Second Marsh (Waterfront Trail)

 It was quite the cold, rainy, blustery weekend, and wearing boots with a slow leak doesn't make it much better when you are in the middle of a trail...The Second Marsh is a 'Class 2' Provincially Significant Wetland that covers about 120 hectares (300 acres).  

Although it is said that there are about 250 species of migratory birds, I never saw one..probably because they... migrated.  You won't see any coho salmon or rainbow trout anymore at this time of year, as they spawn in the streams that feed the marsh in the early autumn.

The Second Marsh is rehabilitated, as habitat islands were built, and nesting boxes are set to encourage breeding.  The water circulation has improved after they removed the log jams.  If you stick on this trail you'll no doubt find the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve which is owned and operated by General Motors of Canada.  This parcel of land covers  about 100 acres, and the reserve lies between the Second Marsh on the west and Darlington Provincial Park on the east.  
 
In the late 1980's General Motors planned their corporate headquarters, by inviting reps from the Second Marsh to discuss the concerns of migratory birds flying into windows, storm water management and other matters.  Once the discussions were over, an idea developed to create a buffer between the Second Marsh and the office complex.  

Today you will see  quite a few different trails; some are well groomed and have hard surfaces to allow access for bikes, while others are grass paths or wooden-chipped trails.  As you can see by some of the pictures I took, I preferred to get right into the grass, but unfortunately it wasn't long before I realized I should have stuck to the hardened walkways.  

If you are curious whatever happened to the 'First Marsh', it was filled and dredged out of existence to create Oshawa Harbour.  That was about thirty years ago, and it was feared the Second Marsh would have the same fate, and it almost did.  In 1964, the Oshawa Harbour Commission wanted to expand the harbour to acquire the Second Marsh, but there was strong opposition by the Oshawa Naturalist Club, Jim Richards (Manager of the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife reserve) and 11 other naturalist groups.  It took time, but by the early 1980's independent studies by the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada underlined the importance of the Marsh which proves that there is definitely strength in numbers.  If people could only realize the power they have to make change if there is a cause that they believe strongly in...

Now, I need to look at getting some new boots..