The Beverly Swamp
Line 9 runs directly through the Beverly Swamp. All pipelines spill, if Tar Sands oil travels down Line 9, this thirty-five year-old pipeline will experience more frequent leaks of more toxic oil directly into the Beverly Swamp in the headwaters of the Spencer Creek, Hamilton’s largest watershed.
The Beverly Swamp extends 9 miles across Flamborough and is a Class 1 wetland – the highest designation given to Ontario wetlands. The Beverly Swamp is one of the largest swamps in southern Ontario with pristine areas of red and silver maple, white cedar forests and cold water streams containing brook trout.
The swamp is the most important area in the watershed for providing water to Spencer Creek. About 30 inches of precipitation fall annually on the swamp, providing 15,000 acre-feet of water – that’s two-and-a-half feet of water for every acre of the Beverly Swamp. This water soaks down to raise the ground water table or is taken up by plant growth or discharges into the streams that arise here.
There are strong ecological benefits to preserving this land. Only two other swamps reach the magnitude of the Beverly Swamp in south-western and south central Ontario – the Minesing Swamp near Barrie, and the Greenock Swamp near Teeswater.
So many significant species of plants and animals live in the Beverly Swamp that it is difficult to know where to begin. This huge natural area is home to rare species from Red-shouldered Hawks to Northern Flying Squirrels, from Grass-pink Orchids to Blanding’s Turtles. Southern Carolinian plants like green violet and northern species like balsam fir and black spruce mingle in this diverse natural area. There are 437 types of plants, 12 species of reptiles and amphibians, 90 nesting bird species and 14 mammal species.