Ducks Unlimited Canada celebrates record year for wetland restoration in Ontario

Local relationships accelerate wetland restoration across the province

Stonewall, Manitoba, CANADA

Barrie, Ont., March 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In 2021, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) enjoyed a record year completing more than 140 conservation projects in Ontario. Progress on wetland restoration is unprecedented in Southern Ontario, where demand is at an all-time high as landowners connect healthy landscapes with clean water and flood management for their communities.

The exceptional year couldn’t have happened without the strong network of committed partners, suppliers and landowners we’ve created over the years, including municipalities, stewardship volunteers and conservation authorities. These local relationships help us identify and realize conservation opportunities across the province.

Ontario’s Wetlands Conservation Partner Program

Nearly half of DUC’s 2021 projects were the result of an unprecedented $6-million investment by the Province of Ontario through the new Wetlands Conservation Partner Program, scaling up a longstanding conservation partnership that contributes to biodiversity, climate resiliency and green jobs in Ontario’s communities.

The Wetlands Conservation Partner Program commits $30 million over five years to create and restore wetlands in Great Lakes watersheds.

“With the strong support of Ducks Unlimited Canada and the vital role they play in conserving our wetlands and other natural spaces, we are stepping up conservation efforts across the province and helping to secure a greener and cleaner future now and for generations,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

With this investment, DUC’s conservation team completed 60 wetland conservation projects that protect nearly 1,000 hectares of nature in the watersheds of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and their connecting waterways. In the second year of the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program, the DUC team will restore 45 large wetlands across Ontario, varying in size from 25 to 125 hectares.

“These restorations will take place in magnificent wetland habitats that provide critically important habitat for species at risk and other wildlife, as well as important climate benefits to Ontario communities,” said Lynette Mader, DUC’s manager of provincial operations in Ontario.

“Our government is committed to protecting our province’s vital water resources and ecosystems—including the Great Lakes watershed and connecting waterways. That’s why our historic investments in wetland restoration through the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program are so important to the health of our environment and our communities,” said Minister Piccini.

The surge of interest in wetland restoration in Ontario supports valuable environmental and economic activity in rural and near-urban communities.

“As spring approaches, a new season of rewarding work is here for our staff and the many contractors and businesses in our networks. We can’t wait to get started,” said Mader.


Visit DUC’s interactive storymap to learn more about wetland restoration projects supported by the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program in the Great Lakes region. 

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations, Indigenous Peoples and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. To learn more about DUC’s innovative environmental solutions and services, visit


Wetland restoration at work Conservation impact

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