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December 21, 1999
(Development and Rural Renewal)

Grand Codroy Estuary attracts birds and development

The Codroy Valley Area Development Association will receive funding in the amount of $183,926 to enhance the Grand Codroy Estuary as a significant tourism attraction.

Funding from the Canada-Newfoundland Agreement for the Economic Development Component of the Canadian Fisheries Adjustment and Restructuring Initiative (EDC) was announced today by Burin-St. George's MP, Bill Matthews, on behalf of George Baker, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agencies (ACOA), and by Kevin Aylward, MHA - St. George's-Stephenville East on behalf of Beaton Tulk, Minister of Development and Rural Renewal.

The project includes the construction of an interpretive centre, enhancement work on Broom Brook, construction of trails along the Grand Codroy River, development of interpretive information and highway signage and marketing initiatives. Five full-time and four part-time jobs will be created and 22 jobs during the construction period.

"This project will develop infrastructure that will enhance the region's ability to market the estuary aggressively to bird watchers and other eco-tourists," said Mr. Matthews. "The Grand Codroy will become an anchor attraction, increasing both the numbers of visitors, and their length of stay." Mr. Matthews noted that an international bird watching convention taking place in St. John's next August has already attracted 1,000 participants.

Mr. Aylward said: "Bird watching is among the fastest growing tourism attractions. The tourists who are avid participants in this activity are generally affluent professionals who will often visit a significant site several times. It is unquestionably a growing niche market. Attracting more of these visitors will benefit the entire region."

The Grand Codroy River has played an important role in the life of the community since the arrival of the first settlers in the early 1800s. The river and surrounding landscape have maintained their pristine nature as a major staging and nesting ground for thousands of birds each year. The estuary, which was closed to hunting in the early 1970s, was declared a Wetlands of International Importance in 1971. The main purpose of the designation is to emphasize wise use of the wetlands when any development is considered.

The Codroy Valley Area Development Association was formed in 1970 with a mandate to assist the economic development of the 15 communities which make up the Codroy Valley. The association has played a significant role in a wide variety of economic and social development initiatives in the community over the past three decades.

The three-year $81.25 million Canada-Newfoundland Agreement for the Economic Development Component of the Canadian Fisheries and Adjustment Initiative (EDC) was signed on August 16, 1999. The agreement is designed to build upon the strategic plans and priorities of the Regional Economic Development Boards to improve the long-term economic climate in regions impacted by the downturn in the groundfish industry.

It is delivered federally by ACOA and provincially by the Department of Development and Rural Renewal.

Media contact:

Doug Burgess
(709) 772-2935

Josephine Cheeseman
Department of Development and Rural Renewal
(709) 729-4570

1999 12 21                                         1:40 p.m.

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