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Conserving Canada’s Wetlands

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DU Canada pleased with federal government’s commitment to improving Lake Winnipeg’s water quality

When wetlands are protected, not only do we protect that land’s ability to store much of the nutrients that contribute to Lake Winnipeg’s algae problems, we also eliminate the need for drainage ditches.

Stonewall, Man., October 18, 2011 – Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) commends the Government of Canada’s recent commitment of contributions under the fifth round of the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship fund. In particular, the federal government should be applauded for supporting the East Interlake Conservation District’s initiative to encourage the establishment of long-term agreements to protect wetlands, said Jamie Fortune, acting chief executive officer of DUC.

“DUC’s science is clear. When we destroy wetlands we increase flooding and the associated damages,” said Fortune.

Wetland drainage is a significant contributor to widespread water quality problems in Manitoba, as it increases annual phosphorus loading to downstream flows by 32 per cent and annual nitrogen loading by 57 per cent.

Fortune added: “When wetlands are protected, not only do we protect that land’s ability to store much of the nutrients that contribute to Lake Winnipeg’s algae problems, we also eliminate the need for drainage ditches.”

Drainage ditches compound the problem by facilitating the movement of water, which carries most of these nutrients in soluble form to our rivers and lakes. Also, wetland protection provides many other benefits for Manitobans and all Canadians such as:

Wetland protection is one of the best investments governments can make. DUC encourages the innovative partnerships that will result in widespread wetland protection, which will impact the quality of life for all Manitobans.

For more information, contact:

Karli Reimer, k_reimer@ducks.ca
National Communications Specialist – Conservation
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Phone: 204-467-3279