Environment Canada

Environment Canada

March 20, 2009 10:54 ET

Environment Minister Jim Prentice Announces Investment for Wildlife Conservation Projects in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - March 20, 2009) - Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice today announced an investment from the Government of Canada's Habitat Stewardship Program in four conservation projects in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that will protect important wildlife and their habitats.

"We have awarded funding to four Maritime organizations for special habitat stewardship initiatives because wildlife conservation remains a top priority for the Government of Canada during the current tough economic period," said Minister Prentice

"Today's announcement demonstrates our Government's continuing commitment to conserving and protecting our environment for the benefit of all Canadians" said Minister Prentice.

The Nova Scotia Nature Trust is receiving $170,000 for a project to secure and protect critical habitat areas for species at risk in southwest Nova Scotia. The Governors of Acadia University are receiving $135,000 for various initiatives to protect the Blandings turtle and the eastern ribbon snake. The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is receiving $123,000 for conservations efforts regarding the Peregrine falcon. And the Canadian Sea Turtle Network in Halifax is receiving $110,000 for a project for the conservation of the leatherback sea turtle. All of the species the four projects will help conserve are currently listed as endangered, threatened or "of special concern". This represents a total federal contribution of $538,000.

To date this fiscal year the Government of Canada has committed $11.3 million in funding to 205 projects in communities across Canada through the Habitat Stewardship Program. The Program contributes to the recovery of endangered, threatened and other species at risk while also preventing species from becoming a conservation concern. It is a partnership-based conservation initiative managed by Environment Canada, Fisheries & Oceans Canada and Parks Canada.

For more information about the Habitat Stewardship Program and about the four Maritimes projects announced today, please see the related media backgrounders.




BACKGROUNDER

THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA'S HABITAT STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM FOR PROTECTING SPECIES AT RISK

As part of Canada's national strategy for the protection of species at risk, the Government of Canada established the Habitat Stewardship Program. The Program allocates funds to projects that conserve and protect species at risk and their habitats and help to preserve biodiversity. In 2008/09 the Government of Canada committed $11.3 million to support the recovery of species at risk through 205 projects in communities across the country. These funds are promoting participation by local communities to help with the recovery of species at risk and prevent other species from becoming a conservation concern, engaging Canadians from all walks of life in conservation actions to benefit wildlife.

The Habitat Stewardship Program provides funding to successful applicants who are seeking to implement activities that protect or conserve habitats for species listed as "at risk" (endangered, threatened, or of special concern). Their activities must take place on private lands, provincial Crown lands, Aboriginal lands, or in aquatic and marine areas across Canada. The Program also fosters partnerships among organizations interested in the recovery of species at risk. The Program directs funds where they are needed most - into the hands of people who can make a difference, those who work on Canada's lands and waters and who care about this country's natural legacy.

The Habitat Stewardship Program funds activities designed to protect species or habitat, such as a conservation zone of land for the protection of wildlife habitat signed between a landowner and a Land trust. It also supports activities that improve the habitat of species at risk, such as river bank restoration projects. The Program also provides funding to initiatives that mitigate threats to species at risk, for example, fencing to protect nesting grounds, or modified fishing gear to prevent incidental catch of non-targeted fish. Projects under the Program address both habitat conservation and threat mitigation, benefiting over 300 species at risk. The Program has established partnerships with Aboriginal organizations, landowners, resource users, nature trusts, provincial governments, the natural resource sector, community-based wildlife societies, educational institutions, and conservation organizations.

The Program's objective is to achieve two-to-one leveraging on funds that it invests, so that for every $1 provided by the Habitat Stewardship Program, $2 is raised by project recipients. This leveraging can include either financial or in-kind resources such as volunteered labour, products, or services. Partner funding and other types of support broaden the scope of projects, improve on-the-ground results, and strengthen the public and private collaboration that is essential to involving all Canadians in stewardship activities for species at risk.

The Habitat Stewardship Program is administered by Environment Canada and managed cooperatively with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency.




BACKGROUNDER

INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOUR HABITAT STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM FUNDED PROJECTS IN NOVA SCOTIA AND NEW BRUNSWICK ANNOUNCED ON MARCH 20, 2009

The Nova Scotia Nature Trust is receiving funding of $170,000 from the Government of Canada for its "Plants on the Edge project". This project will help to protect and conserve 10 Atlantic coastal plain flora species located in southwest Nova Scotia that are listed as endangered, threatened or "of special concern".

The Nova Scotia Nature Trust will work within the guidelines outlined in the recovery plans for the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora to protect and conserve important plant habitats in Southwest Nova Scotia.

This will be accomplished by conserving priority wetlands through donations, land purchases and stewardship agreements with landowners. The Nature Trust will also create a public awareness program to educate area residents about the importance of land and plant species conservation and how they can get involved in local conservation efforts.

The Governors of Acadia University are receiving funding of $135,000 from the Government of Canada to support projects that will protect wetland reptiles such as the threatened Eastern Ribbon snake and the threatened Blanding's turtle.

The projects will protect and conserve reptile wetland habitat in southwest Nova Scotia. The four key components of the projects are the protection of habitat at Barren Meadow; the development of a network of community volunteers at Molega Lake; negotiations with land owners to donate and purchase lands containing reptile wetland habitats; and an effort to locate new habitats by working with a group of experienced and dedicated volunteers.

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is receiving funding of $123,000 from the Government of Canada to set aside land for various conservation efforts, including the protection of nesting sites of the threatened Peregrine falcon and the habitat of the endangered Maritime Ringlet butterfly.

The Nature Trust will also use the funding to support a collaborative project with the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and the Edmunston Botantical Gardens that will re-introduce the endangered Furbish's lousewort, a plant unique to New Brunswick and Maine, to parts of the upper Saint John River.

The Canadian Sea Turtle Network based in Halifax is receiving funding of $110,000 from the Government of Canada for a project for the conservation of the endangered Leatherback Sea turtle in Canadian waters.

One of the biggest threats to the endangered Leatherback Sea turtle is entanglement in fishing gear. The Canadian Sea Turtle Network will use a portion of the funding to create an outreach program to educate fishers and fishing industry representatives about this major threat to the turtle's survival, as well as on ways entanglement can be avoided.

The Network will also use the funding to develop an education program for high school students who may be the next generation of fishers. In addition, it will create a strategy to better coordinate the efforts of scientists and environmental organizations across Canada to conserve the Leatherback Sea turtle.


Egalement offert en francais.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    819-997-1441
    or
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    819-934-8008
    1-888-908-8008
    www.ec.gc.ca