Carruthers Creek Wetland Area. Image courtesy TRCA

Part of Carruthers Creek wetland is now protected

Some 62 hectares of the Carruthers Creek wetland complex in Ajax has been designated as a Protected Area, according to Town of Ajax, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), City of Toronto, and Ontario Nature.

The town manages an interconnected system of greenspace, watersheds and Lake Ontario Waterfront, that help clean our air and water, prevent flooding and erosion, reduce greenhouse gases, and provide habitat to plants, birds, and animals, said a joint statement issued yesterday.

“Carruthers Creek is a small and sensitive watershed that Ajax Council has been continuously advocating for the protection of for many years. I am proud that the Carruthers Creek wetland complex (south of Bayly Street) is one of the first municipal conservation lands confirmed to meet national standards for protected and conserved areas. On behalf of council thank you to TRCA and Ontario Nature for their support to ensure the protection of the ongoing health and vitality of the Carruthers Creek, and to protect residents of south Ajax from increased flooding and erosion,” said Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier.

950ha of land protected

The Ajax portion forms part of an overall 950 hectares of lands within these municipalities that now qualify as Protected Areas in contributing to Canada’s target to protect 25 per cent of lands and waters by 2025.

These sites are jointly managed by TRCA and the partner municipalities as part of a broader natural heritage system that ensures long-term resilience of these areas along with overall ecosystem health and community well-being, said the statement.

Recently, municipal and conservation authority-managed lands across southern Ontario were added to the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database, based on assessments conducted by Ontario Nature, with technical support from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

This emphasizes the importance of biodiversity conservation in urban and near urban areas and recognizes their contribution towards achieving the national and global measures to minimise biodiversity loss.

“We are pleased that 11 sites owned and/or managed by TRCA are being recognized as protected areas for their contribution towards the federal targets for biodiversity conservation. TRCA and our partner municipalities continue to invest in natural heritage conservation, including biodiversity protection, ecosystem restoration, ecological monitoring, land securement and management, for the health and safety of residents, and to protect property and public infrastructure within our jurisdiction. This adds to the two sites that were recognized in earlier years,” said John MacKenzie, Chief Executive Officer of TRCA.

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