Through a five-year agreement, Ontario is making it easier for Ducks Unlimited Canada to repair or build small, low-risk dams. These dams help protect and preserve important habitat for waterfowl. “Ontario’s wetlands are essential for the long-term health of our watersheds, for providing critical habitat to a variety of species and for ensuring our own continued well-being. The province has been working with Ducks Unlimited Canada for 40 years to protect, restore and manage wetland habitat. This initiative will allow the organization to spend more time conserving vital wetland habitat in Ontario,” said Ontario Minister of Natural Resources, David Orazietti.

This new approach is designed to save time and money, and allow government to focus its resources towards reviewing large, complex dam applications.

Protecting the environment will enhance the quality of life for Ontario families and ensure a dynamic, green economy for future generations. This is part of the government’s plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

ducks unlimited“Ducks Unlimited Canada is very pleased to be continuing its partnership with the Government of Ontario,” stated Mark Gloutney, Ducks Unlimited Canada, director of regional operations, eastern region. “This agreement streamlines our approval process and means we are able to invest more of our resources on the ground, protecting and restoring Ontario’s wetlands for future generations. As we continue to lose wetlands at an alarming rate across Canada, it is exciting to have a government that shares our vision of conserving these valuable natural resources.”

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is responsible for how dams are managed in Ontario. Dam owners must get MNR approval for the construction of new dams and certain repairs and alterations to existing dams.

Last year, Ontario signed a 15-year memorandum of understanding with Ducks Unlimited Canada to reaffirm a shared commitment to wetland conservation. Ontario is home to approximately 24 per cent of Canada’s wetlands and six per cent of the world’s wetlands. Wetlands are areas where land is wet either permanently or seasonally.

In the last decade, Ontario and Ducks Unlimited Canada have worked together to conserve more than 16,500 hectares of wetlands and habitat. Ducks Unlimited Canada built and repaired 24 dams in Ontario in 2013.

Ontario’s Land Stewardship and Habitat Restoration Program provided funding to 24 projects in 2013 to help restore and rehabilitate more than 1,024 hectares of important habitat, including wetlands.

Submitted by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.