Reeling in Recreational Fishing in Toronto: The Living City Foundation Receives Funding from Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program

- Funding to support project improving fish habitat in Toronto -

TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Living City Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that supports projects undertaken by Toronto and Region Conservation, has been selected as a major recipient of funding from the newly-established Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program (RFCPP). The Foundation will receive $205,000 under the RFCPP for multi-phase work under Toronto's Tommy Thompson Cell 2 Fish Habitat and Wetlands Creation Project that was previously announced earlier this Spring.  The project with will see an industrial confined disposal facility that received potentially contaminated materials dredged from the Toronto Inner Harbour turned into a nine hectare "hemi-marsh" ecosystem to improve fish habitat. Work will begin in November 2013 with an estimated completion date of Summer 2015.

"This ambitious project will provide a variety of habitats aimed at expanding native fish populations in the interest of recreational fishing and sport fish angling," said Thornhill Member of Parliament, Peter Kent, on behalf of the Federal Minister of Fisheries, the Honourable Gail Shea.

Located on the Toronto waterfront, Tommy Thompson Park is a unique urban wilderness minutes from downtown. The park is located on a man-made peninsula, known as the Leslie Street Spit, which extends five km into Lake Ontario and is over 500 hectares in size. The park represents some of the largest existing natural habitat on the Toronto waterfront. Wildflower meadows, cottonwood forests, coastal marshes, cobble beaches and sand dunes are just some of the habitats at Tommy Thompson Park. Wildlife, especially birds, flourish at the park, which provides one of the best nature watching areas in the GTA. Other recreational opportunities include hiking, cycling, rollerblading and fishing. TRCA has undertaken shoreline habitat protection and enhancement work along the waterfront for many years. As a result of TRCA's work and support from partners, the fish communities in Toronto's waterfront continue to improve. Urban anglers are now catching bass, pike, salmon and other sport fish along the waterfront. The improved fish habitat is expected to expand native fish populations to support the increased interest in recreational fishing. Other existing partners involved in this project including Coca Cola Canada, City of Toronto, Toronto Port Authority, Environment Canada and now Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

"Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Street Spit is one of Toronto's most important natural areas and the restoration of Cell 2 will significantly increase wetland habitat on the Toronto waterfront," said Scott Fortnum, Executive Director, The Living City Foundation. "We are so pleased to have the support of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. For this major project to be realized, we need the support of many partners. Together we are working towards bringing back a thriving native fish population to Toronto."

The Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program forms a key component of the Government of Canada's conservation agenda as outlined in Budget 2013 and aligns with the Government's commitment to better protect Canada's fisheries as reflected in the recent changes to the Fisheries Act.

The program aims to bring like-minded partners and their resources together with the common goal of enhancing Canada's recreational fisheries.  The long‑term goal of the program is to enhance the sustainability and ongoing productivity of Canada's recreational fisheries, which would be achieved through the following program objective: Restore, rebuild and rehabilitate recreational fisheries habitat.

It also supports a key priority identified in Economic Action Plan 2013, namely, promoting a clean and sustainable environment. Upon the completion of funded projects, the expected program outcome is that targeted recreational fisheries habitat has been restored.

The Living City Foundation

The Living City Foundation is a registered charity (Business #11903 9493 RR0001) that supports the work of Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). TRCA and The Living City Foundation are working to build The Living City: A Cleaner, Greener Healthier Place to live.

About Toronto and Region Conservation

With more than 55 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look after the natural environment. TRCA's vision is for the Living City - a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live, for you today and for your children tomorrow. For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at www.trca.on.ca


Image with caption: "Peter Kent, MP for Thornhill is joined by Brian Denney, CEO Toronto and Region Conservation, Scott Fortnum, Executive Director, The Living City Foundation, TRCA staff and a variety of native fish species, for a Fisheries and Oceans Canada funding announcement benefitting Toronto and Region Conservation's Tommy Thompson Park Cell 2 Fish Habitat and Wetlands Creation Project. (CNW Group/Toronto and Region Conservation Authority)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131008_C8224_PHOTO_EN_31838.jpg

SOURCE: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

For further information:

Rowena Calpito, Supervisor, Public Relations, rcalpito@trca.on.ca, 416-661-6600 ext 5632


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