Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 14, 2010 14:00 ET

Government of Canada Investing in Community Action to Preserve Local Habitat and Species at Risk in British Columbia

WEST VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2010) - John Weston, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, 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, $124,070 in federal funding will support environmental action in British Columbia focusing on conservation and protection of species at risk and their habitats, helping to preserve Canada's biodiversity.

"As part of the International Year of Biodiversity, today's announcement demonstrates our Government's commitment to protecting and conserving species at risk and the environment upon which they depend," said MP Weston. "We encourage all Canadians to seek opportunities this year to take action on biodiversity."

"These projects will help to protect Canada's rich biodiversity for generations to come," said Minister Prentice. "The Government of Canada is proud to support numerous community-based projects in British Columbia 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."

One of the funding recipients, the Ruby Lake Lagoon Nature Reserve Society, will receive $55,770 to help ensure the long-term survival of the western painted turtles and other wetland-dependant species-at-risk on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.

"Our efforts will serve to improve critical habitats for the Western Painted Turtles in British Columbia's Sunshine Coast," said Michael Jackson, chair of the Ruby Lake Lagoon Reserve Society. "We are pleased that the Government of Canada is partnering with us in realizing our project objectives to reduce overall threats for the turtles."

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 efforts to reduce the entanglement of species at risk in fishing gear, and the 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, steller sea lion, swift fox, and 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/.

(Également offert en français)

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