April 22, 2022 – Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) celebrate and highlight today, on Earth Day, progress made to restore fish and wildlife habitat in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern, with the support of funding from ECCC, in partnership with the City of Toronto, under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative and in partnership with the City of Toronto.
Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth, and a member of TRCA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, alongside Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, celebrated the progress today at Tommy Thompson Park (TTP) for TRCA’s ‘Wildlife Habitat Restoration in the Central Toronto Waterfront’ project, which addresses past environmental damages that resulted in habitat loss and negatively impacted wildlife populations.
The project has received more than $200,000 in funding from ECCC’s Great Lakes Protection Initiative and the City of Toronto. ECCC is a key funder of the habitat restoration works undertaken at TTP and across the waterfront. Through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative, ECCC has contributed more than $1.1M to TRCA for habitat restoration projects at TTP since 2013.
This current project provides multiple co-benefits to wildlife communities, including fish, birds, and turtles. Common Tern rafts will increase nesting area and support Toronto’s breeding population, turtle nest protection structures will minimize mammalian predation and improve hatching success, a custom water control structure baffle will reduce beaver damming activities that currently prevent fish access into the TTP Embayment D wetland, and invasive phragmites management will restore coastal wetland biodiversity and improve public recreational experiences.
Overall, the project enhances biodiversity on Toronto’s waterfront and promotes public appreciation for our waterfront and natural spaces.
“On Earth Day, and every day in between the annual celebration, TRCA, with support from ECCC and City of Toronto, is working to enhance and protect biodiversity in our jurisdiction. We appreciate the financial support from our partners that make these projects and progress possible. We look forward to working together on future projects that continue to restore the natural environment for the benefit of wildlife and citizens.”
— Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth, and a member of TRCA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors
“As we celebrate Earth Day, we reiterate the Government of Canada’s commitment to protect the Great Lakes, including by advancing efforts to restore water quality and ecosystem health in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern, so that generations to come can continue to enjoy these resources. By supporting local initiatives, we continue to make progress and deliver on Canada’s commitments under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.”
— Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- The funding is from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Great Lakes Protection Initiative, with matching funds from TRCA’s City of Toronto capital levy.
- This project is one of 32 projects totalling $3.1 million over three years, under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative announced by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in December 2021.
- This project includes:
- the addition of three Common Tern Rafts at TTP and the Toronto Islands, increasing nesting opportunity for approximately 180 Common Tern pairs; and
- managing the invasive phragmites plant across 2.5 ha of coastal wetlands and shorelines at TTP, followed by planting 8,150 native emergent aquatic plants to restore the vegetation community.
- Public engagement will occur during spring, summer and fall 2022, with four volunteer stewardship events, 10 curriculum-linked school programs, a family-friendly public restoration-based event, and an educational video.
About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
With more than 60 years of experience, TRCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of watershed communities through the protection and restoration of the natural environment and the ecological services the environment provides. More than five million people live within TRCA-managed watersheds, and many others work in and visit destinations across the jurisdiction. These nine watersheds, plus their collective Lake Ontario waterfront shorelines, span six upper-tier and 15 lower-tier municipalities. Some of Canada’s largest and fastest growing municipalities, including Toronto, Markham and Vaughan, are located entirely within TRCA’s jurisdiction.
To learn more about TRCA, visit trca.ca.