$40K grant to benefit wetland projects in Chatham Kent

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) stewardship department has received a $40,000 grant through Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC) for watershed-wide wetland restoration.

Funding will support wetland projects created between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 and, combined with other funding partner donations and landowner contributions, will support wetland projects.

“The generous grant from Wildlife Habitat Canada will be instrumental in completing wetland creation and restoration work in the Lower Thames watershed, providing valuable natural infrastructure that will help with flood control and water quality. These wetland projects will also build and increase the amount of natural cover in the watershed, providing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife,” said Peter Moddle,  LTVCA land stewardship technician (Eastern District).

According to the LTVCA, wetland excavations range from $6,000 to $20,000, with the average size project costing between $6,000 and $8,000.The LTVCA watershed is located between two migratory bird trajectories for the Atlantic and the Mississippi, with wetlands playing a vital role in our landscape. Migratory birds depend on wetlands for habitat, and an area for staging and breeding. Unfortunately, 72 per cent of southwestern Ontario’s wetlands have been lost and 90 per cent of the Carolinian forest has been cleared for rural or urban development.

“It is crucial that we work to restore the landscape and create habitat for migratory birds, waterfowl and the species that support them,” Moodle said.

WHC supports habitat conservation projects across Canada through the Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp, introduced in 1985 as a way to raise funds for Canadian conservation.Money from the Stamp provides funds for important conservation work through WHC’s grant program, with the funding going towards projects that have helped to safeguard important ecosystems and countless wild species. Funds from the sale of the Stamp have provided more than $55 million for WHC’s Conservation Grant Program. As a result, more than 1,500 projects have been funded which have protected and restored thousands of acres of wildlife habitats.

“This funding will enhance our climate change resiliency and ultimately benefit all Canadians. The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority is proud to implement projects with the assistance of Wildlife Habitat Canada,” said LTVCA environmental project co-ordinator Greg Van Every.

The LTVCA was founded in 1961 for the purpose of conserving and enhancing the lower Thames river watershed. As one of the 36 conservation authorities in Ontario, LTVCA has undertaken numerous stewardship projects, partnering with private landowners to create a greener and more connected landscape. The LTVCA watershed is home to one of the most unique and biodiverse zones in Canada, the Carolinian life zone.

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