WELLAND, November 7, 2023 – The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), Ontario Nature and Conservation Ontario are pleased to announce the addition of 11 properties, encompassing 830 hectares, towards Canada’s ambitious goal of protecting 30 per cent of its lands and waters by 2030.
With this recent addition, NPCA’s total contributions to the national protected areas target now stands at an impressive 1,622 hectares, which is equal in size to four Stanley Parks in British Columbia, or, closer to home, almost 650 Montebello Parks in St. Catharines.
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 11 properties, evaluated in partnership with Ontario Nature, include Beamer Memorial, Cave Springs, Humberstone Marsh, Lathrop, Louth, Morgan’s Point, Mountainview, Mud Lake, Wainfleet Wetlands, Willoughby Marsh and Woolverton. Each property – all of which are accessible to the public with the exception of Lathrop which is held in trust by NPCA – 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 them as Protected Areas.
Many of the submitted properties occur along the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, which represents the largest continuous forested area in south-central Ontario. The properties play a critical role in the conservation of this ecoregion and its characteristic species, which include species at risk such as barn swallows, monarch butterflies and butternut trees.
The Niagara Escarpment plays a vital role in sustaining biodiversity and natural heritage features. Its unique geological formations, diverse ecosystems and stunning landscapes make it a haven for plants and animals, as well as the many residents and visitors that come to enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
By implementing strong policies and management strategies on these properties, NPCA has prioritized the conservation of biodiversity within the Carolinian Life Zone where its watershed jurisdiction is located to safeguard it against growing environmental threats within the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This is an important step towards preserving the natural beauty, ecological health and ecosystem resilience of the Niagara Peninsula watershed.
“The designation of these 11 sites as protected areas is a testament to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s dedication to environmental conservation and nature for all. By preserving the ecological value and functions of our local ecosystems, we not only contribute to a global conservation movement, but also provide opportunities for people to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors.” – Chandra Sharma, CAO & Secretary-Treasurer, NPCA
“We at Conservation Ontario are proud to support the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority for their remarkable contributions of 11 properties to Canada’s protected areas target. Their unwavering commitment to conservation is inspiring, and we are honoured to stand alongside them in safeguarding our natural heritage for future generations.” – Rick Wilson, Manager, Data & Analytics, Conservation Ontario
“These contributions help to sustain a robust network of near-urban nature areas for all life in the region. 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.” – Shelley Petrie, Project Director, Greenbelt Foundation
“What an extraordinary accomplishment for the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. I am honoured to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the entire team for their exceptional commitment to conservation. This achievement sets a shining example for others to follow.” – Caroline Schultz, Executive Director of Ontario Nature
To learn more about the NPCA lands that are part of this submission, please visit npca.ca/parks-recreation/conservation-areas.
To learn more about the 30 by 30 target and the process, please visit ontarionature.org/protected-places.
This work was generously funded by the Greenbelt Foundation and supported by Conservation Ontario.
About Ontario Nature
Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement.
A charitable organization, Ontario Nature represents more than 30,000 members and supporters, and 150 member groups across Ontario.
About Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA)
The NPCA is a community-based natural resource management agency that works to protect, enhance, and sustain healthy watersheds. With 63 years of experience, NPCA offers watershed programs and services focusing on flood and hazard management, source water protection, species protection, ecosystem restoration, community stewardship and land management.
The NPCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in the Province of Ontario and manages 41 Conservation Areas within the Niagara Peninsula watershed held in public trust for recreation, heritage preservation, conservation and education. These natural and shared greenspaces marry nature, culture and adventure to create limitless opportunities for discovery.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Erika Navarro (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Communications and Marketing Specialist
Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
John Hassell (email@example.com)
Director of Communications and Engagement