Restoring Rattray Marsh

 

 

Rattray Marsh is a Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) owned and managed Conservation Area consisting of 94 acres of lakeshore, marsh wetland, field and woodland habitats.  Purchased by CVC in 1975, the area has served as a symbol of protection and appreciation for the Mississauga community, the GTA waterfront link and to a diversity of visitors and interest groups. Located on the Lake Ontario Shoreline in Mississauga, Rattray Marsh is one of the last remaining baymouth bar coastal wetlands on the western end of Lake Ontario. It was first recognized internationally in 1969 in the Important Biological Program and since designated as an Environmentally Significant Area, a Provincially Significant Wetland, and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest including a number of protected Species At Risk.

The Health of Rattray Marsh is severely threatened

Rattray Marsh has experienced severe ecological degradation due to urbanization, primarily from the build-up of sediment from Sheridan Creek which has been exaggerated by the presence of exotic species in the marsh, such as carp.  Following the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) Class Environmental Assessment process, CVC has developed detailed site plans to rehabilitate the marsh through the phased removal of mineral soil that is burying the native organic marsh soils. The goal of this plan is to restore Rattray Marsh to a healthy, dynamically stable ecosystem of appropriate indigenous species.

Rattray Marsh serves as an important protected environment for a significant number of wildlife species as well as being an important recreational and educational landmark in the community.  428 species of plants call Rattray home as well as 227 bird species, 26 mammals, 18 reptiles and amphibians and 11 fish.

Campaign Leaders

The Rattray Marsh Protection Association (RMPA) was formed in 1979 and has been integral to the area’s long-term protection and appreciation. Comprised of local residents and community members, RMPA is dedicated to ensuring that the community and its visitors benefit from quality educational, interpretive and stewardship opportunities at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area. In 2009, the RMPA joined the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation as a volunteer fundraising committee.

Recent Improvements to the Conservation Area

The Turtle Creek entrance to Rattray Marsh Conservation Area is the single busiest access point in CVC’s entire conservation area system, welcoming over 300,000 visitors per year. The existing boardwalk and bridge were subject to periodic flooding and washout, which was creating an unsafe and poor experience for trail users, and continual and costly maintenance for CVC.  

In March 2020, CVC closed the entrance for 4 weeks to raise the existing bridge to a safe level above lake flooding, and created a new elevated boardwalk protected by a new climate-resilient stone armouring solution. The new entrance, completed on March 24th, is AODA compliant and now provides a safe and attractive welcome to Rattray Marsh, while protecting underlying servicing infrastructure (Peel, Enbridge) and maintaining coastal processes.

How You Can Support the Restoration of Rattray Marsh

1. Make an online donation today.

2. Make a donation via mail or phone.  You can download our printable CVCF donation form and return with your cheque of money order or call 905-670-1615 to make a donation by credit card.

3. Get your business or community organization involved. You have the opportunity to have a direct and profound impact on our community. Whether it is through sponsorships, donations, services or volunteers there are countless ways we can work together. Please contact Jon MacMull, Acting Executive Director, at 905-670-1615 x385 or jon.macmull@cvc.ca.

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