The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, which contains the largest concentration of freshwater islands in the world (30,000) and encompasses the eastern shore of Georgian Bay, stretching approximately 175 kilometres from the Severn River to the French River, received $585,000 in federal funds on Aug. 24.
The funding will be provided over three years from Canada’s Enhanced Nature Legacy to support conservation efforts and Canada’s goal to conserve 25% of lands and inland waters by 2025, working toward 30% of each by 2030.
For the duration of the project, partners will work together to restore, maintain, and enhance biodiversity conservation in the buffer zones surrounding the core protected areas of the biosphere reserve.
The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve supports approximately 52 listed species at risk, including the eastern foxsnake (endangered), the spotted turtle (endangered), and the massasauga rattlesnake (threatened). There are currently 738 biosphere reserves in 134 countries that belong to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. In Canada, more than 2.5 million people live in biosphere reserves.
“Biosphere reserves are a model for how communities can connect with nature in healthier and more sustainable ways. They inspire and empower Canadians to work together to address global challenges such as biodiversity loss and climate change. By investing in biosphere reserves in Canada, like the iconic Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, we are advancing important conservation work in areas rich with cultural and biological diversity,” said The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.