In 2020, Ontario introduced the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program. This program provided $31 million in capital funding over 5 years to:

  • restore and enhance wetlands in priority areas across Ontario
  • support municipalities with stormwater management

Program objectives

The program objectives include:

  • improving the functionality and/or connectivity of wetlands
  • conserving existing wetlands and their features and functions
  • mitigating the impact of urban stormwater, which is worsened by too much hard surface (such as pavement) and more frequent and intense weather events associated with climate change
  • improving shoreline resiliency to climate change impacts such as high-water levels and intense storms

Funded projects help to:

  • improve water quality
  • mitigate excess stormwater flow
  • preserve and increase habitats for endangered species
  • help prevent flooding
  • build climate change resiliency in the Great Lakes watersheds and connecting waterways
  • increase economic activity throughout Ontario

Past and current projects

The following is a list of multi-year projects funded by the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program.

Year 1

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Sixty wetland restoration and enhancement projects (2,360 acres) within the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario watersheds and connecting waterways.

Year 2


Eighty-one wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 527 acres) that engage farmers to restore ecosystem services of wetlands and improve existing but impaired wetland functions on unproductive lands.

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Forty-five wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 1,200 acres) across Ontario, consisting of 25 large scale wetland restoration projects and 20 projects taking place on land owned by rural agricultural landowners.

Nature Conservancy of Canada

Fourteen wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 432 acres) within watersheds of Lakes Erie, Huron and Ontario. Projects include pond and wetland feature restoration, and wetland enhancement through invasive species control and mitigation.

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Three wetland restoration and enhancement projects in collaboration with the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (representing approximately 12 acres of wetlands). Activities include swamp habitat restoration and transformation of an aggregate extraction site into natural heritage parcel and recreational destination, wetland contouring to create a more robust riparian buffer, and a wetland restoration on agricultural land.

Ontario Land Trust Alliance

Twenty-four wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 131 acres) across southern Ontario with a focus on nature-based climate solutions, including restoring and protecting forests, wetlands, grasslands and farmland.

Township of Georgian Bay

Large-scale invasive species removal at 7 wetlands in and around the area of the Township and installation of a viewing pavilion in the Oak Bay wetland to allow recreational access to the wetland while protecting wetland features and functions.

Year 3


Twenty-one wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 27 acres) in Middlesex and Peterborough Counties. Projects will engage farmers to restore ecosystem services of wetlands and improve existing but impaired wetland functions on unproductive lands.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Twenty-three wetland restoration and enhancement projects (covering approximately 57 acres). Projects planned to increase volume of water storage, improve wetland connectivity, manage invasive species, plant native plants and seeds to improve habitat and biodiversity, provide water filtration, carbon sequestration and reduce erosion in the Lake Huron watershed.

Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association

Secured a 99 acre property in Bruce Peninsula through land purchase for the purpose of conserving wetlands on that property and completed wetland restoration work to ensure the wetland is functioning optimally.

Conservation Halton

Three wetland restoration and enhancement projects including using a wetland to address flooding, enhance habitat by managing invasive species and planting native plants and shrubs, and replacing a deteriorating concrete weir to improve wetland functionality.

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Forty wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 837 acres), consisting of 20 wetland enhancement projects that primarily improve functionality and another 20 wetland restoration projects that primarily re-establish historical wetlands.

Elgin Stewardship Council

Three wetland restoration and enhancement projects in Lake Erie watershed including expansion of existing wetlands to address surface water runoff in heavy rainfall events, management of invasive species and creation of a new wetland to address catch basin overflow.

Essex Region Conservation Authority

In the Lake Erie watershed, 3 Essex County wetlands will be restored and a climate change adaptation project will be implemented for Hillman Marsh, a coastal wetland, to improve shoreline resilience from intense storms and improve wetland functionality through stabilization of an eroding shoreline.

Georgian Bay Biosphere

Invasive species removal (over 24 acres of wetlands) within the Georgian Bay Biosphere including Phragmites and purple loosestrife. The project in partnership with the Shawanaga First Nation.

