Federal investments restore biodiversity, upgrade visitor facilities, and support local economy
ROCKY HARBOUR, NL, May 24, 2019 /CNW/ - Gros Morne's towering cliffs, dramatic fjord valleys, glacial lakes, coastal bogs, dunes, and highland plateaus rank among the most spectacular and diverse landscapes in Canada. This special place has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and draws visitors from across Canada and around the world, to marvel at its natural beauty. The Government of Canada is committed to investing in Canada's national parks, the important nature and species-at-risk they protect, while supporting sustainable tourism.
Today, Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced a federal investment of $4.2 million in Gros Morne National Park. This funding will support improvements to visitor facilities and support for regional sustainable tourism, along with a conservation project to help restore the salmon population in Gros Morne National Park.
The Government of Canada will invest $2.6 million to replace and upgrade visitor facilities at Lomond Campground, Trout River Campground and Shallow Bay Campground, including new playgrounds and kitchen shelters, as well as inclusive washrooms. This builds on recent investments made at Berry Hill and Green Point campgrounds. These improvements enhance visitor's camping experience, enabling all Canadians, including youth and newcomers, to connect with nature and learn about the environment around us all.
The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, is providing over $900,000 to the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism Inc., helping grow the regional tourism industry. This funding will be used to enhance the Institute's program offerings and the support it provides to the Atlantic Canada tourism industry. The program focuses on culinary, heritage and culture, and community development, supporting good local jobs and giving visitors to Newfoundland a true taste of The Rock.
The Government of Canada is also investing $626,000 to restore the Trout River salmon population in Gros Morne National Park. A continuing decline in the number of adult Atlantic salmon returning to spawn in the Trout River watershed is putting this locally adapted population at risk. A recent UN report showed that almost 1 million of the planet's species are at risk, and the Government is committed to protecting Canada's biodiversity. This project aims to augment the number of wild salmon by 2024, by raising salmon and releasing them into the Trout River when they reach maturity and can spawn on their own. This funding will also support outreach and interpretation programs in national parks across Atlantic Canada. Atlantic national parks, including Gros Morne National Park, are working with Indigenous partners and stakeholders to restore the Atlantic Salmon population.
National parks represent the very best Canada has to offer. All Canadians are encouraged to visit them and discover the beauty of Canada's natural treasures.
"Through investments in our national parks, our government is protecting the environment and the wildlife that call them home. It's the International Year of the Salmon and I'm so glad we're able to support this project to restore the iconic Wild Atlantic salmon population in Trout River. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, visitors from across Canada, and across the globe, will come to Gros Morne and watch the salmon jumping, all while enjoying the fantastic upgrades to the campgrounds."
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
"Our government understands the importance of tourism and community diversification to a strong and vibrant Atlantic Canadian economy. That is why we are pleased to invest in the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism Inc. (GMIST) and support its efforts to help tourism operators and communities excel in the globally competitive tourism industry. Our investment will enable GMIST to strengthen its programs and training, which play an important role in experiential tourism development in Atlantic Canada and position the region as a leading tourism destination."
Gudie Hutchings, Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
"Canada's national parks are vital to protect our marine environment. In this International Year of the Salmon, the Government of Canada is improving aquatic habitats and restoring the Atlantic salmon population in Gros Morne National Park. This and other projects that are part of Parks Canada's conservation efforts, will ensure that salmon populations remain part of our watersheds and oceans."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson,
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- Gros Morne National Park consists of 1,805 square kilometres of wilderness on Newfoundland's west coast. Its natural beauty and a unique, geological showcase earned Gros Morne UNESCO World Heritage status in 1987. It stretches inland from the Gulf of St. Lawrence coastline through lowlands where waterways meander towards the Long Range Mountains and Tablelands.
- Parks Canada is investing an unprecedented $3 billion over five years to support infrastructure work to heritage, tourism, waterway, and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada.
- The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is implementing the Regional Economic Growth Through Innovation program, which aligns with the Government of Canada's national objectives while ensuring that their funding programs are tailored to fit and benefit regional needs.
- Parks Canada takes its mandate to protect ecological integrity very seriously and is the only national parks system in the world that has fully implemented, system-wide ecological integrity monitoring and reporting program, consisting of more than 700 independent scientific measures that inform park-specific priorities and guide investments in conservation.
- Throughout 2019, the Government of Canada is participating in International Year of the Salmon events and continuing important work to protect salmon populations.
- The Government of Canada is pleased to continue to offer free admission to all Parks Canada's places for youth aged 17 and under. By encouraging young people to discover nature and connect with history, we can help to inspire the next generation of stewards for these protected places. In celebration of diversity, Parks Canada continues to offer free admission to new Canadian citizens for one year through the Institute for Canadian Citizenship's Cultural Access Pass Program.
SOURCE Parks Canada
For further information: Sabrina Kim, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-938-9413, Sabrina.email@example.com; Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency, 855-862-1812, firstname.lastname@example.org; Greg Knott, Public Relations and Communications Officer, Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit, 709-458-3273, email@example.com