ST. THOMAS – Queen's Park is committing $30 million to restore and conserve dozens of wetlands provincewide, including in Southwestern Ontario, over the next five years.
Environment Minister Jeff Yurek (PC-Elgin–Middlesex–London) was in his home riding Wednesday to announce the funding —including a $6-million partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada — to aid 60 marshes and swamps across Ontario in a program one expert calls "unprecedented".
“This investment is probably one of my key announcements that I’ve had as (minister)," said Yurek. "It’s very near and dear to my heart.”
Ducks Unlimited Canada, a wetland conservation group, has been working since February to deliver conservation programs across Ontario, including two wetlands in Elgin County and others in the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority area.
There are 15 wetland projects in Southwestern Ontario, said Ducks Unlimited official Lynette Mader. Conservation authorities and stewardship groups "have been working with us for a long time, so they know how to deliver a wetland restoration project."
The group hopes the province's "unprecendented" investment improves three areas: climate resiliency, water quality, and wildlife habitats and biodiversity, she added.
The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press