Today, on Earth Day, the sun was shining and the birds were singing as Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, alongside Paula Fletcher, Councillor for Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth, and member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, celebrated progress made to restore fish and wildlife habitat in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern.

“As we celebrate Earth Day, we reiterate the Government of Canada’s commitment to protect the Great Lakes, including by advancing efforts to restore water quality and ecosystem health in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern, so that generations to come can continue to enjoy these resources,” said Dabrusin, who announced the support of $202,998 in funding under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative. “By supporting local initiatives, we continue to make progress and deliver on Canada’s commitments under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.”

Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, alongside Paula Fletcher, Councillor for Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth. Image credit: staff.

To date, three common tern nesting rafts have been constructed and deployed at Tommy Thompson Park and Toronto Islands, and a custom beaver baffle was designed to mitigate damming activity. As part of this project, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority project will also monitor the fish community, protect turtle nests, manage phragmites (an invasive species) and promote community engagement. This work will further advance restoration efforts in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern.

See also  Innovation Funds for Cleantech Development at UBC

Common terns on nesting raft.
Image credit: TRCA

This project is one of 32 projects totalling $3.1 million over three years, under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative announced by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in December 2021. These projects will advance priorities in the Great Lakes, such as restoring Areas of Concern, preventing toxic and nuisance algae, and enhancing engagement with Indigenous Peoples and the public.

“The Tommy Thompson Park is such a treasure on the waterfront in Toronto. And with the pandemic we’ve learned just how much people love this place,” said Fletcher. “This support will help the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority restore important wildlife and fishing habitats and protect coastal wetland biodiversity.”

aerial photograph of tommy thompson park

The Tommy Thompson park is located on a man-made peninsula, known as the Leslie Street Spit, which extends five kilometres into Lake Ontario and is over 500 hectares in size. Image credit: TRCA.

The Great Lakes account for almost 20 per cent of the world’s surface freshwater. Through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative, the Government of Canada funds projects at the local level to restore water quality and ecosystem health in the basin’s most degraded sites, known as Areas of Concern.

Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, with Environment Journal Editor Connie Vitello and Paula Fletcher, Councillor for Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth. Image credit: staff.

 

 

Featured image credit: TRCA.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here