New Report on Leveraging Water Management with Wetlands for a Climate-Ready Ontario
Barrie, Ont., Jan. 23, 2020 - Research commissioned by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC)
has found that the natural flood-management services of wetlands are a cost-effective
complement to traditional infrastructure built to protect communities from flooding.
As part of our ongoing science program, DUC assessed how wetlands are currently
integrated into flood management in southern Ontario communities, and asked what
is needed to remove barriers that are preventing deeper integration of wetland conservation
into flood management.
Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil, and Lynn Dollin, Mayor of the Town of Innisfil,
joined DUC with Allan Craig, Ontario Trillium Foundation volunteer, at the Town
of Innisfil today to share the results of the research and priority "next steps"
to continue integrating wetland conservation into flood-risk planning.
The research, which advances the science on the use of wetlands as "natural infrastructure"
to reduce flood risks for communities in southern Ontario, was commissioned with
support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which awarded DUC a Seed Grant of
$74,800 in 2018.
The study findings indicate a growing understanding of the benefits of wetlands—for
example, among public sector and water-management experts—but that increased awareness
has yet to be fully translated into action. The research showed that standard methods
for cost-benefit analysis are needed to support local governments and conservation
authorities in building a business case for integrating wetlands with traditional
flood- and stormwater-management infrastructure.
Across Canada, communities are preparing for more frequent extreme weather events.
Watershed-based approaches to flood management that combine multiple mitigation
methods to reduce harmful flooding are on the rise. As the leader in wetland conservation,
DUC can help integrate Ontario's "natural infrastructure" into flood-management
planning as part of a resilient future.
"The conservation mission of Ducks Unlimited Canada is perfectly aligned with a
climate-ready Ontario," said Lynette Mader, DUC's manager of operations in Ontario.
"Sound science is our business and we have been doing the work to provide the evidence
which establishes that wetland conservation and restoration will help communities
cope with extreme weather events."
"I am proud to be working with Ducks Unlimited Canada as they help Ontario to become
more resilient against the impacts of climate change," said Andrea Khanjin, MPP
for Barrie-Innisfil. "Ducks Unlimited has a proven track record when it comes to
evidence-based conservation. I look forward to their recommendations on flood mitigation
efforts in Ontario so we can continue to enjoy the quality of life we share today
for many generations to come."
"The Town of Innisfil was proud to support Ducks Unlimited Canada with this research,"
said Lynn Dollin, Mayor of the Town of Innisfil. "Recent events have shown us just
how devastating the impacts of flooding can be. Research like this helps map out
how municipalities, Ducks Unlimited Canada and others can work together to conserve
wetlands as natural infrastructure."
">An information brief can be found here. The report, Municipal Conservation of Wetlands
for Flood Resiliency, prepared for DUC by Emmons and Olivier Resources is available
About Ducks Unlimited Canada
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) delivers wetland conservation that benefits every Canadian.
We keep the water in your lakes and rivers clean. We protect your community from
the effects of flood and drought. We save wildlife and special natural places. We
use science to find solutions to the most important environmental issues of the
day and we collaborate with people who are helping create a healthier world. The
wetlands we save aren't just for ducks; they're for all of us.
About The Ontario Trillium Foundation
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one
of Canada's leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects
last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.