Environment Canada

Environment Canada

May 22, 2009 09:20 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Sustaining Atlantic Wetlands

Partnership with Atlantic Provinces and Ducks Unlimited will conserve wildlife habitats, create jobs

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - May 22, 2009) - Keith Ashfield, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) and MP for Fredericton, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice, today joined Mac Dunfield from Ducks Unlimited Canada to announce $3 million in Government of Canada funding for the five-year $9 million Atlantic Habitat Partnership Initiative. This important partnership is designed to maintain critical infrastructure to sustain wetlands across Atlantic Canada in order to conserve habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.

"Our funding will help to ensure the conservation and protection of a biodiversity of native and migratory birds and many other types of wildlife in the Atlantic provinces for many years to come." said Minister of State Ashfield. "Our government's investment will co-fund five years of infrastructure construction projects in wetland areas that will provide jobs and stimulate local economies."

The governments of the four Atlantic provinces are contributing a total of $3 million, and Ducks Unlimited Canada is also contributing $3 million, to this Partnership Initiative.

Environment Canada's $3 million investment will assist with construction activities to upgrade wetland infrastructure such as dams and fish ladders.

The Atlantic Habitat Partnership Initiative is designed to maintain critical infrastructure to sustain 560 water control pipes and systems, like dams, 150 fish ladders and over 170 kilometres of dykes on more than 400 square kilometres of wetlands. Many of the wetlands were created or maintained over the past 15 years under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and its agent in the Maritimes, the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture.

The funding announcement coincided with the International Day for Biological Diversity, a marker designed to remind the world of the importance of conserving global biodiversity.

"Canada's government understands that along with climate change, protecting biodiversity is one of the paramount environmental challenges of our time, and is therefore working with diligence and determination to use our biological resources more sustainably," said Minister Prentice .

Of the Atlantic Habitat Partnership Initiative, Ducks Unlimited Canada's executive vice-president Jeff Nelson said: "This Initiative will enable Ducks Unlimited Canada to carry out the essential work of maintaining infrastructures such as dykes that require periodic reinvestments. We congratulate the federal government on its leadership in providing funding to protect Atlantic Canada's wetlands. Wetlands provide many environmental benefits to Canadians and Ducks Unlimited Canada is pleased to have this recognized and supported by the Government of Canada. This significant federal investment and commitment to this partnership illustrates that our conservation work is important. It says that wetlands and the environment are valued by all Canadians."

Today's announcement is an example of the action the Government of Canada is taking to protect and preserve our natural heritage, in cooperation with our provincial and private partners.

Egalement offert en francais.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations