Big Plan To Protect Plants, Insects, Fish & Wildlife Facing Risk Across Ontario

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TORONTO: The Ontario government is investing up to $4.5 million to help protect and recover plants and animals that are in danger of disappearing in the province.

The funding will be provided to non-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and other groups through the Species at Risk Stewardship Program for on-the-ground projects that help preserve species at risk and their habitats.

“Our community partners play an important role in environmental stewardship. Through the Species at Risk Stewardship Program, we have funded over 1,100 local projects since 2007 that have helped protect and recover species at risk in Ontario,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. Yurk is also MPP for Elgin Middlesex London.

“This on-the-ground work is extremely important to preserving the biodiversity of our province for future generations, and I am proud to continue this program for another year.”

‘This is exciting news’, Yurek tweeted In 2020-2021, over 80 projects were approved for funding from the Species at Risk Stewardship Program, including:

• The Grasslands Stewardship Initiative, led by Forests Ontario, to support the conservation and recovery of Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark populations through the maintenance, enhancement, and creation of high-quality grassland habitat in Ontario.

• A project led by Matawa First Nations Management to deliver stewardship, outreach and education activities surrounding at-risk bat species within the Matawa member First Nation homelands in northern Ontario.

• The Kettleby Creek Barrier Removal Project, led by Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation, which will provide critical support for the conservation and recovery of aquatic species at risk and their habitats, like Redside Dace, by removing barriers to fish passage and restoring stream habitat. Applications for funding for the 2021-2022 Species at Risk Stewardship Program are now open. Individuals, communities and organizations have until 3 p.m. on February 9, 2021, to apply. Protecting species at risk and their habitat is part of the government’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan – a roadmap to preserving and protecting the province’s land, air and water.

• A list of projects being supported by the program in 2020-21 is available online.

• Ontario is home to more than 30,000 species of plants, insects, fish and wildlife.

• 243 species are listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List.

• Projects funded through the Species at Risk Stewardship Program have contributed to the restoration of approximately 54, 500 hectares of habitat for species at risk. All pics: ontario.ca

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