Federal support for Ausable River projects
Canada Nature Fund support puts plan into action to protect important species in Ausable River watershed
Local projects are to improve habitat, reduce sediment and nutrients to protect fish and mussel species at risk in Ausable River Watershed
Federal government support is making it possible to take action for nationally important fish and mussel species in the Ausable River watershed. The Ausable River supports one of Canada’s most diverse communities of aquatic animals, including 26 species of freshwater mussels and 85 species of fish. Many species are endangered or threatened.
The Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk, led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is providing $175,000 for year two of a four-year agreement. This will support local community action by assisting the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) in supporting stewardship projects by participating landowners, monitoring of the watershed, and education and outreach to encourage positive actions by the public.
This funding supports implementation of the Ausable River Action Plan (ARAP). Excessive sediment and nutrients and habitat loss are some of the biggest threats to aquatic species at risk (SAR) in the Ausable River, according to the action plan. The amount of sediment and nutrients entering the river can be reduced by restoring natural areas including wetlands, forests, and riverbank buffers. Beneficial actions to improve aquatic habitat include tree planting, wetland enhancement, cover crop planting, installing fencing, and erosion control projects.
The federal funding will support grants to local property owners for on-the-ground stewardship projects and to promote projects and best management practices.
“Right now is a great time to look at cover crop options, following wheat harvest,” said Kate Monk, Conservation Lands and Stewardship Manager with Ausable Bayfield Conservation. “We are grateful to Fisheries and Oceans Canada for continuing to provide multi-year financial support for practical local actions, such as cover crops, to improve habitat in the Ausable River.”
The funds will also make it possible for conservation educators to provide programs that promote ways to protect species at risk, and make it possible for ABCA staff to monitor aquatic species and river habitat.
“Protecting and recovering species at risk is only possible through collaboration. The work that the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority is doing with funding from the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk will make a real difference in restoring aquatic habitats and protecting species at risk in the Ausable River watershed,” said the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard.
If you would like to take actions this year to improve water, soil, and habitat, call Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 1-888-286-2610 or email email@example.com to find out about what actions you can take to improve habitat for local aquatic species and funding grants that may be available as incentives to help you complete stewardship projects.
This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada.
Ce projet a été realisé avec l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada