Environment Canada

Environment Canada

August 31, 2010 10:30 ET

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

CORNWALL, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2010) - Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, 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, $68,070 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, I am proud to be here to highlight the contributions that are being made within our local communities towards protecting species at risk and their habitats," said MP Lauzon. "As citizens of the natural environment, we are all stewards, and I encourage each and everyone to take action, get involved and find out how you can help protect our wildlife."

"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 partners in the Cornwall area 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 four projects announced today is being led by the South Nation Conservation (SNC), who will conduct a study on six Species at Risk (SAR) turtles within its jurisdiction. Through the utilization of inventories, community involvement, and stewardship activities, SNC will better understand turtle distributions and will enhance turtle habitat by identifying and mitigating threats. The target turtle species include the spotted, eastern musk, Blanding's, eastern spiny softshell, northern map, and snapping.

"We are in the fifth year of our Turtle Watch Program and grateful for receiving this Habitat Stewardship Program funding as it allows us to complete critical work towards the recovery of species-at-risk turtles," said Pat Piitz, director of Lands and Fisheries for South Nation Conservation. "Without this funding the project would not be able to continue and a lot of valuable information and successful steps forward would be lost."

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 to reduce the entanglement of species at risk in fishing gear, and 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, the Steller Sea Lion, the Swift Fox, and the 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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