Throughout North America, wetlands represent a vital ecosystem in need of conservation. This is especially true of the St. Lawrence Lowland Ecoregion where Waste Management's Poste de transbordement de Valleyfield operates on a property composed of wetlands, buffer shrub habitat and mowed areas. Understanding this importance, the team at the Poste de transbordement de Valleyfield enlisted the help of Quebec's Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks to determine the ecological value of the wetland on site and to subsequently formalize its status. In 2008, an initial investigation confirmed the high value of the land. The following year, Waste Management obtained confirmation that the wetland was formally recognized in perpetuity as a private natural habitat. The official designation of the parcel is now "Réserve Naturelle du Petit-Canal-à-Salaberry-de-Valleyfield". The employee-led team at the transfer station determined from the designation that the focus of the program would be on habitat enhancement of the wetland and the use of the various projects to engage local stakeholders. As such, the team aligned their activities with the North American Waterbird Conservation Plan. To address the lack of sufficient suitable nesting cavities, a set of twelve wood duck boxes were erected throughout the wetland. The installation was conducted in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada which provided technical assistance and educated the team on monitoring process. The boxes are cleaned and monitored annually in February or March for nesting activity and to review the need for repair or replacement. In 2011, the team recorded the first use of the boxes by a wood duck. Since then, nesting has been quite successful. In 2015, eighteen wood duck eggs were found! The nesting and observation data is submitted annually to the Société d'aménagement de la Baie Lavallièère, a province-wide network that collects and analyzes citizen gathered scientific information. The protection of wetland's water quality in Valleyfield is also part of a company-wide sustainability goal. Thus, in an effort to protect the water stream running next to the site's transfer station an annual cleanup program was created in 2010. The team has also installed 300 feet of fences to prevent waste from entering the stream. During the spring of 2011, the team planted native grasses and forbs that support migrating waterfowl. Species planted include common yarrow, New England aster, red fescue, goldenrods and rare species such as fireweed and slender wheatgrass. The team also generated cover habitat for amphibians and small mammals by creating 6 brush and rock piles in ecotones on the fringe of herbaceous fallow in 2014.
Reviewer: Emily Girsch
Waste Management’s Poste de transbordement de Valleyfield encompasses 400 acres of forests and wetlands in Quebec, about 3 miles east of the St. Lawrence River. The team at Waste Management works to enhance forest, wetland, avian and amphibian & reptile habitat.
Practices and Impacts