Moose Deer Point First Nation

Conservation of approximately 490 acres of wetlands on private property by securing land and removing invasive Phragmites. This project provides the potential for short and long-term benefits to immediate adjacent communities and downstream waterbodies.

Nature Conservancy of Canada

Thirteen wetlands restoration and enhancement projects across southern Ontario (covering approximately 153 acres) including management of invasive species, expand and restore wetlands to mitigate flooding, and planting native species to enhance biodiversity. Projects support coastal wetlands along Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Turkey Point in Lake Erie and Eastern Lake Ontario.

Royal Botanical Gardens

In the Lake Ontario watershed, 3 wetland enhancement projects including Rock Chapel and two coastal wetlands (Cootes Paradise and Grindstone Marsh) to enhance wetland habitat and connectivity, manage invasive species and improve resiliency to climate change impacts of extreme lake water levels

St. Clair Region Conservation Authority

Restoration (of approximately 67 acres) of coastal wetland habitat in the McLean and Bates conservation lands within Lake Erie watershed adjacent to Rondeau Bay by managing invasive species.

Thames Talbot Land Trust

Restoration at 9 wetlands including management of non-native invasive species such as Phragmites, Reed Canary Grass, Garlic mustard, Buckthorn and other non-native shrubs.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Two wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 28 acres). Restoration of a wetland at a previous aggregate extraction site in Brock North Headwater Wetland Complex area to maximize water drainage and expansion of a wetland in Brampton to manage water runoff and expand habitat.

Township of Scugog

Creation of a new wetland (covering approximately 3.5 acres) in Port Perry Bay of Lake Scugog to filter storm water discharge and provide improved terrestrial and aquatic habitat, create recreational services such as fishing and walking trails and improve shoreline resilience to flooding and erosion.

Years 4 and 5


Restoration and enhancement (of approximately 208 acres) at 11 wetlands on agricultural land in Ontario’s Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and Ottawa River Watersheds. 70 farmers in Ontario’s Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and Ottawa River watersheds from 11 municipalities and counties across Ontario will participate throughout the project.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Restoration and enhancement projects at 24 wetland sites that aim to capture surface water runoff and increase water storage capacity by shaping some of the land, and planting trees, shrubs and native wetland plants.

City of Brampton

An enhancement project taking place at 4 locations in the Etobicoke Creek watershed that will improve wetland function and connectivity by grading the shoreline, planting native trees and other vegetation, managing invasive species, installing rocky shoals and log piles to support turtles and fish habitat, and restoring floodplain wetlands.

City of Mississauga

An enhancement project at O'Connor Park that will improve habitat availability for Midland Painted Turtles and birds at a heavily impacted wetland in an urbanized part of the city. The project will also reduce and control populations of invasive Phragmites and enhance the wetland by planting and naturalizing the surrounding habitats.

Conservation Halton

A restoration and enhancement project in Carlisle Conservation Area that will create new floodplain wetlands in Bronte Creek. Planting new trees and shrubs, managing invasive species and enhancing bank stability will help reduce water temperature and increase habitat and spawning range for native and cold-water fish.

Couchiching Conservancy

Enhancement projects at 8 wetlands in the Black River and Carden corridors including building an “eco-passage” to increase habitat connectivity across the Mud Lake Provincially Significant Wetland complex and decrease road mortality of species at risk. They will also manage invasive species in these wetlands.

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Twenty wetland projects (covering approximately 220 acres), including 10 enhancement projects that will improve wetland functionality, and 10 wetland restoration projects that re-establish a wetland where there was one historically on land owned by rural agricultural landowners. Restoration projects will be done in collaboration with local conservation organizations.

Essex Region Conservation Authority

Restoration and protection (covering approximately 40 acres) of coastal wetlands in the Cedar Creek watershed on the north shore of Lake Erie. In this project, former agricultural fields that are prone to flooding will be disconnected from the municipal drainage system to establish a wetland habitat. Flooded areas will be restored to wetlands and enhanced by removing invasive species.

