THUNDER BAY – ENVIRONMENT – Ontario is reviewing the wetlands conservation framework to better protect these biologically diverse and productive habitats.
Wetlands are an essential component of Ontario’s biodiversity and have many functions that benefit the social and economic needs of Ontarians including flood control, erosion reduction, and recreation and tourism. The review will help inform the government in developing a wetland strategic plan.
Providing new, sustainable ways to manage key natural resources is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic and innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
“Ontario remains committed to protecting wetlands and the rich natural biodiversity these areas support. Wetlands are threatened by habitat loss, invasive species, climate change, and pollution. Together we can find better ways to stop the loss of our wetlands”, stated Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
“Wetlands play a vital role in managing our watersheds and providing habitat for wildlife, including species at risk. Ensuring that wetlands are protected to the best extent possible and preventing their loss is a key component in combating climate change. Ontario’s environment is of the utmost importance to our government, which is why Minister Mauro has mandated me with reviewing wetland conservation in our province. I am pleased to announce the beginning of this process and greatly look forward to the feedback we receive,” said Eleanor McMahon, Parliamentary Assistant to Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
“Ducks Unlimited Canada applauds the government for moving forward on the Premier’s commitment to reverse the trend of wetland loss. An overarching plan would provide a clearer path forward for industry and the conservation community. We look forward to working with the Province and others during this review to conserve critical wetland resources and increase the resilience of Ontario communities,” commented Lynette Mader, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Manager of Provincial Operations for Ontario.
- Wetlands are areas that have been saturated with water long enough for the soil to become waterlogged. This allows water-loving or water-tolerant plants to grow and thrive, thus contributing to the health of our biodiversity.
- Wetland ‘conservation’ includes protection, restoration, management and stewardship.
- Ontario established the first elements of its wetland conservation framework in the mid-1980s. It included policy guidance, a wetland evaluation system and partnerships.