Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area

Location: Bowmanville Ontario
Region: Central
Character: Wetlands
Length/Size: 80 hectare

Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area
By Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority

Officially opened in June 2006, the Bowmanville / Westside Marshes Conservation Area is over 80 hectares in size and includes two provincially significant coastal wetlands (Bowmanville Marsh and Westside Marsh) and their surrounding lands. The Westside Marsh, originally owned by St Marys Cement and recently dedicated to the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, has undergone extensive restoration activities over the last several years.

Continuing restoration work within Westside Marsh and the land connecting it to the Bowmanville Marsh will provide more quality wildlife habitat areas, and enhance existing habitat areas that are already important to many wildlife species for both breeding and feeding activities. This Conservation Area provides good habitat for nesting birds and acts as an important stopover point for waterfowl and shorebirds migrating along the north shore of Lake Ontario.

In addition to their importance to wildlife, both Bowmanville Marsh and Westside Marsh provide many other important functions that are typical of the few remaining coastal wetlands found along this northern section of the Lake Ontario shoreline. As result, these two marshes are designated as provincially significant wetlands and are part of a long-term study, the Durham Region Coastal Wetland Monitoring Project.

To help you get a closer look at this important area, the Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area has a 1.5 Km looping trail around the upland area between the two wetlands. This trail is just the right length for little ones and is generally stroller and wheelchair friendly. Two raised viewing mounds give visitors to the area good views into the two wetland areas. Looking for more of a workout? Why not hop onto the Waterfront Trail, which is directly accessible from the Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area parking facility. Remember to bring a camera, because you just never know what you might see!