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Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority Supports Canada’s Protected Areas Target through Large Contribution to a National Goal

Long Sault Conservation Area © Ang Tek Gie Photography

May 11, 2023: Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) and Ontario Nature are pleased to announce that a total of 2,458.2 hectares of the Conservation Authority’s Conservation Areas now officially contribute towards Canada’s goal of protecting 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030. Canada endorsed the goal, known as the 30 by 30 goal, as part of the landmark Global Biodiversity Framework at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal last December.

An assessment of the 11 Conservation Areas, conducted in partnership with Ontario Nature, determined that they met strict national standards for the protection of biodiversity, qualifying as Protected Areas.

“Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) works hard to acquire, manage and restore Conservation Areas to protect valuable ecosystem features and services across its jurisdiction, and also provides important opportunities for the public to interact with these spaces,” says Jamie Davidson, Director of Watershed Planning and Natural Heritage. “This work is particularly important in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, where watershed and ecosystem health are under tremendous pressure from land use changes and the effects of climate change, and where public access to quality greenspace is at a premium. The new designation reinforces the fact that CLOCA’s Conservation Areas are not only critical regional assets that protect and maintain local watershed and community health, but that they also play and important role in the maintenance of provincial, national, and international ecosystem biodiversity.”

“I commend the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority in partnership with Ontario Nature for their contribution to achieving the 30 by 30 goal of conserving 30 per cent of Canada’s water sources by 2030. Initiatives such as these contribute to our government’s commitment to protect nature, reverse the decline in biodiversity, and help fight climate change,” says Ryan Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Whitby.

The submission included the majority of CLOCA landholdings, including:

  • Audley Woods Conservation Area
  • Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area
  • Crow’s Pass Conservation Area
  • Enfield Conservation Area
  • Enniskillen Conservation Area
  • Heber Down Conservation Area
  • Long Sault Conservation Area
  • Lynde Shores Conservation Area
  • Mt Hope Conservation Area
  • Purple Woods Conservation Area
  • Stephen’s Gulch Conservation Area

“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 11 Conservation Areas are a vital refuge for many species and are an important source of biodiversity. They comprise various habitat types including forests, wetlands, and meadows which provide habitat for nesting birds and other species at risk including chimney swift, eastern meadowlark, bobolink, wood thrush, olive-sided flycatcher, Blanding’s turtles, and many more. Aside from their ecological benefits, these natural areas also offer health benefits and recreational opportunities for humans.

“Ontario Nature would like to extend our congratulations to the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority on their incredible achievement. Their dedication to implementing effective policies and management strategies has helped to ensure the preservation of biodiversity and protect the natural beauty of the Greater Golden Horseshoe area,” says Caroline Schultz, Executive Director of Ontario Nature. “This is a significant milestone in their ongoing efforts to safeguard the environment and promote ecological health in southern Ontario.”

To learn more about the lands within the submission, please visit Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority’s website: www.cloca.com/conservation-areas. To learn more about the 30 by 30 goal and the process, please visit ontarionature.org. This work was generously funded by the Greenbelt Foundation and completed in partnership with Conservation Ontario.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Hasting (lhastings@cloca.com)
Communications Specialist
Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority

John Hassell (johnh@ontarionature.org)
Director of Communications and Engagement
Ontario Nature
416-444-8419 ext. 269

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