OTTAWA, March 23, 2017 The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) welcomes the federal government’s investment in ocean protection, freshwater conservation and aquatic invasive species management in the new budget. However, CWF continues to urge governments to address and prioritize conservation issues for the health, economic, social and spiritual well-being of Canadians.
“CWF is pleased to see the federal government follow-through on its previously announced investment in the Oceans Protection Plan. The $1.5 billion over five years will help better protect Canada’s oceans, coasts and marine animals” said Rick Bates, CEO of the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
“Freshwater areas provide critical habitat for a wide range of Canadian wildlife and multiple benefits to Canadians, but increasing threats to these areas are jeopardizing the long-term use of these natural areas. The government’s commitment of $70.5 million over five years is a step forward.”
“Aquatic invasive species are a growing threat to native species and natural systems that are the basis of critical ecological functions and many of our industries. The $43.8 million over the next five years will help minimize the impacts of invasive species like Asian carp and zebra mussels.”
“It’s vitally important for Canada to minimize the risks to our marine wildlife and to invest in protection of our freshwater.”
CWF continues to encourage governments to address critical issues such as:Reducing impacts on biodiversity as part of the next agriculture policy framework, expected in 2018;
Significantly increasing investments in freshwater conservation;
Supporting programs that prioritize managing wildlife and protecting habitat as an important mechanism for adapting to climate change.
Canada has six million square kilometres of ocean, two-thirds as much ocean as land, and the longest coastline in the world.
There are more than 33 species of whale, 11 species of seals and sea lions, and four species of turtles found in Canada’s oceans. However, 17 of these animals are listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), and several others are designated At-Risk by COSEWIC, the scientific authority for species at risk.
Canada has seven per cent of the world’s renewable freshwater. There are more than 60 species of freshwater fish listed under the Canada Species at Risk Act.
For more information visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.