OFAH FILE: 842
For immediate release
O.F.A.H. praises Environment Canada for Lake Simcoe Clean-Up
Federal government funds O.F.A.H. projects to benefit important provincial fishery
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) will undertake two projects in the Lake Simcoe watershed this year through funding provided under the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund, part of the Government of Canada’s Action Plan for Clean Water.
In total, the O.F.A.H.-led Lake Simcoe projects will receive $185,706 from Environment Canada. The larger of the two projects is being delivered through the O.F.A.H./M.N.R. Invading Species Awareness Program. The monitoring project will use the Internet to enlist stakeholder participation in tracking the presence of already established invasive species, such as round goby and zebra mussels in the Lake Simcoe basin, as well as the possible discovery of new invaders.
"This Environment Canada funding will enable the Invading Species Awareness Program to increase our knowledge of those invasive species that pose a critical threat to the health of Lake Simcoe, and at the same time, build the pilot for an online tracking system that can be used province wide," said Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director. In the next few months, program staff will hold workshops to train volunteers to identify and report invasive species sightings. To learn more, call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711. More information will be available soon at www.invadingspecies.com.
The second project is being led by the O.F.A.H.-hosted Community Stream Steward Program (C.S.S.P.). Initial funding will provide for the planning of three stream improvement projects, to be completed in partnership with landowners. It is anticipated that future phases will see at least eight C.S.S.P. projects completed in priority Lake Simcoe subwatersheds during 2009.
"Community stewardship is critical to the success of any conservation initiative. We’re pleased that Environment Canada is supporting this effort under the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund, and we look forward to working with local residents in the restoration of this valuable lake," said Reader.
The C.S.S.P. is hosting two public meetings to inform watershed residents about this important stewardship opportunity. A meeting is scheduled for March 28, 2009 at the Brian Orser Arena in Orillia. A second meeting has already taken place in Uxbridge. For more information about the project, call Erin at 705-748-6324 ext 222. To learn more about the C.S.S.P., visit www.ofah.org/stream.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 655 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit, charitable, fishing, hunting and conservation-based organization in Ontario, and the voice of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.
O.F.A.H. Communications Coordinator
(705) 748-6324 ext 270
Invading Species Program Manager/Aquatic Biologist
(705) 748-6324 ext 238