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Conserving Canada’s Wetlands

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Ducks Unlimited Canada supports the call for a renewed plan of action for Ontario’s biodiversity

Barrie Ontario, January 12, 2012 – Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is encouraged by the environmental commissioner of Ontario’s call for a stronger commitment by the provincial government to protect and restore Ontario’s biodiversity in his special report released this week, Biodiversity: A Nation’s Commitment, An Obligation for Ontario. DUC shares Gord Miller’s concern that Ontario’s biodiversity is losing ground and time is running out before key threats like climate change, habitat degradation, and invasive species will irreversibly damage our biodiversity, as well as the ecosystems that underpin that biodiversity.

“As Mr. Miller points out, conserving biodiversity is a shared responsibility in Ontario. Ducks Unlimited Canada has a proven track record of working with governments and other organizations to protect and enhance biodiversity in Ontario,” says James Brennan, manager of provincial operations for DUC. “Through conservation planning, research and collaborative partnerships, DUC works with all levels of government, industry and individual landowners to conserve, restore, and create habitats critical to wetland-dependent species.”

Ontario can’t afford to continue to lose its wetlands – environmentally or economically. Wetlands provide many benefits for all of us, such as water filtration, flood control, moderating the impact of climate change, recreation opportunities, and providing habitat for wildlife. A recent study showed wetlands provide $1.3 billion per year in economic value for these benefits in Ontario’s Greenbelt alone.

“Wetlands are an integral part of Ontario’s biodiversity,” adds Brennan. “Research by DUC indicates that 72 per cent of southern Ontario’s wetlands have been lost or degraded since settlement and despite a growing awareness of their benefits, we continue to lose wetlands.”

The impacts of wetland loss should be of concern to all Ontarians as they are a vital part of Ontario’s environmental and economic sustainability and overall quality of life. DUC continues to call for stronger wetland protection to stop wetland loss, remove barriers to wetland restoration, and seek a renewed government commitment to funding the protection and restoration of Ontario’s valuable wetlands.

For more information, contact:

Joanne Barbazza, j_barbazza@ducks.ca
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Phone: 705-721-4444, ext 240