Additional Wildlife Habitat Enhancements Taking Place This Fall at RRCA’s Cooper Marsh Conservation Area

October 24, 2022

A system of ring dykes and pumps are responsible for maintaining wetland conditions at Cooper Marsh Conservation Area in South Glengarry. Photo courtesy of Ontario Power Generation.

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority’s (RRCA) Cooper Marsh Conservation Area in South Glengarry owes much of its wetland habitat to a system of ring dykes and pumps installed during the 1980s and 1990s through a partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). This water control system helps maintain optimal conditions for the rich variety of both plant and animal species found at Cooper Marsh. 

This fall, DUC will be conducting work to strengthen and maintain the ring dykes’ earthen berms and pumping equipment. The work is set to last for several weeks.

“We are fortunate to have such a successful, long-term partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada,” says RRCA’s Communications and Stewardship Team Lead, Lisa Van De Ligt. “For decades, DUC has seen the important ecological value of Cooper Marsh Conservation Area. We are thrilled to see this maintenance work which will help preserve the Marsh for years to come.”

To ensure visitor safety, some trails will be closed temporarily due to hazardous site conditions or the presence of machinery. Signage will be in place to indicate which trails and other areas are temporarily closed. Water levels will be temporarily lowered to facilitate some of the work.

“Throughout the years, Cooper Marsh Conservation Area has proven to be a safe haven and important nesting habitat for waterfowl and many other species,” says Mikayla Stinson, conservation specialist for DUC. “It is the perfect setting for attracting and educating people about the value of wetlands. We are pleased to have such a great partnership with the RRCA and to work together in maintaining this important wetland.”  

This work is being undertaken with the financial support of Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks through the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program (WCPP).

Nestled on the picturesque north shore of the St. Lawrence River, a few minutes’ drive from South Lancaster, the 663-acre Cooper Marsh Conservation Area is home to a rich variety of plant and animal species and is part of the larger Charlottenburgh Marsh – one of the most significant wetlands in all of Ontario. The RRCA actively maintains, enhances, and restores this natural area, which also features viewing blinds and towers, and a 12-kilometre system of boardwalks and nature trails.

The RRCA is also currently undertaking other maintenance work at Cooper Marsh, including a grassland restoration project, installing waterfowl nesting structures, seeding native plants, and reconstructing the Marsh’s main parking lot. For more information visit or contact (613) 938-3611 or