Ducks Unlimited Canada

Ducks Unlimited Canada

January 24, 2013 17:15 ET

Ontario's 32 Million Hectares of Wetlands to Benefit From New Conservation Commitment Between Government of Ontario and Ducks Unlimited Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2013) - In recognition of Ducks Unlimited Canada's (DUC) 75th anniversary, the Government of Ontario and DUC in Ontario have made a commitment to continue their partnership in conserving Ontario's wetlands. The announcement was made at a DUC reception in Toronto today by the Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle.

This new, 15 year commitment between the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and DUC will benefit Ontario wetlands through enhanced collaboration on wetland conservation, restoration, protection and management.

"Wetlands are essential for the long-term maintenance of healthy watersheds, for providing critical habitat for a variety of species, and for ensuring our own continued well-being," says Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources. "We feel that collaboration and joint participation is necessary to positively impact wetland conservation in the province and we are absolutely thrilled, as part of Ducks Unlimited Canada's 75th anniversary, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines our shared vision and objectives for wetland conservation in this province and that commits our organizations to continue to work together in the future."

"Ducks Unlimited Canada is very pleased to be continuing its partnership with the Ontario Government," says Greg Siekaniec, Chief Executive Officer for DUC. "As we continue to lose wetlands at an alarming rate across Canada, it is promising to have a government who is dedicated to the mission of conserving wetlands and who recognizes the amazing benefits wetlands provide not just to wildlife, but to all Canadians."

Ontario is home to over 32 million hectares of wetlands, representing 25 per cent of Canada's wetlands, however as a result of human activities, there has been extensive wetland loss across Ontario. Research shows 72 per cent of southern Ontario's wetlands have been lost or degraded over the last 200 years, and this loss continues.

Over the first five years of this agreement, the MNR and DUC will work together to review Ontario's wetland conservation policy framework to ensure it is effective and supportive of wetland conservation activities, and will work to raise awareness across the province of the importance of wetland conservation. Solidifying the commitment to the long history of collaborative efforts and partnerships between the Ontario government and DUC, we look forward to making gains in protecting and restoring Ontario's valuable wetlands.

DUC has been delivering wetland conservation in Canada for the last 75 years. DUC has been implementing its habit conservation program across Ontario since 1974 and since that time, we have completed more than 2,600 habitat projects across the province, conserving more than 384,000 hectares of wetlands and associated habitat.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. Learn more at www.ducks.ca.

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