The Ontario government has invested over $925,000 in two projects led by conservation organizations to restore and enhance wetlands in the City of Pickering. These projects are among hundreds of local wetlands restoration projects that are helping to improve water quality, help prevent flooding and build climate resiliency.

“I am very proud that Ontario is partnering with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters to restore and enhance the health of wetlands in Pickering,” said Andrea Khanjin, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Wetlands are vital ecosystems and we will continue to support projects that ensure they are protected, now and in the future.”

The Wetlands Conservation Partner Program represents one of the largest investments in wetland restoration in Ontario’s history. The five-year, $30-million program supports a wide range of projects, restoring and enhancing large-scale wetlands, smaller wetlands on agricultural lands, and wetlands in more urban areas as part of municipal stormwater management.

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In October 23, 2023, Andrea Khanjin (centre), Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks helped to plant trees on site in Pickering, Ont. (Credit: Twitter/Andrea Khanjin)

As part of this program, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) received over $585,000 in 2023 to restore a wetland at a previous aggregate extraction site in the Brock North Headwater Wetland Complex area of the City of Pickering that will improve water drainage in this important ecological area. Restoration of this area will also improve habitat for fish and wildlife, including Atlantic salmon and brook trout, and will provide future recreational opportunities for the public.

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In 2022, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) received approximately $340,000 to restore swamp habitat and transform the old aggregate extraction site in the Brock North area into a natural heritage and recreational destination. Restoration activities at the project site included adding soil, reshaping the landscape and planting native species to restore its natural drainage patterns and swamp habitat. The project is complete and the site is ready for visitors.

On July 5, 2023, the province announced up to $6.9 million in investments for approximately 100 local conservation projects to restore and enhance more than 2,400 acres of wetlands across the province.

Since the program launched in 2020, $20 million has been invested in over 330 wetland projects, restoring and enhancing approximately 7,200 acres of wetlands across the province. That’s about eight times the size of the Toronto Islands.

Featured image credit: TRCA.

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