Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) announced today that important habitats at four National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) across the country will be safeguarded through an investment of $1.089 million over five years from the Government of Canada.

DUC will be in charge of upgrading dykes and water control structures and will jointly manage wetlands to ensure quality habitat for migratory birds including waterfowl, at-risk species, and other wildlife in the Last Mountain Lake NWA (SK), Lake Saint-François NWA (QC), Chignecto NWA (NS), and Shepody NWA (NB).

An aerial view of Shepody National Wildlife Area, near Moncton, NB. Image credit: Colin MacKinnon & Environment and Climate Change Canada.

A large area of wetlands will continue to be maintained through the partnership. The investments are supported by the Nature Fund, announced in Budget 2018, and will advance efforts towards effectively managing Canada’s NWAs. All the projects will be initiated during the fiscal year 2018–2019.

To facilitate and accelerate the partnership, Environment and Climate Change Canada and DUC have worked on an agreement that turns handfuls of co-operative actions signed by DUC and ECCC, over the span of more than four decades, into one comprehensive document. With this initiative, wetlands at select NWAs will continue to be managed by DUC and ECCC, uninterrupted.

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to a long-term partnership. This forward-looking decision by the federal government ensures that these wetlands will thrive and provide sanctuary to wildlife. These same wetlands will also perform natural functions that benefit all Canadians,” said Mark Gloutney, director of regional operations in Eastern Canada and DUC’s signatory on the agreement.

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In addition to supporting Canada’s wildlife, wetlands are bio-diverse ecosystems that hold rainwater, snowmelt, and floodwaters. They filter pollutants, store carbon, replenish groundwater, reduce erosion, and provide places for people to enjoy the outdoors.

“Budget 2018’s Nature Legacy’s historic investment in nature means we are able to support incredible conservation organizations like Ducks Unlimited and the work they do to conserve Canada’s National Wildlife Areas and wetlands,” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. “The work we do together will protect Canada’s natural beauty and biodiversity for generations to come.”

In partnership with ECCC, DUC began restoring wetland habitat on lands managed by the federal government in 1969. To date, DUC has restored 5,654 hectares of wetlands and jointly manages another 12,763 acres 5,165 hectares of habitats on NWAs with the federal government.

To find a NWA (and a wetland) to explore near you, visit: ECCC’s 10 Great Places to Connect With Nature.

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