We rely on Ontario’s wetlands to clean our air and water, protect our shorelines and reduce the impacts of flooding. They also provide places we can visit and enjoy nature. But the future of wetlands is uncertain. That’s why wetland conservation must be a top priority during and following the Ontario election.
An Overarching Policy for Ontario’s Wetlands
Investments in a biodiverse and climate-resilient landscape deserve a secure future, protected by a policy framework that brings confidence to land management and development in Ontario.
Our cities and towns are growing quickly, and we can be strategic about protecting and repairing the landscape’s natural infrastructure and wildlife corridors as we grow—enriching all our lives. The Government of Ontario has been a consistent investor in wetland restoration for decades. These strategic environmental investments deliver on-the-ground results that deserve protection.
Overall provincial leadership and direction continues to be needed for accelerated wetland conservation and restoration, especially in high-loss regions. These investments can be secured from future risk with a new legislative and policy framework that brings added confidence to land management and development in Ontario.
We support the need for affordable housing that makes space for nature through thoughtful planning, creating highly livable and climate-ready communities where families and friends can experience the outdoors together.
We don’t believe that Ontarians want to see wildlife threatened by solutions to economic challenges. Ontario has a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate economic and climate leadership while providing space for wildlife with wetlands. Now is the time for an overarching policy that guides the use of nature-based solutions:
- Recognizing the importance of integrating wetland protection and restoration with goals for biodiversity, economy, housing and recreation.
- Accelerating the use of natural infrastructure for cost-effective climate resiliency.
- Providing provincial direction for habitat compensation on decisions currently made by conservation authorities and municipalities.
- Propelling a long-term net gain of wetlands in southern Ontario.
Nature must be an essential element in any attainable housing strategy and a key component of any environment plan that is serious about climate adaptation. Many of the building blocks are in place, thanks to years of multi-sector collaboration and input for important initiatives such as Ontario’s Flooding Strategy, Considerations for the Development of a Wetland Offsetting Policy for Ontario and A Wetland Conservation Strategy for Ontario.
OUR WORK IN ONTARIO
Since 1974, Ducks Unlimited Canada has partnered with 3,397 landowners to conserve more than one million acres of natural habitats in Ontario. Each landowner represents a long-term commitment to nature, water and wildlife. In 2021, we made record progress with more than 140 conservation projects in Ontario.
Image: Tiny Marsh Provincial Wildlife Area
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Share your experiences in nature with your local candidates. Speak from the heart, tell your story! 💚
“As a fifth-generation farmer, I’ve grown up understanding the important relationship between people and the environment.
I can’t wait to see the day when we are no longer reporting stats of wetland loss, but just how many more wetlands we have than we did before.”
Phil Holst (right) is a DUC director who lives and works in Oxford County, Ontario.