Future of Ontario’s Wetlands Looking Brighter

Ontario – Wetlands are among the most important and valuable ecosystems on Earth and Ontario is developing a plan to take better care of these essential natural gems.

Today’s release of the “Wetland Conservation in Ontario Discussion Paper” is an important action by the Ontario government to address wetland loss and ensure Ontario communities continue to benefit from the services that wetlands provide. The paper is a key step towards the development of a much-needed strategic plan of action for Ontario wetlands.

Among other things, the paper describes the concept of a “no net loss” approach to land use proposals that would first seek to avoid or minimize impacts to wetlands, but could also allow for establishing new wetland habitats where losses cannot be avoided. This type of approach has the potential to provide more tools for better decisions where economics and ecological needs intersect.

“DUC applauds the government for moving forward on the Premier’s commitment to reverse the trend of wetland loss,” says Lynette Mader, Manager of Provincial Operations for Ontario. “If implemented, an overarching plan that includes a process to offset unavoidable wetland loss could provide a clearer path forward for industry, while ensuring a healthier, more resilient Ontario.”

The current patchwork of policies, regulations and programs are difficult to navigate and not sufficient to stop the loss of wetlands, which is why DUC and others believe Ontario needs a new plan.

“The future of Ontario’s environmental, social and economic well-being depends on our actions today.” says DUC Director Greg Weeks. “The more Ontarians learn about the essential role wetlands play in their lives, the more they value and demand investment in the protection and restoration of wetlands.”

DUC looks forward to working with the Province and stakeholders during the development and implementation of a new plan to conserve critical wetland resources and increase the resilience of Ontario communities in the face of climate change.

Link to MNR Discussion paper: http://apps.mnr.gov.on.ca/public/files/er/wetlandsdiscussionpaper_en.pdf

Link to EBR posting:
http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTI1MzM3&statusId=MTg4ODE3&language=en

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. To learn more, please visit ducks.ca.