Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 20, 2010 12:08 ET

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

AURORA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 20, 2010) - Lois Brown, Member of Parliament for Newmarket—Aurora, 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, $40,000 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 so proud to be supporting our partners in Aurora and Rouge Park as they work to preserve our environment," said MP Brown. "Their projects are important to the community and the funding announced today will go a long way to help protect local species at risk and their habitat."

"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 Toronto and 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."

The Habitat Stewardship funding will allow the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to plan for habitat protection and enhancements to assist in the recovery of numerous plant, reptile and bird species at risk on nearly 12,000 acres of greenspace managed by Rouge Park.

"With support from the Habitat Stewardship Program, we are locating populations of Species at Risk in Rouge Park and determining their habitat usage and needs," said Maria Papoulias, Manager of Natural Heritage, Rouge Park. "This important work will help us protect these species within our park and plan for future habitat management and restoration to benefit their recovery. We are also taking immediate action to deal with threats to Species at Risk as we discover them, enhance habitat and engage the public in stewardship activities and outreach. This project is the first step towards protecting and maintaining healthy populations of at-risk species within the 12,000 acres of land that we manage in the Greater Toronto Area."

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/.

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