The Government of Canada is working with partners to protect aquatic species at risk in Quebec

News release

November 25, 2020

Québec (Quebec) The health of our marine and freshwater environment and the wildlife it sustains are critical to our country’s culture, well-being, and the economy. Yet some of the species that find their home in the waters, rivers, lakes, estuaries, and marshes in Quebec are at risk due to climate change, habitat loss and other factors. The Government of Canada is taking action not only to protect these species, but to actively rebuild their populations.  

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Member of Parliament for Laurier-Sainte-Marie, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced more than $3.5 million in funding under the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk for three projects to support efforts to conserve ecosystems and aquatic species at risk in Quebec, some of which are already underway

The projects carried out will make it possible, in particular, to improve the habitats of aquatic species at risk in the St.Lawrence Lowlands, reduce the input of nutrients and pesticides from agriculture into waterways, and minimize the physical and acoustic disturbances of some marine mammals.

Through this fund, established under the Nature Legacy initiative, the Government of Canada is helping to build a culture of conservation that empowers Canadian organizations to work together to protect our natural environments. This fund is taking an ecosystem approach to restoring and protecting aquatic species. Instead of targeting specific species, these projects aim to improve a priority place or a priority threat. This broader approach looks at improving the entire ecosystem – from the specific species at risk, the habitat they call home, as well as other species in the area.

The Government of Canada provided historic funding of $1.3 billion for the Nature Legacy Initiative as part of Budget 2018. The $55-million over five years Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk supports a new approach to the conservation of aquatic species at risk through targeted federal investments. The Fund supports the protection efforts of all partners, and supports Indigenous capacity to conserve aquatic ecosystems and species.

Quotes

“With nearly two million lakes, endless connected waterways, and the longest coastline in the world, Canada is home to countless marine and freshwater species and habitats that breathe life into our environment. Our government is taking strong, consistent action to protect these species and revitalize the ecosystems they depend on – because when nature thrives, our communities thrive. By making targeted investments through Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk, we are able to collaborate with Indigenous peoples and environmental organizations on projects that have the greatest potential to make a lasting impact on our natural environments.” 

- The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Quebec’s waterways not only create a unique natural aquatic environment, but they are also home to numerous aquatic species at risk. That is why our Government is joining forces with important partners in the community  to protect and restore these ecosystems through the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk."

- The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Member of Parliament for Laurier-Sainte-Marie

Quick facts

  • Projects funded under the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk focus on two priority threats in the marine environment and seven freshwater priority areas.

  • The two priority threats in the marine environment are as follows:

    • interactions with fishing gear (includes entanglement and bycatch of aquatic species at risk)
    • acoustic and physical disturbance (includes vessel collisions and underwater noise)
  • The seven freshwater priority areas are as follows:

    • The Fraser and Columbia River Watershed Priority Area (British Columbia)
    • The East Slope priority area of the Rocky Mountains (Alberta)
    • The Southern Prairies Priority Area (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)
    • The Lower Great Lakes Watershed Priority Area (Ontario)
    • The St. Lawrence Lowlands Priority Area (Quebec)
    • The Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Rivers Priority Area (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)
    • The Bay of Fundy and Southern Uplands Watersheds Priority Area (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick)

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Contacts

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For more information:

Jane Deeks
Press Secretary                                    
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans 
and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-550-9594
Jane.Deeks@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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