Freshwater Wetlands/Ponds

Kelly's Pond

Photo Credits: Winston Maud

Freshwater wetlands are home to a diverse ecosystem filled with life. Many native plants and animals such as ducks, frogs and cattails call this habitat home. Wetlands have many looks, ranging from small roadside marshes to a multi hectare bog.  On Prince Edward Island, a freshwater wetland/pond consists of any area of land that is regularly covered or soaked with water for most or all of the year (DEEF, 1998). On a larger scale, 40% of the world's species rely on freshwater wetlands for survival, outlining the importance of preservation. Canada is the home to the largest amount of wetlands, encompassing 25% of the world's wetlands (Harding, 2021). 

Wetlands develop in low-lying areas, often near streams and rivers. In Stratford, most of the ponds and their respective marsh areas are small in size, however that does not decrease their impacts. Swamps, fens and bogs have historically been found in abundance on Prince Edward Island however trends show a decrease in recent years. These areas are in need of protection and preservation as new developments put them at risk. 

Freshwater ecosystems are considered to be more imperiled than marine or terrestrial systems; despite this, threats to these habitats still recieve little public attention, which leads to a lack of general awareness of what a healthy freshwater system should look like.

Threats to Freshwater Ecosystems

What's a Riparian Zone?

A riparian zone is the strip of land and vegetation immediately adjacent to a body of freshwater.  This unique ecosystem is a hotspot for biodiversity, and connects terrestrial and aquatic environments to each other.

Despite their narrow range, riparian zones have a disproportionately high ecological role, and influence far beyond their immediate area.

Riparian zones play a critical role in:


If you own land with a buffer zone on it, it's important to keep it in top physical condition to get the most out of your riparian zone!

How YOU Can Help