YORK-SIMCOE MPP CAROLINE MULRONEY
On Friday, MPP Caroline Mulroney met with the team at Ducks Unlimited Canada for a tour of the wetland habitat in the Holland Marsh.
The Ontario government is providing over $1.8 million in funding to Ducks Unlimited Canada for 40 conservation projects to restore and enhance wetlands across the province, including one local project in Bradford West Gwillimbury. This funding will help restore local wetlands, which will improve water quality, help prevent flooding and build climate change resiliency.
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.
“Wetland ecosystems in the Holland Marsh improve natural water quality and protect the safety and welfare of our communities from potential floodwaters,” said Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York-Simcoe. “Our government will continue to support projects that are crucial in preserving and restoring the beauty of these lands across the province.”
Local wetland restoration and enhancement projects include working with Ducks Unlimited Canada to restore the Holland Marsh Wildlife Management Area. This significant wetland habitat in the Holland Marsh region spans 218 hectares (540 acres) and includes lands from Oak Ridges Moraine to Lake Simcoe.
“Wetlands are essential resources, providing critical natural infrastructure, which filters water, helps to mitigate both flooding and drought and protects biodiversity as well. Keeping large wetlands, like those in the Holland Marsh Wildlife Management Area, intact and functioning at optimal levels also underpins our climate resiliency. Ongoing investments and strong partnerships are critical to restoring and enhancing these valuable ecosystems,” said Marie-Paule Godin, manager of provincial operations, Ontario, Ducks Unlimited Canada. “Ducks Unlimited Canada appreciates the continued support through Ontario’s Wetlands Conservation Partner Program and together, with our many conservation partners and landowners, we can continue to contribute to the health, sustainability and prosperity of communities throughout Ontario.”
“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 Andrea Khanjin, 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.”
Ontario will also support new projects with the remaining funding under the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program with a new call for applications this year.
- Since the program was launched in 2020, $20 million has been invested in over 330 wetland projects, restoring and enhancing approximately 7,200 acres of wetlands across the province. That’s about eight times the size of the Toronto Islands.
- In the first two years of the program, an estimated $6 million of damage due to flooding has been avoided and over 170 green jobs were created in Ontario’s rural and near-urban communities to undertake restoration work.
- Ducks Unlimited Canada’s interactive story map features the wetland projects supported by the organization through the Wetlands Conservation Partnership Program.
- Since 1938, Ducks Unlimited Canada has completed more than 11,890 projects and conserved, restored and positively influenced more than 163.5 million acres of habitat.