Tilson Announces Federal Action to Protect Species at Risk
ALTON, ON - David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, today announced $47,400 in funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) for Species at Risk for a new environmental project in Alton, Ontario.
Stewardship is an important step in protecting critical habitat of species at risk. HSP fosters stewardship measures like land and resource use practices that maintain habitat necessary for the survival and recovery of species at risk, enhance existing conservation activities, and encourage new ones. Voluntary activities are clearly making a difference in habitat protection, the recovery of species, and the conservation of biodiversity.
The project will ultimately enhance the habitat for Brook Trout in Shaw’s Creek, a tributary to the Credit River through the rehabilitation of the Alton millpond. Plans to modify the existing dam and other rehabilitation elements will allow upstream fish passage, a flow through route for cold water, and other natural stream processes to be reinstated.
The project is located at the historic Alton Mill Arts Centre in Alton, Ontario. The species found in the creek are part of a coldwater fish community. The primary
target species is Brook Trout, but secondary species include Iowa Darter, Longnose Dace, Brook Stickleback, Bluntnose Minnow, Blacknose Dace, Northern Redbelly Dace, Pearl Dace, and White Sucker. Threats facing these species reflect the negative human impacts on water quality, temperature, and blockage of fish passage associated with the existing dam.
In support of such stewardship activities, the National Conservation Plan, announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in May 2014, includes funding of $50 million over five years to support voluntary actions to restore and conserve species and their habitats. Programs like HSP are an important part of the Government of Canada’s National Conservation Plan to conserve and restore our lands and waters, and connect Canadian families to our natural spaces.
- Since 2006, under the Habitat Stewardship Program’s Species at Risk Stream, we have invested over $99 million to support 1,569 local conservation projects, benefitting the habitat of more than 430 species at risk.
- In 2014-2015, the Habitat Stewardship Program’s Species at Risk Stream will provide $12.4 million for 178 projects of which 73 were previously approved.
- Starting in 2014-2015, through the Habitat Stewardship Program’s Prevention Stream, we have invested $2.5 million to support 77 local conservation projects to prevent other species from becoming a conservation concern.
- Non-governmental organizations, Aboriginal organizations and communities, individuals, businesses, community associations, and provincial/territorial and municipal governments are eligible for funding.
“I’m pleased to be announcing this funding support to Alton Development Inc. for its considerable efforts to protect species at risk. Our Government is committed to protecting our natural heritage and programs, such as the Habitat Stewardship Program, are an important part of the Government of Canada’s National Conservation Plan to conserve Canada’s lands and waters, restore Canada’s ecosystems, and connect Canadians to nature.
David Tilson, Q.C., M.P.
“On behalf of the Alton Millpond Rehabilitation Committee, we are very pleased to receive funding support from the Government of Canada. These funds supplement the monies we’ve been able to raise through on-going community-based fundraising over the past few years and will allow detailed environmental engineering and design to proceed. The millpond is a beloved part of the community and the project will improve the health of the stream and fish habitat, preserve an important historic element and create wonderful recreational, educational and arts and cultural opportunities. Thank you Environment Canada!”
Jeremy Grant, MCIP, OPPI
For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit www.ec.gc.ca.
More information on the Species at Risk Act and the Habitat Stewardship Program is available online.
Canadians can also learn more about the National Conservation Plan and the Alton Millpond Rehabilitation Project.