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The Government of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada safeguard important habitats at four National Wildlife Areas
Ottawa, Ont. — Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) announces today that important habitats at four National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) across the country will be safeguarded through an investment of $1.089 million over five years from the Government of Canada.
As a respected conservation leader, DUC will be in charge of upgrading dykes and water control structures and will jointly manage wetlands to ensure quality habitat for migratory birds including waterfowl, at-risk species, and other wildlife in the Last Mountain Lake NWA (SK), Lake Saint-François NWA (QC), Chignecto NWA (NS) and Shepody NWA (NB).
A large area of wetlands will continue to be maintained through this partnership. These investments are supported by the Nature Fund, announced in Budget 2018, and will advance efforts towards effectively managing Canada’s National Wildlife Areas. All the projects will be initiated during this fiscal year 2018-2019.
To facilitate and accelerate this kind of partnership, Environment and Climate Change Canada and DUC have worked on an agreement that turns handfuls of co-operative actions signed by DUC and ECCC, over the span of more than four decades, into one comprehensive document. With this initiative, wetlands at select NWAs will continue to be managed by DUC and ECCC, uninterrupted.
“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to a long-term partnership. This forward-looking decision by the federal government ensures that these wetlands will thrive, and provide sanctuary to wildlife. These same wetlands will also perform natural functions that benefit all Canadians,” says Mark Gloutney, director of regional operations in Eastern Canada and DUC’s signatory on the agreement.
Maintenance and restoration of wetlands is a key part of the recovery strategies for many endangered and at-risk wildlife species. In addition to supporting Canada’s wildlife, wetlands are bio-diverse ecosystems that hold rainwater, snowmelt and floodwaters. They filter pollutants, store carbon, replenish groundwater, reduce erosion and provide places for people to enjoy the outdoors.
“Our government is committed to doubling the amount of nature protected in Canada’s lands and oceans. Budget 2018’s Nature Legacy’s historic investment in nature means we are able to support incredible conservation organizations like Ducks Unlimited and the work they do to conserve Canada’s National Wildlife Areas and wetlands. The work we do together will protect Canada’s natural beauty and biodiversity for generations to come.” says Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
In partnership with ECCC, DUC began restoring wetland habitat on lands managed by the federal government in 1969. To date, DUC has restored 13,972 acres (5,654 hectares) of wetlands and jointly manages another 12,763 acres (5,165 hectares) of habitats on NWAs with the federal government.
NWAs are established and managed by the Government of Canada, to protect some of the country’s best wildlife habitat. Today, 55 NWAs can be found across the country. Combined, they protect 2,471,053 acres (1 million hectares) of natural habitat. They provide migratory waterfowl with nesting, migration and wintering habitat. They are critical refuges to endangered and at-risk species like the whooping crane, least bittern, Blanding’s turtle and monarch butterfly.
To find a NWA (and a wetland) to explore near you, visit: ECCC’s 10 Great Places to Connect With Nature.
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. www.ducks.ca
Senior Communications Specialist, Ducks Unlimited Canada