Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 30, 2010 11:40 ET

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

PARRY SOUND, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2010) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament for Parry Sound—Muskoka, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, today announced funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. $31,770 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, communities are working to safeguard our irreplaceable natural wealth and to reduce biodiversity loss," said Minister Clement. "By taking action to protect and preserve species at risk through initiatives such as the Habitat Stewardship Program, the Government of Canada is also investing in the future of our environment."

"This project will help to protect Canada's rich biodiversity for generations to come," said Minister Prentice. "The Government of Canada is proud to support the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve 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 Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve's outreach program will promote stewardship actions, engage new partners in conservation activities and build understanding and support for species at risk in eastern Georgian Bay. As part of this project, a DVD will be produced to help landowners to recognize local at-risk amphibians and their habitat needs. Landowners and community group stewardship initiatives will be encouraged, and project organizers will solicit sighting reports to enhance understanding of current species' range and habitat use.

"The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve is pleased to be a recipient of funding through the Habitat Stewardship Program," said Greg Mason, general manager of the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. "Federal support will allow us to continue making direct contact with keen individuals along the coast who are interested in species at risk stewardship. All of this work serves to highlight the important steps needed and progress being made on species at risk conservation within the UNESCO Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve."

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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