Essex Region – Over the past month, significant construction works have been ongoing at Hillman Marsh Conservation Area. Rehabilitation of the dykes is being conducted in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada, while Wheatley Harbour has been accessing the site regularly to provide sand replenishment.
However, in providing access for construction traffic to conduct these permitted and authorized uses, a number of 4 wheel drive vehicles, UTV and ATV users have gained unlawful access to the site and are creating significant negative impacts.
“ATV and any motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited in all Conservation Areas, including Hillman Marsh,” explains Tim Byrne, Essex Region Conservation Authority CAO. “In addition to causing further erosion at this already fragile area, these unlawful activities are also potentially disturbing nesting habitats for a number of endangered species.”
ERCA continues to remind the community that motorized vehicles are not permitted for use in conservation areas and along trails. Local authorities have been contacted and will work with ERCA to help stop this illegal access which is resulting in environment degradation. Penalties can be assigned through the Conservation Authorities Act and the Trespass to Properties Act. If someone is found disturbing and or destroying habitat and or species identified under the Endangered Species Act, those found committing could face significant additional penalties
The Essex Region Conservation Authority is a public sector organization established by the Province in 1973, and governed by local municipalities, to provide for the organization and delivery of programs and services that further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in watersheds in Ontario.