Saving Simcoe Wetlands
Silver Creek, Collingwood
By Lisa Richardson
The Blue Mountain Watershed Trust (BMWT) is fighting two development proposals that threaten wetlands in Simcoe County. The group has teamed up with the Nature League in an effort to save the Silver Creek Wetland, one of the few remaining coastal wetlands on Southern Georgian Bay. It is also opposing an aggregate company’s plan to pave a dirt road, which would bring more traffic near natural areas.
The BMWT and Nature League have joined Save Silver Creek Wetlands, a Collingwood-based community organization, to fight the proposed construction of 180 houses along Silver Creek, which flows into the wetland. A second development is planned for an area farther along the creek, close to the wetland itself, which has been designated provincially significant. Silver Creek, which currently runs through largely undeveloped lands, provides crucial coldwater habitat for spawning rainbow trout and Chinook salmon. The conservation groups fear that housing construction could damage the creek and wetland habitats as well as increase the risk of flooding in the area. They insist that any developers who want to build in the Silver Creek watershed should ensure that their plans will not harm the habitats and the species they support.
farther inland, BMWT is also opposing a proposed upgrade of Sideroad 26/27, just west of Duntroon. Walker Aggregates wants to widen and pave the 2.7-kilometre seasonal dirt road so it can replace the western section of County Road 91 in order to access the aggregate that lies beneath it. County Road 91 is a major intercounty roadway that serves residents and visitors to the area. Naturalists are concerned that restructuring Sideroad 26/27 for more traffic—currently only three residents use it—will damage adjacent wetlands and woodlands, and threaten the area’s eight known species at risk, including the endangered eastern small-footed myotis.
The decision on closing the western section of County Road 91 and upgrading Sideroad 26/27 is pending. More information is available on BMWT’s website.