Environment Canada

Environment Canada

August 19, 2010 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Investing in Community Action to Preserve Local Habitat and Species at Risk in Prince George

PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 19, 2010) - Richard M. Harris, Member of Parliament for Cariboo—Prince George, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, today announced funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. In total, $16,750 in federal funding will support environmental action focusing on conservation and protection of species at risk and their habitats, helping to conserve Canada's biodiversity.

"As part of the International Year of Biodiversity, funding announced today will help protect and promote the recovery of the endangered Nechako White Sturgeon," said MP Richard Harris. "Education and outreach are essential components to assist species at risk and today's funding helps address their decline."

"These projects will help to protect Canada's rich biodiversity for generations to come," said Minister Jim Prentice. "The Government of Canada is proud to support the Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative through the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."

"We are very excited to receive this funding," said Carla Wainwright of the Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative. "This contribution means our organization can continue to help the declining White Sturgeon. Getting out into the community and spreading awareness will help us achieve our goals."

Through educational outreach, this project aims to reduce white sturgeon by-capture and mortality by both First Nations and non-First Nations communities by increasing community awareness about the decline of this endangered species. One emphasis of the project is on selective fishing methods. Ongoing public involvement in the conservation and protection of the Nechako White Sturgeon will also be encouraged.

The goal of the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk is to contribute to the recovery and protection of species listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern under the Species at Risk Act.

Projects that will receive funding this year include stewardship actions to conserve habitat for plant species at risk, negotiations with landowners to develop voluntary Land Care Agreements, targeted educational outreach to reduce the entanglement of species at risk in fishing gear, and enhancement of water quality and aquatic habitat on private lands to benefit aquatic species at risk. They will be undertaken with many partners such as agricultural producers, private landowners, and commercial fishers. These projects will benefit many species at risk, including the North Atlantic Right Whale, the Steller Sea Lion, the Swift Fox, and the Small White Leek.

The Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk is administered by Environment Canada and managed cooperatively with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency. More information on the Species at Risk Act and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk can be found on the Internet at: http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca or http://www.ec.gc.ca/hsp-pih/default.asp?lang=En&n=59BF488F-1

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.

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