Cooper Marsh major restoration set for 2015

TransCanada Pipelines presents $7,000 to the Cooper Marsh Conservators. Pictured (from left) are fundraising chairman Robin Poole, TransCanada Senior Environmental Advisor Craig Schell, Cooper Marsh Conservators board member Dan Bobka, TransCanada VP Energy East Gary Houston, Cornwall & Area Birding Club President Mike Chegrinec and Cooper Marsh Conservators Treasurer Jacques Legault. (Cornwall Newswatch)

LANCASTER – By this time next year a major wetland restoration project in Cooper Marsh should be getting underway.

TransCanada Pipelines met with the Cooper Marsh Conservators Wednesday to present a cheque for $7,000 towards the task of restoring the wetlands at the south end of the marsh.

The area has been overrun by cattails and other invasive plant species.

The plan is to bring in backhoes and a bulldozer in the winter of 2015-16, when the ground is frozen, and create three interconnected ponds.

The job should take 10-12 days.

Cooper Marsh Conservators fundraising chairman Robin Poole says the ponds will be 60 meters in diameter.

The channels will be 150 meters long, 10 meters wide and will be relatively deep at three meters in order to prevent the plants from growing again.

Three interconnected ponds, like this one at the east end of Cooper Marsh, will be constructed in the winter of 2015-16 at the south end of the marsh. (Cornwall Newswatch)
Three interconnected ponds, like this one at the east end of Cooper Marsh, will be constructed in the winter of 2015-16 at the south end of the marsh. (Cornwall Newswatch)

It’s hoped the new ponds and channels will help preserve fish, turtles and other wildlife.

Poole says the goal now is to fund raise for the balance of the project, which could be roughly $40,000.

The Cooper Marsh Conservators have met a similar challenge in the past.

It successfully raised roughly $268,000 to replace one kilometer of boardwalk in the marsh after receiving another $7,000 grant from TransCanada in 2012.

Cooper Marsh Conservators fundraising chairman Robin Poole (right) discusses their recent upgrades to the wetland with (from left) TransCanada VP Energy East Gary Houston and Community Relations Leads Nathalie Guay and Jon Pitcher. (Cornwall Newswatch)
Cooper Marsh Conservators fundraising chairman Robin Poole (right) discusses their recent upgrades to the wetland with (from left) TransCanada VP Energy East Gary Houston and Community Relations Leads Nathalie Guay and Jon Pitcher. (Cornwall Newswatch)

It’s expected the construction work will be done by West Front Construction Canada of Cornwall, which worked on the last project.

Cooper Marsh, just west of Lancaster on County Road 2, is managed by the Raisin Region Conservation Authority and the Conservators.

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