Report highlights Parks Canada's efforts to maintain and restore ecological integrity
GATINEAU, QC, June 8, 2018 /CNW/ - Parks Canada's Conservation and Restoration (CoRe) program plays an important role in supporting healthy ecosystems, protecting wildlife, and tackling climate change, and contributing to the recovery of species at risk. Science and Indigenous knowledge are the foundation for conservation action to restore ecological integrity in Parks Canada's places – and many CoRe projects contribute to reconciliation and renewed relationships with Indigenous peoples.
Today, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced the release of A natural priority – A report on Parks Canada's Conservation and Restoration Program, highlighting 41 conservation projects from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
The report outlines conservation challenges in national parks, marine conservation areas, and historic sites, and also covers Parks Canada's approach to addressing these issues as well as the main accomplishments of the CoRe program. About half of all projects are collaborations with Indigenous communities or partners, who made invaluable contributions to their success. Highlights of the report include:
- Gone crabbin' – Restoring Kejimkujik National Park Seaside (Nova Scotia): Over 2 million European green crabs, an invasive species, were removed from the waters of Kejimkujik Seaside, helping to recover 38 per cent of eelgrass beds and increasing the number, and overall health, of native juvenile soft-shell clams.
- Rejuvenating aquatic ecosystems – Restoring the lakes of La Mauricie National Park (Quebec): Genetically distinct populations of brook trout were captured and bred, and nearly 50,000 offspring were released into their native lakes. To help improve natural conditions of the park's lakes and streams and restore connectivity, 18 log dams were dismantled.
- The road to recovery – Wildlife ecopassages in Bruce Peninsula National Park (Ontario): Four artificial nesting sites for turtles and 1 kilometre of deflection fencing along existing ecopassages were installed with the help of student volunteers. This work is helping imperiled reptile and amphibian populations recover on the Bruce Peninsula.
- Recovery and discovery – Restoring the aspen parkland of Riding Mountain National Park (Manitoba): Over 40 hectares of rough fescue grassland were restored by removing white spruce plantations. The project also involved testing of the park's bison herd for bovine tuberculosis with the help of the Keeseekowenin First Nation to prevent and eradicate the disease.
- Keeping dunes dynamic – Restoring coastal dunes in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (British Columbia): Invasive vegetation was removed from over 2 hectares of Schooner Cove dunes, helping to create new habitats and increase the presence of pink sand-verbena by 150 per cent and silky beach pea by more than 750 per cent – both species at risk.
These initiatives demonstrate that CoRe projects are fundamental to the mandate of Parks Canada, and show what can be accomplished when we are committed to protecting our country's natural spaces. To ensure long-term success, the CoRe program represents an ongoing investment in the restoration of ecological integrity and recovery of species at risk, with a total of $84 million dedicated over five years (2017-2022).
Parks Canada's places tell the stories of who we are and represent Canada's history and natural wonder. Following the largest consultation ever on Parks Canada – the Minister's Round Table, Let's Talk Parks, Canada!, Minister McKenna identified three priorities for Parks Canada:
- To protect and restore our national parks and historic sites;
- To enable Canadians to discover and connect with our national parks and heritage;
- And to sustain for generations to come the incredible value – both ecological and economic – that our national parks and historic sites provide for communities. The Conservation and Restoration Program is a great example of how we are doing this.
Through Budget 2018, our Government is investing $1.3 billion to protect Canada's nature, parks, and wildlife. This historic investment will help Parks Canada enhance its efforts to protect species at risk, support biodiversity, and conserve ecosystems.
"By investing in conservation and restoration projects across the country, Parks Canada is protecting wildlife and restoring ecosystems under threat. These projects demonstrate that ecological integrity is our first priority in managing Canada's natural spaces. I would like to thank all the Parks Canada team members, Indigenous communities, partners, and volunteers involved in these projects – your work helps us protect Canada's rich natural legacy for our children and grandchildren."
The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
- A natural priority – A report on Parks Canada's Conservation and Restoration Program
- Let's Talk Parks, Canada!
- Conserving and restoring ecosystems
- Get involved in conservation
SOURCE Parks Canada