is incredibly important for Horseshoe Lake’s water quality.
Wetlands are also among the most productive and diverse habitats in the world. Most, if not all, of the aquatic organisms (fish, bugs) that live in Horseshoe Lake directly use or rely on our wetland for at least one of their life stages. In fact, it is estimated that 50% of ALL animals – including those living on land, water, and sky – need wetlands for at least one part of their lives! It is estimated that 68% of the pre-colonial wetlands in southern Ontario have been drained, so it is incredibly important we conserve the wetlands we have left.
In Ontario, there are regulations about development and site alteration in and adjacent to PSW’s. These PSW regulations are in addition to the tree preservation bylaw that applies to all shoreline areas. These regulations are in place so that we preserve the benefits that wetlands provides, maintaining lake health for generations to come!
If you want more information about wetlands in Ontario, check out the Wetland Conservation Strategy for Ontario.
We’ve also provided a few short videos outlining the importance of wetlands below.