About Hillman Marsh
The Hillman Marsh Conservation Area, located in Leamington, Ontario, is a barrier-protected coastal wetland and is classified as an Environmentally Significant Area, Provincially Significant Wetland, and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest. As a part of Carolinian Canada, Hillman Marsh helps to preserve hundreds of rare and endangered species that are seldom seen in Ontario, including the American Lotus, Blanding’s Turtle, King Rail, Large Yellow Pond-lily, Least Bittern, Midland Painted Turtle, Northern Map Turtle, Piping Plover, Prothonotary Warbler, Snapping Turtle, Spiny Softshell, and the Swamp Rose-mallow. In 1989, two dykes were constructed creating two controlled wetland cells that allow for water level control carried out by a pumping station. Drawdowns are completed every 10-15 years, removing most of the water from the cell, exposing the mudflats and allowing for seeds to germinate. In the past, this has resulted in a 30-48% increase in vegetation cover. Since breaching, the open marsh is no longer protected from Lake Erie, resulting in impaired water quality and harsh wave conditions. Subsequently, most submerged aquatic vegetation, tree cover, and woody vegetation has been lost or dislodged, making these controlled wetland cells more crucial than ever.