New Report on Leveraging Water Management with Wetlands for a Climate-Ready Ontario
Barrie, Ont. — Research commissioned by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has found that the natural flood-management services of wetlands are a cost-effective complement to traditional infrastructure built to protect communities from flooding.
As part of our ongoing science program, DUC assessed how wetlands are currently integrated into flood management in southern Ontario communities, and asked what is needed to remove barriers that are preventing deeper integration of wetland conservation into flood management.
Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil, and Lynn Dollin, Mayor of the Town of Innisfil, joined DUC with Allan Craig, Ontario Trillium Foundation volunteer, at the Town of Innisfil today to share the results of the research and priority “next steps” to continue integrating wetland conservation into flood-risk planning.
Wetlands are “natural infrastructure” that helps reduce flood risks for communities
The research, which advances the science on the use of wetlands as “natural infrastructure” to reduce flood risks for communities in southern Ontario, was commissioned with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which awarded DUC a Seed Grant of $74,800 in 2018.
The study findings indicate a growing understanding of the benefits of wetlands—for example, among public sector and water-management experts—but that increased awareness has yet to be fully translated into action. The research showed that standard methods for cost-benefit analysis are needed to support local governments and conservation authorities in building a business case for integrating wetlands with traditional flood- and stormwater-management infrastructure.
Across Canada, communities are preparing for more frequent extreme weather events. Watershed-based approaches to flood management that combine multiple mitigation methods to reduce harmful flooding are on the rise. As the leader in wetland conservation, DUC can help integrate Ontario’s “natural infrastructure” into flood-management planning as part of a resilient future.
“The conservation mission of Ducks Unlimited Canada is perfectly aligned with a climate-ready Ontario,” said Lynette Mader, DUC’s manager of operations in Ontario. “Sound science is our business and we have been doing the work to provide the evidence which establishes that wetland conservation and restoration will help communities cope with extreme weather events.”
“I am proud to be working with Ducks Unlimited Canada as they help Ontario to become more resilient against the impacts of climate change,” said Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil. “Ducks Unlimited has a proven track record when it comes to evidence-based conservation. I look forward to their recommendations on flood mitigation efforts in Ontario so we can continue to enjoy the quality of life we share today for many generations to come.”
“The Town of Innisfil was proud to support Ducks Unlimited Canada with this research,” said Lynn Dollin, Mayor of the Town of Innisfil. “Recent events have shown us just how devastating the impacts of flooding can be. Research like this helps map out how municipalities, Ducks Unlimited Canada and others can work together to conserve wetlands as natural infrastructure.”
Please click here for an information brief about the research and other current DUC science activities. The report, Municipal Conservation of Wetlands for Flood Resiliency, prepared for DUC by Emmons and Olivier Resources is available on request.
ABOUT DUCKS UNLIMITED CANADA
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) delivers wetland conservation that benefits every Canadian. We keep the water in your lakes and rivers clean. We protect your community from the effects of flood and drought. We save wildlife and special natural places. We use science to find solutions to the most important environmental issues of the day and we collaborate with people who are helping create a healthier world. The wetlands we save aren’t just for ducks; they’re for all of us.
ABOUT THE ONTARIO TRILLIUM FOUNDATION
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
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