LAKE SIMCOE REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, together with Ontario Nature is immensely proud to announce six of its properties, totalling 576 hectares, now contribute towards Canada's goal of protecting 30 per cent of our lands and waters by 2030.
Combined with previous submissions, the Conservation Authority now contributes 1,479 hectares towards Canada's protection goals.
"We're thrilled to have six properties, totalling 576 hectares, officially included in the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database. As a local watershed management organization, it is truly gratifying to see our efforts to protect biodiversity in the Lake Simcoe watershed being recognized at a federal level," says Rob Baldwin, chief administrative officer at the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.
"This designation ensures ecologically diverse lands comprised of forests, wetlands and grasslands will be protected and preserved, allowing future generations to inherit a world that is healthy, resilient and sustainable."
"Congratulations to Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority on this momentous achievement," says Caroline Schultz, executive director of Ontario Nature. "By implementing strong policies and management strategies on these properties, they have prioritized the conservation of biodiversity and safeguarded it against the growing environmental threats within the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This is an important step towards preserving the natural beauty and ecological health of the Lake Simcoe watershed."
Canada endorsed the goal, known as the 30 by 30 target, as part of the landmark Global Biodiversity Framework at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal last December.
The six properties, evaluated in partnership with Ontario Nature, include Baldwin Conservation Area, Herrel Ecological Preserve, Pottageville Swamp Natural Heritage Area, Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area, Thornton Bales Conservation Area and the Zephyr Creek Wetland Ecological Preserve. Each property was assessed for its unique ecological characteristics and diverse ecosystems and was determined to meet the strict national standards for the protection of biodiversity, qualifying as Protected Areas.
Protected Areas safeguard a diverse range of habitats for numerous species, including several at-risk species, such as the cerulean warbler, eastern wood-pewee and redside dace. They also protect Provincially Significant Wetlands and Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest and provide much-needed recreational opportunities for people to connect with nature.
“These contributions help to sustain a robust network of near-urban nature areas for all life in the region," says Shelley Petrie of the Greenbelt Foundation. “We hope that these efforts inspire other land managers to protect and conserve natural areas within the Greenbelt, as they are vital to our health and strengthen the region's climate resiliency."
The Conservation Authority and Ontario Nature are delighted to have played a role in achieving this important milestone and look forward to continuing their efforts to protect and conserve the environment and biodiversity across southern Ontario.
To learn more about the lands within the submission, please visit Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority's website. To learn more about the 30 by 30 target and the process, please click here. This work was generously funded by the Greenbelt Foundation.
It is the mission of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority to collaborate, protect and restore the Lake Simcoe watershed with innovative research, policy and action.