Bird Studies Canada used the Marsh Monitoring Program (MMP) to track progress toward achieving wildlife and habitat delisting criteria identified within the Buffalo River and Niagara River (ON and NY) Area of Concern (AOC) Remedial Action Plans. Bird and amphibian surveys were conducted within targeted AOC coastal wetlands for which wildlife and habitat status information was required to guide habitat restoration and conservation efforts. Wetland water quality was also measured by staff to further assess AOC habitat health. The local MMP volunteer surveyor base was increased through targeted recruitment activities and training workshops. Local MMP regional coordinators were established to ensure the long-term sustainability of monitoring in AOC and regional wetlands. The coordinators then promoted the program locally and provided volunteer training and support. Species composition, abundance, and diversity at all MMP sites were calculated and compared with reference site data and Great Lakes average values. Data was applied to Indices of Biotic Integrity to further rank AOC wetland health. Through this project, Remedial Action Committees gained enhanced knowledge of AOC wetland habitats and wildlife status as well as made progress toward achieving AOC delisting goals.
Erie and Niagara Counties, western New York State; regional Municipality of Niagara in Ontario