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Ontario is investing in wetlands restoration



DURHAM: The Ontario government is investing up to $6.9 million in approximately 100 local conservation projects to restore and enhance wetlands across the province. This funding will help 14 conservation partners restore more than 2,400 acres of wetlands in Ontario, which combined is larger than Presqu’ile Provincial Park, near Brighton. The projects will improve water quality, help prevent flooding, and build resiliency to climate change.

“We’re very proud of these historic investments and to be working with conservation organizations and municipalities to restore and enhance the health of wetlands in Ontario,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “We will continue to support more wetlands projects to ensure vital ecosystems in the province are protected, now and in the future.”

The Wetlands Conservation Partner Program represents one of the largest investments in wetland restoration in Ontario’s history. The five-year, $30-million program supports a wide range of projects, restoring and enhancing large-scale wetlands, smaller wetlands on marginal agricultural lands, and wetlands in more urban areas as part of municipal stormwater management.

In this third year of the program, the province is working in partnership with a number of Ontario-based conservation organizations and municipalities, including the program’s first partner Ducks Unlimited Canada, which is celebrating 85 years of conservation leadership. The planned wetland restoration and enhancement projects include:

Another 40 wetland restoration projects, covering approximately 838 acres, will be delivered by Ducks Unlimited Canada in southern Ontario. All will improve water quality, provide habitat for at-risk species and increase climate change resiliency in communities across the province.

13 wetlands restoration and enhancement projects are being implemented by the Nature Conservancy of Canada across southern Ontario, covering approximately 153 acres of wetlands. Projects include managing invasive species, expanding and restoring wetlands to mitigate flooding and planting native species to enhance biodiversity. Projects support coastal wetlands along Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Turkey Point in Lake Erie and Eastern Lake Ontario.

In the Lake Ontario watershed, three wetland enhancement projects led by the Royal Botanical Gardens, including Rock Chapel and two coastal wetlands, one in Cootes Paradise and the second in Grindstone Marsh, will enhance wetland habitats and connectivity, help manage invasive species and improve resiliency impacts such as extreme water levels in the lake.

Ontario will also support new projects with the remaining funding under the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program with a new call for applications this year. The government will begin accepting applications starting August 8th, 2023.

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