Government of Canada invests more than $1.7 million in recovery of species at risk in the St. Lawrence Lowlands

August 1, 2023
Montréal, Quebec


News release by Environment and Climate Change Canada

The world is facing an unprecedented biodiversity crisis. The fight against biodiversity loss and climate change starts with protecting nature. Investing in nature means helping to create a cleaner, healthier, and more resilient and sustainable environment. Protecting species and their habitats is critical. To halt the loss of biodiversity and restore Canada’s natural environments, collaboration between the provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and other partners is essential.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced funding of $1.48 million over four years for the Nature Conservancy of Canada to support the protection and restoration of habitats frequented by numerous species at risk along the St. Lawrence River. This investment is in addition to the $250,000 granted between 2020 and 2023 for the first phase of this project.

This project will take place in the St. Lawrence Lowlands in Quebec, mainly in the Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches, and Mauricie regions. Its aim is to protect suitable core habitats for species at risk, in particular through conservation planning activities, the development of partnerships, or land acquisition, and to connect them by ecological corridors. The area targeted by this project is home to a total of 21 species at risk, including the Bobolink, the Short-eared Owl, and Victorin’s Gentian. The funds invested will also be used to restore habitats that have been degraded by exotic invasive species, coastal erosion, and rubbish, and to raise awareness among various groups of the benefits of reconciling land uses.

The Government of Canada is strongly committed to taking concrete action to protect biodiversity and contribute to the global targets set at COP15. With the adoption of the Kunming‑Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework, our country is working to preserve nature on a global scale, to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, and to put natural environments on a path to recovery by 2050.


“The St. Lawrence, a unique and rich ecosystem, is supported by the Government of Canada in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Together, we are protecting critical habitats for species at risk and we aim to protect 30 percent of our land and oceans by 2030.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The Nature Conservancy of Canada is enthusiastic about continuing its collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada to accelerate its measures to protect the riparian and island environments of the St. Lawrence River. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is a private, non-profit organization that has been working for the permanent conservation of key areas since 1962. Thanks to the first phase of the investment, we have been able to restore and develop essential habitats for species at risk such as the Bobolink and the Short-eared Owl, and we will continue the work we have begun with the support of our valued partners: the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the Age of Union Foundation, and many others.” – Claire Ducharme, Regional Vice-President, Quebec Region, Nature Conservancy of Canada

Quick facts

  • Funding for this project comes from the Priority Places program of the Canada Nature Fund. A priority place is an area of high biodiversity value that is considered a distinct place with a common ecological theme for the people who live and work there.
  • The St. Lawrence Lowlands are one of 11 priority places designated under the Pan‑Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada.
  • More specifically, the project targets the priority sectors of the Isle-aux-Grues archipelago, Île d’Orléans, Côte-de-Beaupré, the south shore of the estuary, the Grondines and Sainte‑Anne-de-la-Pérade swamps and the Lac-à-la-Tortue bog.

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