Ontario Investing in Wetlands Restoration in Saugeen Bruce Peninsula

Province partnering with Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect local wetlands

July 14, 2023

OWEN SOUND — The Ontario government is investing up to $6.9 million in 100 local conservation projects to restore and enhance wetlands across the province, including Saugeen Bruce Peninsula. This funding will help conservation partners restore local wetlands, which will improve water quality, help prevent flooding and build climate change resiliency.

“We’re very proud of these historic investments and to be working with conservation organizations and municipalities to restore and enhance the health of wetlands in Ontario,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “We will continue to support more wetlands projects to ensure vital ecosystems in the province are protected, now and in the future.”

The Wetlands Conservation Partner Program represents one of the largest investments in wetland restoration in Ontario’s history. The five-year, $30-million program supports a wide range of projects, restoring and enhancing large-scale wetlands, smaller wetlands on marginal agricultural lands, and wetlands in more urban areas as part of municipal stormwater management.

Local wetland restoration and enhancement projects include working with:

  • Nature Conservancy Canada and Saugeen Peninsula Invasive Species Collaboration – $103,280

“Funding from the Ontario government’s Wetlands Conservation Partner Program allows the existing work to continue being done to control the populations of invasive phragmites,” said MPP Rick Byers. “This project is being done in coastal habitats along the Lake Huron shoreline and within inland wetlands.”

“Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has protected and restored over 161,000 hectares of wetlands across the country for the benefit of wildlife and people. NCC is pleased for the continued funding support through Ontario’s Wetlands Conservation Partners Program to deliver important restoration work of inland and coastal wetlands on the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula through invasive phragmites management. In 2022, NCC removed over 100 hectares of invasive phragmites working alongside local communities to restore and improve function of over 30 square kilometers of wetland and coastal ecosystems across the Peninsula,” said Esme Batten, Nature Conservancy of Canada’s program director for Midwestern Ontario.

Ontario will also support new projects with the remaining funding under the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program with a new call for applications this year. The government will begin accepting applications between August 8th and September 12th, 2023.


  • Since the program was launched in 2020, $20 million has been invested in over 330 wetland projects, restoring and enhancing approximately 7,200 acres of wetlands across the province. That’s about eight times the size of the Toronto Islands.
  • In the first two years of the program, an estimated $6 million of damage due to flooding has been avoided and over 170 green jobs were created in Ontario’s rural and near-urban communities to undertake restoration work.