Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 01, 2010 14:30 ET

Government of Canada Investing in Community Action to Preserve Local Habitat and Species at Risk in the Cambridge Area

CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2010) - Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, 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, $129,950 in federal funding will support environmental action 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, we are proud to be working with local community partners to help benefit the Grand River watershed's biodiversity," said MP Woodworth. "The Habitat Stewardship Program funding announced today is a key example of how our government is taking real action to help secure a greener, healthier and more prosperous future for Canadians."

"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 the Grand River Conservation Authority 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."

With the HSP funding received, the Grand River Conservation Authority will focus on strategies and projects to improve the habitat of species at risk found on 20,000 hectares of the Grand River watershed's most significant natural areas. The funding will also support a number of activities to improve the stewardship of aquatic species at risk, as well as enhance water quality and aquatic habitat on private lands by offering rural landowners assistance to implement a variety of best management practices.

"Owning some of the most significant habitat in southwestern Ontario for species at risk— and 20,000 hectares of it—means you can't capitalize on all the important opportunities without help from many sponsors and partners," said Martin Neumann, supervisor of terrestrial resources with the Grand River Conservation Authority. "That's why we're so fortunate to have received funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program in support of our restoration and monitoring efforts. Having funding approvals well ahead of time allows us to 'hit the ground running' in late winter and early spring, when the need to get started is greatest."

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/.

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