Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 09, 2010 11:06 ET

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

SAINT JOACHIM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2010) - Jeff Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex, 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, $95,000 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 taking action to restore the habitats of many aquatic species at risk in Ontario," said MP Watson. "The funding announced today reinforces the Government of Canada's commitment to support everyday Canadians taking on community-level projects for our environment."

"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 Essex Region 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 Habitat Stewardship Program funding received, the Essex Region Conservation Authority is taking on habitat restoration and water quality enhancement projects primarily on privately owned lands. Projects include the restoration of shoreline, wetland and fragile lands using native Carolinian forest species to improve habitat, and streambank stabilization to improve water quality.

"As the Essex-Erie region is home to the highest diversity of fish species at risk of anywhere in Canada, the Essex Region Conservation Authority is grateful to Environment Canada and the federal government for their long-term commitment to improving habitat conditions throughout the region," said Percy Hatfield, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the ERCA. "These on-the-ground projects not only protect fish survival, they have a positive impact on creating a healthier, more sustainable environment for the future."

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: 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/.

(Egalement offert en francais)

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