Partnership Promotes Wetland Stewardship



    
    McGuinty Government And Ducks Unlimited Canada Help Landowners Conserve
    And Restore Wildlife Habitats
    

    TORONTO, Oct. 10 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Southern Ontario landowners will receive advice and funding to protect
and restore wetland wildlife habitats through a partnership between Ducks
Unlimited Canada and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
    The Ontario Wetland Care program provides technical resources and grants
to rural landowners to help them maintain and enhance wetlands on their
properties. The program is funded by the Healthy Wetlands...Healthy
Communities II partnership.
    The program aims to enhance and protect up to 2,400 hectares (6,000
acres) of wildlife wetland habitat through 96 conservation agreements and 60
stewardship plans.
    A grant of $500,000 from the ministry will be matched by Ducks Unlimited
Canada for a total of $1 million in funding over two years.
    The ministry and Ducks Unlimited Canada will work with conservation
organizations to contact landowners whose land includes waterfowl habitat.
Ducks Unlimited Canada has already formed 17 partnerships with local
conservation organizations across southern Ontario to help deliver the
program.
    This is the second phase of the Healthy Wetlands...Healthy Communities
partnership. The first phase focused on enhancing wetland interpretive centres
to educate the public about the value of wetlands.

    QUOTES

    "Conserving wetlands in southern Ontario is a vital part of our strategy
to protect the province's biodiversity," said Natural Resources Minister Donna
Cansfield (http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/About/2ColumnSubPage/249086.html).
"Working with an experienced partner like Ducks Unlimited Canada will ensure
we involve as many landowners as possible in protecting these critical
habitats."
    "Rural landowners are the key to protecting habitat for waterfowl and
other species of wildlife in southern Ontario," said Jamie Fortune, Director
of Operations for Ducks Unlimited Canada (http://www.ducks.ca/). "Research
shows that they are keenly interested, but they need help to get started.
That's where we come in."

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -  Wetlands
       (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=3105b4afed127e2) are
       areas where the land is wet either permanently or seasonally. They
       provide habitat for a large number of plants and animals.
    -  More than three-quarters of the wetlands that originally existed in
       southern Ontario have been destroyed.
    -  The Ontario government has collaborated with Ducks Unlimited Canada
       for almost 35 years to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and
       adjacent uplands.

    LEARN MORE

    -  Learn more about Ducks Unlimited Canada in Ontario (www.ducks.ca/).
    -  Learn more about wetlands (ontario.ca/biodiversity).

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                                                      Disponible en français


    BACKGROUNDER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

           HEALTHY WETLANDS...HEALTHY COMMUNITIES II PARTNERSHIP:
                         ONTARIO WETLAND CARE PROGRAM

    -  Local conservation organizations and landowners have a key role to
       play in conserving Ontario's waterfowl and wildlife habitat, such as
       wetlands.

    -  Through the Ontario Wetland Care program, the Ministry of Natural
       Resources and Ducks Unlimited Canada are engaging southern Ontario
       landowners in understanding the fascinating diversity of wetlands and
       empowering them to improve and conserve wetland habitat.

    -  Some landowners need help with the costs of restoring or enhancing
       wetlands. Often they require only technical advice to get started and
       someone to call for further guidance as their work progresses.

    -  The ministry and Ducks Unlimited Canada are bringing together a broad
       range of conservation organizations to give landowners better access
       to help in managing their wetlands. Ducks Unlimited Canada has already
       formed at least 17 partnerships to promote wetland conservation with
       funding from Ontario Wetland Care.
       -  The ministry and Ducks Unlimited Canada will work with conservation
          organizations to contact landowners whose land includes waterfowl
          habitat.
       -  Workshops, demonstration sites, educational materials and personal
          site visits with knowledgeable conservation staff will help
          landowners learn about protecting habitats. Staff will work with
          landowners to prepare customized stewardship plans for their
          properties.
       -  Landowners who agree to restore and protect wetlands and other
          habitats on their land over the long term will be eligible for
          funding of half of the total cost of restoration and stewardship
          projects.

    -  The program aims to enhance and protect up to 2,400 hectares (6,000
       acres) of wildlife wetland habitat through 96 conservation agreements
       and 60 stewardship plans.
       -  A conservation agreement is a written agreement between a landowner
          and Ducks Unlimited Canada that ensures the wildlife habitat value
          of their wetland will be maintained by the landowner for specified
          period, ideally 25 years.
       -  A natural area stewardship plan is a customized plan to sustain
          wildlife habitats on a landowner's property.
    

    MINISTRY OF NATURAL RE

SOURCES/DUCKS UNLIMITED CANADA PARTNERSHIPS The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has collaborated with Ducks Unlimited Canada for almost 35 years to deliver programs that work to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and adjacent uplands. These partnerships include: Ontario Eastern Habitat Joint Venture The Ontario Eastern Habitat Joint Venture is a partnership of government and non-government organizations created to support the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, which aim to increase bird populations throughout the continent by conserving internationally significant habitat. - The ministry provided more than $4.5 million to Ducks Unlimited Canada since 1998 for conservation activities - primarily securing and enhancing wetlands in support of the Ontario Eastern Habitat Joint Venture. - Ducks Unlimited Canada matches this provincial funding, usually by raising three dollars to match each dollar received from the ministry, including funding from U.S. federal and state governments and private landowners. Healthy Wetlands...Healthy Communities I - Ducks Unlimited Canada and the ministry worked together from 2003 to 2007 on the first phase of the Healthy Wetlands...Healthy Communities partnership. MNR contributed $1 million, which was matched by Ducks Unlimited Canada. - The partnership aimed to educate the public about the connection between community well-being and a healthy environment by promoting the value of wetlands. It included enhancing public viewing and education facilities at wetlands in southern Ontario and restoring small wetlands. Great Lakes Wetlands - The ministry and Ducks Unlimited Canada work together on projects supported by the Canada Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem to develop and deliver conservation programs that benefit Great Lakes wetlands and the communities and wildlife that depend on them. - The partners have also worked together on a variety of committees, educational programs for municipalities and international agreements affecting the Great Lakes Basin. - The ministry is supporting Ducks Unlimited Canada's Wetland Conversion Analysis project, which is developing new estimates of wetland loss across southern Ontario. Wetland Evaluation and Mapping - In recent years, Ducks Unlimited Canada partnered with the ministry to develop and test innovative approaches to mapping and evaluating wetlands in parts of central Ontario. Ontario's Biodiversity Council - Ducks Unlimited Canada contributed to the development of Ontario's Biodiversity Strategy and continues to participate as a member of the Ontario Biodiversity Council. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- For the Ministry of Natural For Ducks Unlimited Canada: Resources: John Boos Lynette Mader Southern Region Manager, Outreach Programs-Ontario 705-755-3281 Ducks Unlimited Canada-Active by Nature! 705-721-4444, Ext. 235 ontario.ca/natural-resources-news www.ducks.ca Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: For the Ministry of Natural Resources: Ivan
Langrish, Minister's Office, (416) 314-2212; Barry Radford, Communications
Services Branch, (416) 314-2123, ontario.ca/natural-resources-news; For Ducks
Unlimited Canada: Lynette Mader, Manager, Outreach Programs-Ontario, Ducks
Unlimited Canada-Active by Nature!, (705) 721-4444, Ext. 235, www.ducks.ca

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Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

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