Long Point is a 40-km long sand spit on the north shore of Lake Erie. The longest spit in Canada, Long Point is the best surviving example of a wetlands and dune ecosystem in the Great Lakes basin.
Long Point is a 40-km long sand spit on the north shore of Lake Erie. The longest spit in Canada, Long Point is the best surviving example of a wetlands and dune ecosystem in the Great Lakes basin. The southerly location and the moderating effect of Lake Erie allow rare and endangered species to thrive. Two sedges and a spikerush are unique to Canada. Long Point is also home to Cambarus diogenes, one of the rarest crayfish in Canada, and the endangered eastern spiny softshell turtle.
Long Point is a stopover for migrating bats and butterflies, and includes a monarch butterfly reserve (1995). A significant staging area for migrating waterfowl, it is a nesting site for many birds, including the bald eagle.
Hunting and human destruction of habitat have threatened the spit for decades; however, the Long Point Company, established in 1866 by wealthy hunters, protected the area and gradually turned over much of the land to public ownership.
Long Point is the site of a provincial park (1921), a bird observatory (1960) and a national wildlife area (1978). It has also been recognized internationally as a wetland of international importance under the RAMSAR convention (1982) and as a United Nations Biosphere Reserve (1986).
Wind and water continually shift the sands of Long Point, and the accompanying changes underwater make the area treacherous for navigation. Dozens of shipwrecks in the surrounding waters now attract sports divers.