Invasive Species Centre

Enhancement of three wetland locations on the Welland River, South Nation and Castor Rivers and Redhorse Lake by building on the success of previous invasive species removal efforts and continuing to manage European Water Chestnut and Water Solider. This action will help preserve native plant biodiversity improve water quality and enhance ecosystem function.

Kawartha Land Trust

Enhancement and restoration of 26 wetlands in the Kawarthas through removal of invasive plant species and restoring wetland habitats. The project also aims to mitigate human impacts on wetlands, plant native species, work with private owners to maintain habitat ponds on private properties and engage with Indigenous leaders to inform land management practices. One project site in Peterborough is classified as a Provincially Significant Wetland.

Lakehead Region Conservation Authority

In the Lake Superior watershed, a restoration project (covering approximately 7 acres) will recreate a wetland at Boulevard Lake, a priority site for remedial action in the Thunder Bay Area of Concern. The new wetland will filter runoff before it flows into Lake Superior.

Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority

Fifteen small wetland projects (ranging from 0.2 to 1.3 acres) that will help private landowners restore and enhance wetlands on their properties and support additional upland habitat associated with the wetlands in the Lake Erie watershed.

Municipality of Port Hope

Along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, a project (covering approximately 14 acres) at a Provincially Significant Wetland that will address erosion of a barrier beach aims to prevent the loss of Sculthorpe Marsh. This project will stabilize the beach barrier with native plants to enhance the stopover area for migratory birds and butterflies.

Nature Conservancy of Canada

An enhancement project in partnership with Trout Unlimited Canada that will improve the headwaters of Twelve Mile Creek by modifying an aging and failing embankment, taking 2 artificial ponds offline and enhancing the surrounding aquatic and streambank habitat on Lathrop Nature Preserve in Pelham, Ontario. The project will improve downstream water quality and restore wetland habitat along this last remaining coldwater creek system in the Niagara Peninsula.

Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

Wetland restoration and enhancement projects at 8 different sites within the Nottawasaga Valley watersheds north of Toronto. The projects will increase biodiversity and reduce the impact of flooding through a combination of the construction of new wetlands, tree and shrub planting and managing invasive species. This project will help protect species at risk such as the Hine's Emerald Dragon, Cerulean Warbler and Wood Turtle. One of the planned project sites is the internationally significant Minesing Wetland.

Royal Botanical Gardens

A project that will restore 3 acres of wetland at Rock Chapel nature sanctuary. It will also  enhance 590 acres of wetland within Cootes Paradise (a Provincially Significant Wetland) and 100 acres of wetland within Grindstone Marshes by removing invasive species and planting native wetland vegetation.

St. Clair Region Conservation Authority

Enhancement of 2 wetlands (covering approximately 48 acres) in the St. Clair Region that will manage invasive Phragmites at the Marthaville Habitat Management Area and Wawanosh Wetland Conservation Area. Three additional projects at private sites in partnership with landowners and other wetland organizations will restore and enhance wetland habitat.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

A project that will restore approximately 18 acres and enhance approximately 60 acres of habitat in seven wetlands throughout the Humber River and Mimico Creek Watersheds. This project will improve overall water quality, prevent flooding, reduce erosion, improve habitat quality for endangered species (such as the Western Chorus Frog) and build climate change resilience.

Town of Ajax

A wetland restoration project (covering approximately 7 acres) in the Carruthers Creek watershed by removing past land alterations (tile drainage and ditching) and re-grading the land to create wetland pockets and hold water on the landscape to support wetland habitat.

Township of Seguin

An enhancement project (covering approximately 12 acres) of wetlands in Sequin Township that will focus on the removal of Phragmites, an invasive species. This project will take place in the traditional territories of Wasauksing First Nation and Shawanaga First Nation, as well as the UNESCO Georgian Bay Biosphere.

Upper Thames River Conservation Authority

Restoration and enhancement projects at 9 wetlands (covering approximately 22 acres) within the Upper Thames River watershed that will re-establish or enhance natural wetland features and improve shoreline resiliency of 430 metres of shoreline wetland due to changing high-water levels, flooding and erosion.