Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 30, 2010 11:41 ET

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

NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2010) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, today announced funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. $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.

"Our Government is proudly supporting the preservation of our environmental diversity here in Niagara Falls," said Minister Nicholson. "Species at risk in the Niagara region and the Niagara River ecosystem will be better protected through this investment, helping to maintain the natural beauty of our region."

"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 Niagara Parks Commission 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 assistance of Habitat Stewardship Program funding, the Niagara Parks Commission will implement on-the-ground protection and restoration projects derived from plant and animal inventory studies and reports. Education and outreach will be aimed at park visitors and will include information on the effect of human impact on species at risk in sensitive areas and efforts to mitigate those effects.

"The natural spaces of the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) are home to one of the greatest concentrations of species at risk anywhere in the province," said Deanna Lindblad, parks naturalist with the Niagara Parks Commission. "The NPC is grateful to the Habitat Stewardship Program for its continued support of our efforts to protect and enhance habitat for these and all native species. Habitat Stewardship Program funding awarded to the NPC over the past several years has allowed us to remove invasive species, undertake prescribed burns, and engage in outreach and education. By working together, we can ensure a brighter future for the species that rely on us for their survival."

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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