Cranberry Marsh

Cranberry Marsh is a flat wetland in the southwest corner of the Lynde Shores Conservation Area, managed by the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA). In the spring of 2001 the latter embarked on a programme in conjunction with Ducks Unlimited, that entailed a complete drawdown of the water into Lake Ontario, followed by a step–by–step procedure to gradually regenerate a true marshland. Indeed, the wetland relies on runoff and rains to supply water AND has no natural outlet to the lake, the two being separated by a narrow barrier–beach. A very low dissolved–oxygen count, along with no water movement in a very shallow “marsh” contributed to an ugly scene in the fall of 2000, that being the death of a very large number of ducks, particularly Green–winged Teals, attributed to avian botulism.

The CMRW monitoring is done from a 10’ x 18’ viewing platform which sits atop a berm constructed in the summer of 2001. The GPS readings were taken from this platform which is located at the southwest corner of the wetlands in southwest Whitby, Ontario: the fixed position of the platform is 43° 50’ & 24.9” N and 78° 57’ & 57.7” W.

In the fall of each year (starting in 1990), from late August through to late November, we have found that southbound hawks to our east avoid crossing Lake Ontario, thereby turning westward; in so doing they fly close to the shoreline, enabling us to view, identify and record.

If traveling from the west along Highway 401 exit at Salem Rd. in Ajax (exit 404), then south 1 km. to Bayly St., left/east along Bayly through Lake Ridge Rd., continuing 0.4 km to Halls Rd. in Whitby, right/south 1.5 km toward the lake, parking in a roadside parking area at the south pathway; a short easterly walk along a paved pathway takes you to the berm–platform.

If coming from the east along the 401 exit at Brock St. in Whitby (exit 410), south 0.5 km to Victoria St. (eastern extension of Bayly), right/west 3.2 km to Hall’s Rd., left/south and hence as above.

CMRW exists because of a friendly rapport among many people who volunteer to help, whether for a few or many hours over a period of 90 or more days.