Wetlands Conservation Partner Program
How to get funding for projects that help enhance and restore wetlands, prevent flooding and improve water quality.
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In 2020, Ontario introduced the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program. This program provides $30 million in capital funding over 5 years ($6 million per year) to:
- restore and enhance wetlands in priority areas across Ontario
- support municipalities with stormwater management
The program objectives include:
- improving the functionality and/or connectivity of wetlands
- conserving existing wetlands and their features and functions
- mitigating the impact of urban stormwater, which is worsened by too much hard surface (such as pavement) and more frequent and intense weather events associated with climate change
- improving shoreline resiliency to climate change impacts such as high-water levels and intense storms
Funded projects help to:
- improve water quality
- mitigate excess stormwater flow
- preserve and increase habitats for endangered species
- help prevent flooding
- build climate change resiliency in the Great Lakes watersheds and connecting waterways
- increase economic activity throughout Ontario
How to apply
We are now accepting applications for the next round of funding. For more information, please visit Get funding from the Ontario government. The deadline to apply is October 12, 2023, 3:00 p.m. (ET).
You can apply online through Transfer Payment Ontario.
To be eligible for funding under the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program in 2023, applicants must be a legal entity and one of the following:
- conservation authority or their foundation
- conservation organization
- Indigenous community
Applicants must also have implemented at least two other projects that are similar to their proposal in the last 5 years.
Past and current projects
The following is a list of multi-year projects funded by the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program.
Ducks Unlimited Canada
60 wetland restoration and enhancement projects (2,360 acres) within the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario watersheds and connecting waterways.
81 wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 527 acres) that engage farmers to restore ecosystem services of wetlands and improve existing but impaired wetland functions on unproductive lands.
Ducks Unlimited Canada
45 wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 1,400 acres) across Ontario, consisting of 25 large scale wetland restoration projects and 20 projects taking place on land owned by rural agricultural landowners.
Nature Conservancy of Canada
14 wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 432 acres) within watersheds of Lakes Erie, Huron and Ontario. Projects include pond and wetland feature restoration, and wetland enhancement through invasive species control and mitigation.
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
3 wetland restoration and enhancement projects in collaboration with the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (representing approximately 12 acres of wetlands). Activities include swamp habitat restoration and transformation of an aggregate extraction site into natural heritage parcel and recreational destination, wetland contouring to create a more robust riparian buffer, and a wetland restoration on agricultural land.
Ontario Land Trust Alliance
24 wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 131 acres) across southern Ontario with a focus on nature-based climate solutions, including restoring and protecting forests, wetlands, grasslands and farmland.
Township of Georgian Bay
Large-scale invasive species removal at 6 wetlands in and around the area of the Township and removal of a boardwalk impeding water flow in the Oak Bay wetland and installation of a viewing pavilion to allow recreational access to the wetland while protecting wetland features and functions.
2 wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 27 acres) in Middlesex and Peterborough Counties. Projects will engage farmers to restore ecosystem services of wetlands and improve existing but impaired wetland functions on unproductive lands.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority
21 wetland restoration and enhancement projects (covering approximately 57 acres). Projects aim to increase volume of water storage, improve wetland connectivity, manage invasive species, plant native plants and seeds to improve habitat and biodiversity, provide water filtration, carbon sequestration and reduce erosion in the Lake Huron watershed.
Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association
Securement of a property in Bruce Peninsula through land purchase for the purpose of conserving wetlands on that property. The project will also undertake wetland restoration work to ensure the wetland is functioning optimally.
3 wetland restoration and enhancement projects including using a wetland to address flooding, enhance habitat by managing invasive species and planting native plants and shrubs, and replacing a deteriorating concrete weir to improve wetland functionality.
Ducks Unlimited Canada
40 wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 837 acres), consisting of 20 wetland enhancement projects that primarily improve functionality and another 20 wetland restoration projects that primarily re-establish historical wetlands.
Elgin Stewardship Council
3 wetland restoration and enhancement projects in Lake Erie watershed including expansion of existing wetlands to address surface water runoff in heavy rainfall events, management of invasive species and creation of a new wetland to address catch basin overflow.
Essex Region Conservation Authority
In the Lake Erie watershed, 3 Essex County wetlands will be restored and a climate change adaptation project will be implemented for Hillman Marsh, a coastal wetland, to improve shoreline resilience from intense storms and improve wetland functionality through stabilization of an eroding shoreline.
Georgian Bay Biosphere
Invasive species removal (over 24 acres of wetlands) within the Georgian Bay Biosphere including Phragmites and purple loosestrife. The project in partnership with the Shawanaga First Nation.
Nature Conservancy of Canada
13 wetlands restoration and enhancement projects across southern Ontario (covering approximately 153 acres) including management of invasive species, expand and restore wetlands to mitigate flooding, and planting native species to enhance biodiversity. Projects support coastal wetlands along Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Turkey Point in Lake Erie and Eastern Lake Ontario.
Royal Botanical Gardens
In the Lake Ontario watershed, 3 wetland enhancement projects including Rock Chapel and two coastal wetlands (Cootes Paradise and Grindstone Marsh) to enhance wetland habitat and connectivity, manage invasive species and improve resiliency to climate change impacts of extreme lake water levels
St. Clair Region Conservation Authority
Restoration (of approximately 67 acres) of coastal wetland habitat in the McLean and Bates conservation lands within Lake Erie watershed adjacent to Rondeau Bay by managing invasive species.
Thames Talbot Land Trust
Restoration at 9 wetlands including management of non-native invasive species such as Phragmites, Reed Canary Grass, Garlic mustard, Buckthorn and other non-native shrubs.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
2 wetland restoration projects (covering approximately 28 acres). Restoration of a wetland at a previous aggregate extraction site in Brock North Headwater Wetland Complex area to maximize water drainage and expansion of a wetland in Brampton to manage water runoff and expand habitat.
Township of Scugog
Creation of a new wetland (covering approximately 3.5 acres) in Port Perry Bay of Lake Scugog to filter storm water discharge and provide improved terrestrial and aquatic habitat, create recreational services such as fishing and walking trails and improve shoreline resilience to flooding and erosion.