Environment Canada

Environment Canada

June 24, 2010 09:18 ET

Government of Canada and Partners Conserve Valuable Habitat in Southern Ontario

ESSEX, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 24, 2010) - Jeff Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice, announced today that the Nature Conservancy of Canada and other partners successfully acquired the Essex Forests and Wetlands – 145 hectares (359 acres) of wetland and woodland habitat near Kingsville, Ontario. This project was secured in part with funding from Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program and has an overall budget of $1.8 million dollars.

"Government of Canada action is helping to secure this important and ecologically-sensitive area for future generations of Canadians to enjoy," said MP Jeff Watson. "The protection of the Essex Forests and Wetlands demonstrates that government, organizations and individual citizens are all working together to achieve long-term conservation of ecologically-significant land in Canada."

The natural area on the property, located north of the Lake Erie shoreline, just west of Kingsville, Ontario, is comprised of both agricultural land and native woodland and contains riparian habitat that is home to several plant and animal species at risk, including the Eastern Prairie Fringed-orchid, American Chestnut and Cerulean Warbler. The property also contains an area of reclaimed wetland that has been used for agriculture since the early 1960's.

"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's $225-million Natural Areas Conservation Program. With this investment, we are taking real action to protect and conserve our ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations," said Minister Prentice. "Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."

"These Gifts to Canadians are tangible examples of what we are able to achieve by working together. By designing and managing networks of protected areas we fulfill our national and global responsibility to protect Canada's natural treasures for the future," said John Lounds President & CEO of Nature Conservancy of Canada. "What better way to celebrate our nation than by protecting the spectacular lands and wildlife that our country is known for around the world."

The Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve Canada's environment and conserve its precious natural heritage for present and future generations. It is through the ongoing contribution from all donors that we can ensure the protection of natural areas in Canada. As of March 2010, under the Natural Areas Conservation Program, over 138,600 hectares (342,500 acres) have been secured, protecting habitat for over 79 species at risk.

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/.

(Également offert en français)

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