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Last updated
24 August 2012


The Black-Farewell and Maple Grove Wetlands, which contain numerous species at risk, are being threatened by both residential development as well as a link between Highways 407 and 401.

The provincially significant Black-Farewell and Maple Grove Wetland complexes, covering 734.4 ha, are in the Municipality of Clarington near Courtice and the hamlet of Maple Grove (in the Durham Region). They are noteworthy for supporting the largest wetland complexes in the GTA.

These areas contain part of the .07% of old growth forest remaining in Ontario , among them a slowly disappearing hemlock. These complexes sustain a high diversity of 59 wetland types, which explains the hundreds of species of flora and fauna located there. Many of these species are at risk, such as the Wood-Poppy, the Dense Blazing Star, the Green Dragon and the Red-Shouldered Hawk. The wetland complexes also form the headwaters of cold stream creeks, such as Black, Farewell, Tooley, Darlington and Brookhill. The entire watershed is located on a surficial aquifer, 2-10 m deep, underlain by clay.


These environmentally sensitive lands are close to urbanized centres and there is a threat that they will be buried by residential development. The area is also under threat from a proposed link between Highways 407 and 401. The link would run through the core of four provincially significant wetlands and woodlots of old forest growth, bisecting the water basin that serves as a significant groundwater recharge and discharge for connecting creeks and streams.

It is critical that these wetlands be preserved. Old growth forests and species at risk must be protected, and flora and fauna habitats must be maintained. Protecting these wetland complexes is crucial for ensuring clean and substantial amounts of drinking water, for sustaining a natural buffer zone and filtration system for pollution and noise, and for preventing heavy rainfall and floods.

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