Oshawa’s Second Marsh launches five-year $500,000 fundraising campaign

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Published October 5, 2023 at 3:39 pm

Photo Tom St. Jean

Friends of Second Marsh (FSM) launched a major fund-raising campaign this week with a goal of raising $500,000 over the next five years to protect and restore the integrity of Second Marsh and the adjacent McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve.

FSM, a non-profit charitable organization, held a celebration and launch event at the entrance to the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve Monday to kick off the Love the Marsh drive.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to protect and enhance this marvellous local natural resource,” said FSM President Peter Taylor. “In addition to supporting our ongoing educational, stewardship and interpretation activities, funds will be used to replace and add benches, replace viewing towers and install washroom facilities.”

Phase 1 of the campaign is to raise the first $100,000.

Over the past 50 years, bird populations have actually increased overall in wetlands, where investments in wetland conservation have improved conditions for birds and people.  A 2022 U.S. State of the Birds Report studying long-term trends of bird populations revealed widespread losses of birds in all habitats – forests, grasslands, deserts, and oceans – except wetlands where government and people have invested in conservation.

The Marsh and the Reserve together total nearly 400 hectares of provincially significant natural areas protected under the ownership of the City of Oshawa and is the largest remaining wetland in the GTA and one of the largest publicly accessible waterfront spaces available within reach of Toronto.

Home to 305 bird species (including 92 breeding species), eight reptile and 10 amphibian species, nearly 20 species of fish, 30 different mammals and 588 plant species – eight that are provincially significant and 136 that are rare or uncommon elsewhere in Ontario – the wetland attracts thousands of residents and tourists each year.

Visitors to Second Marsh walk the many nature trails, watch for migratory birds, soak in the sounds of nature, meditate in a peaceful place, help protect a sanctuary for rare, threatened, and endangered species, and learn about the natural world.

 

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