Deb Schulte, minister of seniors, has announced $9 million in funding for Conservation Ontario to better conserve lands across southern Ontario.

Schulte made the announcement on behalf of Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change.

“Embracing the power of nature has many benefits; for climate change, our economy, and for the health and well being of people,” said Minister Schulte. “To take care of ourselves, we must take care of nature. With the funding announced today, our government is taking action to conserve Ontario wetlands and grasslands so that we not only preserve nature today, but that our children, grandchildren, and future generations will be able to enjoy the outdoors too.”

Through approximately sixty-three projects, Conservation Ontario and regional conservation authorities will implement a variety of conservation activities on grasslands and wetlands, including protecting more land, restoring wetlands, and enhancing agricultural management.

“Climate change is a rapidly growing challenge for all of us and it’s very gratifying to see the federal government listen to practitioners and support nature-based solutions as one way to address and adapt to these impacts,” said Andy Mitchell, chair of Conservation Ontario. “Conservation Ontario and its member conservation authorities are very pleased to dig in and work with the federal government and other partners on so many valuable projects.”

This initiative, Bringing Strong Collaboration, Networks and Expertise for Integrated Nature Smart Climate Solutions, will help fight climate change by capturing and storing carbon and making our communities more resilient. It will also support biodiversity, including species at risk and migratory birds.

This initiative is among fourteen projects to receive funding from the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund in 2021–2022. Collectively, they are projected to: conserve up to 30,000 hectares; restore up to 6,000 hectares; and contribute to the enhanced management of up to 18,000 hectares of wetlands, grasslands, and riparian areas across Canada.

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