Delta Marsh Field Station

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Delta Marsh Field Station

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  • Delta Marsh Station

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Located on the south shore of Lake Manitoba, the Delta March Field Station was a research and environmental education facility of the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Science. The Station bordered Delta Marsh which is one of the largest coastal marshes in North America, occupying approximately 18,000 hectares of land. In 1982, the marsh was officially designated as a Wetland of International Significance under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Ramsar Convention. It is also recognized provincially as a “Manitoba Heritage Marsh” and nationally as an Important Bird Area, due to the significant presence of waterfowl and neotropical migrants in the area.

Established in 1996 by Dr. Jennifer M Shay, Doctor of Philosophy in Science the Station was a member of the Organization of Biological Field Stations and the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network of Environment Canada. The property was also a part of a designated game-bird refuge and wildlife protection area, most of which was designated an ecologically significant area in 1987. The Station was based around Mallard Lodge which was a two-Storey hunting lodge built in 1932 on the estate of well-known Winnipeg athlete and businessman Donald H Bain. Mallard Lodge operated as the center of operations and housed university students doing research there. Other buildings were also constructed to be used as housing as well as for studying and analyzing data captured from the surrounding marsh. The Field Station provided students room and board, laboratory space, some general research equipment, such as boats and motors, drying ovens, power tools, bicycles, as well as data such as meteorological data from the station’s real-time climate station, plant and animal specimen. The students also had access to library books and the internet. Researchers studied different aspects of the marsh's ecosystem, as well as monitored daily weather and the water quality of Lake Manitoba. The Station was a place of education for all levels as school field trips and adult seminars and conferences were held there.

A decision was made in 2010 to only operate the Field Station during the summer as it was not considered to be financially sustainable on a year-round basis. However, after the facility sustained considerable damage in 2011 during a flood caused by unusually high-water levels on Lake Manitoba, the Station was closed permanently. Most of the buildings were demolished or hauled away in 2012.


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Created by Brynne Martin (December, 2021)




Historic Sites of Manitoba: Mallard Lodge / Delta Marsh Field Station (RM of Portage la Prairie) (
Delta Marsh Field Station Archive: Main Page ( (
Former Delta Marsh Field Station dealing with aftermath of floods (
Avian Conservation and Ecology: Requiem for a field station: the loss of a Canadian ornithological treasure (

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