The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve is getting $585,000 from the federal government.
The funds will be delivered over three years, to help the organization’s biodiversity conservation efforts.
Julie Dabrusin, Toronto-Danforth MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, made the announcement at a baby turtle release Wednesday afternoon.
Dabrusin says the turtles were found during road paving work in the area, and given over to the reserve for protection.
“The construction workers who were involved in the roads project really took ownership of protecting the nests that they found, and working with the biosphere on making sure they were saved,” says Dabrusin. “So it’s a great way to show how supporting a local community organization like the Georgian Bay Biosphere works to protect species at risk, and at the same time, increase community knowledge and involvement on these issues.”
The funding goes towards the reserve’s buffer zones, which surround key conservation areas on Georgian Bay’s eastern shore, stretching 175 kilometres from Severn River to French River.
The announcement comes as part of Canada’s efforts to conserve 25 per cent of its land and inland water by 2025, with a goal of 30 per cent by 2030.
“The biospheres are part of that. They include the buffer zones, the places in between,” says Dabrusin. “There’s the conserved areas, and then there’s the areas where people interact with the conserved areas. It’s an example of the fact that we live in these lands, and we can learn from them, and we can protect them.”
Dabrusin says the buffer zones will be added to Canada’s conservation network in the coming years, along with 18 other biospheres receiving funding.
“It was really wonderful today to see the community commitment to conserving land, to protecting species at risk, and the great relationships and bonds that are developed in doing that,” says Dabrusin. “It’s something that is a great tribute to the work being done by the Georgian Bay Biosphere, and by the community at large.”