Good news! With its new Wetland Conservation Strategy for Ontario, the Province has confirmed that provincially significant wetlands and Great Lakes coastal wetlands will continue to be off limits to development. Current policy protections will be upheld as the government develops a new wetland offsetting policy.
The 2030 target for the overall strategy has been strengthened from “no net loss” to a “net gain” of wetland area and functions in southern Ontario where wetland loss has been most pronounced.
The Province has also committed to specific timelines to improve Ontario’s wetland inventory and mapping. Priority areas will be identified by 2018, and mapping and evaluation will be done by 2020.
Though we are disappointed with some aspects of the final strategy (e.g., a “no net loss” target for 2025), it is a definite improvement over the draft version. Clearly, our collective input had a significant positive impact.
Thank you to all who raised your voice for wetlands. It really does matter.
– The team at Ontario Nature