Environmental Issues

  • Composed mainly of partially decomposed Sphagnum moss species.
  • Derived from genus Sphagnum.
  • Sphagnum fiber content is greater than 66%.
  • Wetland = broad term used to describe areas which are waterlogged all or most of the time.
  • Bog = peatland where the water table is at or near the surface.
  • Plant life in bogs – limited in diversity due to the acid, nutrient poor environment.
  • Bogs provide small amounts of open water and minimal cover for waterfowl and nesting birds. Recent research shows that waterfowl use bogs primarily for staging and migration, and only limited brood-rearing.
  • Estimated at least 1 billion acres of peatland in the world. (About 4.5% of the total land area)
  • Peat is a sustainable resource.
  • Estimated more than 50 million tons of peat per year accumulates in the natural environment in Canada.
  • Only 700,000 to 800,000 tons of peat are currently harvested for use on an annual basis.
  • According to industry sources, less than 4,000 acres of peatland in Canada have been fully harvested.

There are several options currently utilized for bog reclamation and restoration which returns the site into a functioning wetland. (With proper management the site can become peatland within 5-10 years)

Research by Canadian scientists has shown that the rate of revegetation is as short as a few years on minerotrophic sites, while large expanses of ombrotrophic bogs required a range of 15 to 20 years to become fully reestablished.

The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) is a trade organization whose members include all major Canadian peat producers. The CSPMA and all Canadian peat producers have adopted a peatland preservation and reclamation policy. The CSPMA interacts with the government, the peat industry, and the conservationists to assure the sustainable development of peat resources.