Native species restoration program goes to school

Posted on January 19th, 2009

Greenbelt classrooms receive funding to raise Atlantic salmon

The children in grade four at Hickory Wood Public School in Brampton will soon join thousands of other aspiring ecologists in helping to restore a species gone from Lake Ontario for over a century, thanks to an $84,000 grant from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.
The school is one of over 75 educational facilities participating in the classroom hatchery program that is part of the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program (L.O.A.S.R.P.). The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) and the Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.) are leading the initiative, with major funding from Australia’s Banrock Station Wetlands Foundation, LCBO, Fishing Forever Foundation and Fleming College and more than 30 other contributors, including government agencies, conservation authorities and landowners. The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation have come onboard in 2008-2009 to fund an education coordinator for the program and 30 schools within the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Greenbelt areas. Their funding has led to an additional 19 units being donated.

“This project recaptures a part of the Greenbelt’s lost heritage,” said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “The now protected waterways and ecosystems in Ontario’s Greenbelt contribute to the possibility of bringing back the Atlantic salmon to Lake Ontario.”

“Fish stocking, habitat restoration, and research will bring Atlantic salmon back to Lake Ontario, but it is education and engagement that will ensure Atlantics remain part of our natural history in the Greenbelt,” said Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director. “Classroom hatcheries empower youth to be stewards of Atlantic salmon and their watersheds.”

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is an independent, charitable foundation with a mandate to fund organizations in support of farming, the environment and rural communities located in Ontario’s Greenbelt. The Greenbelt is permanently protected green space consisting of 1.8 million acres (728,000 hectares) that wrap around the Golden Horseshoe and encompass the Niagara Escarpment, the Oak Ridges Moraine and Rouge Park.

leading private, nonprofit fishing, hunting and conservation organization in Ontario. To learn more about the L.O.A.S.R.P. visit www.bringbackthesalmon.ca or www.ofah.org.

EVENT: children receive Atlantic salmon eggs for classroom hatchery

WHEN: 1-2pm, January 23, 2009 WHERE: Hickory Wood Public School, 630 Ray Lawson Boulevard, Brampton http://maps.google.ca/maps?

WHO:    Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, O.F.A.H., M.N.R., Banrock Station Wetlands Foundation

Lezlie Goodwin
Communications Coordinator
705-748-6324 ext 270
cell: 705-872-8053

Chris Robinson
Atlantic Salmon Program Coordinator
705-748-6324 ext 237

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