Ducks Unlimited, Canadian Government invest in wetland conservation in Quebec

OTTAWA, ON–Canadians are fortunate to have an abundance of nature right in their backyards: a gift that comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility to protect it. The Government of Canada is working with partners across the country to protect and restore nature, which means cleaner air and healthier communities for future generations.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that the Government of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada have restored 75.5 hectares of wetlands in the Lake Saint-François National Wildlife Area, in Quebec, through a joint investment of $1.5 million. The $750,000 federal contribution to this work comes from the Canada Nature Fund and is part of the largest investment in nature conservation in Canadian history.

The restored Digue aux Aigrettes wetlands in the Lake Saint-François National Wildlife Area will support the recovery of species at risk in the region and help in the fight against climate change. This national wildlife area is home to more than 547 plant species and 287 animal species including 15 species at risk such as the northern map turtle, the Canada warbler, and the yellow rail. Wetlands play an important role in the fight against climate change by sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and making communities more resilient to its effects by holding rainwater, snowmelt, and floodwaters. Wetlands also filter pollutants from water and provide green space for people to enjoy the outdoors.

Work at the Digue aux Aigrettes wetlands has included waterproofing and raising the dike; changing the water-level-control structure; and adding an emergency spillway. This work ensures the dike’s longevity, improves the ecological functions of the marsh, and maintains species habitat. The work was done with minimal impact on the environment and its species and has enabled the development of new nesting sites for turtles such as the snapping turtle and the midland painted turtle—both species at risk.

“Wetlands provide numerous benefits for Canadians and our wildlife,” said The Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “That’s why the Government of Canada partnered with Ducks Unlimited Canada to restore this important habitat, which cleans the air, creates healthier communities, and supports our iconic Canadian biodiversity. This project is part of a larger collaborative initiative that aims to restore up to 10,000 hectares of wetlands in national wildlife areas across the country, which will capture the equivalent of emissions from 9,286 vehicles per year.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Member of Parliament for Québec and President of the Treasury Board added, “Our government is proud to support the important work of fantastic partners like Ducks Unlimited. With this $750,000 contribution, local workers protected and restored an iconic ecosystem that provides important habitat for wildlife, including species at risk. With strategic investments like this one, we are contributing to both the environment and the economy.”

“The Digue aux Aigrettes wetlands are important for waterfowl continentally, which is why they are in one of Ducks Unlimited Canada’s highest priority landscapes. Conservation actions like this 75.5 hectare wetland restoration require strong partnership efforts, and we are very pleased to have partnered with Environment and Climate Change Canada on this project. The project benefited from Ducks Unlimited Canada’s ongoing drive to find new, innovative, and cost-effective solutions that build on our 82 years of experience in conserving and restoring Canada’s wetlands,” said Mark Gloutney, Director of Regional Operations – Eastern Canada and BC, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Quick facts
The Government of Canada is making progress toward its goal of conserving 25 percent of Canada’s land and inland waters and 25 percent of its oceans by 2025 and working toward conserving 30 percent of each by 2030.

The Government is supporting the efforts of partners across the country to protect nature through the Canada Nature Fund. All federal investments are matched by philanthropic foundations, corporations, not-for-profits, provinces, territories, and other partners, raising a total of $1 billion for conservation action in Canada.

Environment and Climate Change Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada have an agreement that permits Ducks Unlimited Canada to perform activities that conserve, restore, and manage up to 10,000 hectares of wetlands in 20 national wildlife areas across the country.
Ducks Unlimited Canada began restoring wetland habitat on lands managed by the federal government in 1969. To date, Ducks Unlimited Canada has restored 5,654 hectares of wetlands and manages with the federal government another 5,165 hectares of habitats in national wildlife areas.

Canada has 25 percent of the planet’s wetlands, and approximately 14 percent of the country is covered in wetlands, which provide numerous ecosystem services including carbon storage.

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