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Federal funds allow DUC and MHHC to team up to provide more wildlife habitat and fight algae blooms

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Gimli, Man., Aug. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
For Immediate Release

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August 2, 2018

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) will use new federal funding announced today to support programs that restore and protect wetlands while helping to reduce algae in Lake Winnipeg.

That will benefit the recreation, tourism and fishing industries by helping to reduce algae in the lake, and support Manitoba farmers who are paid incentives to partner with DUC on wetland projects.

"This funding will allow two experienced conservation groups to work together for the benefit of many Manitobans," says Mark Francis, DUC's head of conservation programs in Manitoba. "DUC brings eight decades of conservation experience to the partnership."

During the next two years, DUC and the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) will share $400,000 through the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program, which is funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The partners can use that money to leverage further funding, tripling the contribution to $1.2 million.

That will help DUC and MHHC continue their work promoting wildlife habitat by restoring an additional 100 acres of wetland (about 50 CFL fields) and protecting another 1,068 acres (534 CFL fields).

Besides providing wildlife habitat, one of the many other benefits of wetlands is their ability to filter nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, from snow and rain runoff. Nutrient-laden runoff that isn't filtered by wetlands can eventually flow into Lake Winnipeg and produce algae blooms. Some of those algae species are toxic.

Wetlands restored and protected with this new funding will retain 88 metric tonnes of phosphorus and 334 metric tonnes of nitrogen. For phosphorus alone, that's the amount in eight semi loads of commercial fertilizer.

In addition, farmers stand to benefit because DUC and MHHC will use the funding to pay incentives to private landowners who choose to protect and restore wetlands with long term agreements.

Chelsea Murray
Ducks Unlimited Canada
902 292 2506
c_murray@ducks.ca

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