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Environment and Conservation
June 13, 2011

Deer Lake Commits to Protect Waterfowl Habitat

The Town of Deer Lake showed its commitment to protecting waterfowl habitat today by officially signing a new Municipal Wetland Stewardship Agreement with the Department of Environment and Conservation.
The Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Environment and Conservation, was joined by Darryl Kelly, MHA for Humber Valley, and Dean Ball, Mayor of Deer Lake, at the signing ceremony that took place today at the Deer Lake Town office.
“I am very encouraged by the initiative that the Deer Lake Town Council is demonstrating today to protect valuable wetland habitat and to increase the town’s environmental sustainability,” said Minister Wiseman. “The attitudes and actions of local town councils and community members who share wetland and upland areas with waterfowl and other wildlife play a vitally important role in the sustainability and conservation of these species.”
The Municipal Stewardship Program is unique to Newfoundland and Labrador, and was developed to encourage municipalities to recognize the value of wildlife habitat found in and near their municipal planning boundaries and then to accept a stewardship role in maintaining their integrity. The success of this program has been recognized both locally and internationally and has been heralded as an innovative and successful conservation program.

“Our government is committed to protecting valuable wetland habitat,” said Darryl Kelly, MHA. “I am pleased the Town of Deer Lake and its neighboring municipalities have made a further commitment to protecting waterfowl habitat.  The residents of the Humber Valley area continue to accept a stewardship role in protecting and sustaining our environment.”

“This agreement is indeed of great importance to the Town of Deer Lake and to the Humber Valley area," said Mayor Ball. "It is a wonderful initiative that highlights our town’s focus on environmental stewardship and the importance we place on increasing environmental sustainability in municipal planning.”

Minister Wiseman congratulated the Town of Deer Lake on their commitment to the environment and encouraged the town to continue to enhance these wetlands so that they will be a central source of pride for Deer Lake residents now and into the future. “The true strength of a stewardship agreement lies in the empowerment of local residents to conserve and enhance local wildlife habitats, and, essentially, to act as responsible stewards of the environment.”

The Municipal Stewardship Program serves as an important mechanism for protecting wildlife habitat located within municipal jurisdictions. In addition to Deer Lake, 26 other municipalities have signed stewardship agreements including Bay Roberts, Burgeo, Carmanville, Cartwright, Channel-Port aux Basques, Come by Chance, Flower’s Cove, Gambo, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Hawke’s Bay, Labrador City, Mary’s Harbour, Port aux Choix, Red Bay, Spaniard’s Bay, Springdale, St Anthony, St. John’s, St. Lewis, Stephenville Crossing, Torbay, Wabush, Whitbourne and Winterland. Corporate agreements have also been signed with the Iron Ore Company of Canada and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited. In addition, several agreements have been signed with private landowners across the province.

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Media contacts:
Melony O’Neill
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
Dean Ball
Town of Deer Lake

The Municipal Stewardship Program through the
Eastern Habitat Joint Venture

In 1986, in light of drastic declines in North American waterfowl populations and in an effort to effectively reverse the trend, the governments of Canada and the United States signed the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) with a goal to return waterfowl populations to levels of the 1970s by actively conserving wetland and upland habitat. In 1994, Mexico also signed on to the NAWMP, making it a truly continental initiative.

To implement and forward the goals of NAWMP, joint ventures were established across North America. The Eastern Habitat Joint Venture (EHJV) was established in 1989. Partners include the six eastern Canadian provinces, Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.  The Newfoundland and Labrador node of the EHJV is administered by the Wildlife Division of the Department of Environment and Conservation. Its primary program seeking to conserve wildlife habitat in Newfoundland and Labrador is the Municipal Stewardship Program.
2011 06 13                                                                                11:20 a.m.

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