Wetlands get funding infusion from the HCTF

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Vancouver, B.C. Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) would like to acknowledge the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation’s (HCTF) continuing investment in B.C.’s wildlife habitat, helping to kick start its wetland rebuild program this year.  With $250,000 from the HCTF, DUC will restore six B.C. wetlands and complete preliminary work for eight high-priority conservation projects.

“The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundations works with a wide range of community partners to invest in important conservation projects across British Columba,” said Dr. Winifred Kessler, chair of the HCTF board. “We have been working with Ducks Unlimited since 1981 to complete dozens of projects restoring and enhancing critical wetlands habitats, which are so important to sustain vibrant fish and wildlife populations.  This year’s projects are yet another expression of our joint commitment to conservation in B.C.”

Due to aging infrastructure, DUC is tackling a multi-year, multi-million dollar rebuild and restoration program at several high priority conservation projects.  These water controls and other infrastructure were constructed some 25 to 30 years ago, built either to restore water levels in previously drained wetlands or to enhance habitat in existing wetlands.  Regular maintenance kept this infrastructure functional for several decades but now these structures are showing signs of failure and deterioration and need to be replaced to sustain the quality and amount of habitat available for waterfowl and other wildlife.

The funding from HCTF will enable DUC to rebuild conservation projects in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region and on Vancouver Island — two high priority waterfowl migration areas. Construction crews will work at Echo Valley Farm (Vancouver Island), Chilanko Marsh (Chilcotin), Elkhorn and Rough lakes (Cariboo), Robertson Lake (Chilcotin) and the Smith Property (Chilcotin). The newly installed controls are expected to sustain these productive wetland ecosystems for at least 30 more years.

In addition, funding will be directed to complete the design and pre-construction phase of eight additional wetland projects through the preparation of restoration plans and other pre-construction activities.

“Altogether, the funding will support construction on 400 hectares of high-quality waterfowl and wildlife habitat and help us prepare to have eight shovel-ready projects for the future,” said Brad Arner, B.C.’s manager of conservation programs for DUC.

“As well, strong relationships with Ducks Unlimited Inc. and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have provided additional funding,” Arner noted. “Every HCTF dollar is matched at least three-fold providing the financial resources we need to complete our construction program this year.”

In total, the HCTF invested more than $6 million this year to sustain B.C.’s natural heritage.  The HCTF receives 90 per cent of its revenue from surcharges on angling, hunting, guide outfitting and trapping licenses.  B.C. outdoor enthusiasts continue to be champions for conservation, habitat restoration and biological diversity and Ducks Unlimited Canada is privileged to be a recipient of their support.  Since 2003, DUC has received more than $1.6 million in funding from the HCTF for ongoing project operations, maintenance and management costs.

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For more information, please contact:
Wendy Thatcher
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Ph: 604-312-4632
email: w_thatcher@ducks.ca

 

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