Port Rowan, Nov. 20, 2014. Two additional wildlife culverts will be installed under the Long Point Causeway this winter thanks to $120,000 in funding from the new National Conservation Plan launched by the federal government earlier this year. These culverts will provide safe passage for wildlife and potential aquatic connections between the Big Creek Marsh and Long Point Bay.
“This new federal funding recognizes that wetland restoration is also an important ecological goal of the Long Point Causeway Improvement Project (LPCIP), in addition to the reduction reptile road mortality”, said Paula Jongerden, chair of the LPCIP steering Committee. Jongerden noted that death toll of reptiles on the Causeway this year was 50 per cent less than in 2008, the first year the Project began monitoring the annual road kill of wildlife on the 3.6 kilometer road.
The LPCIP has worked with staff at Long Point Waterfowl to set up motion sensor-triggered cameras to monitor wildlife using the culverts installed in 2012. “We now have photographic evidence that all kinds of wildlife – turtles, snakes and all kinds of mammals – are using the culverts to pass safely under the road,” said Jongerden (Additional photos are available for publication).
“Our work has made significant progress in ensuring that Species at Risk reptiles will continue to thrive in the Long Point area, one of Canada’s 16 World Biosphere Reserves,” said Jongerden.
The cost of installing the two additional culverts has been added to a $140,700 construction contract awarded in September by Norfolk County to Gary D. Robinson Contracting for the installation of three wildlife culverts this fall. No funds will be required from Norfolk County for any of the culvert construction.
The LPCIP will also pay another $40,745 to Stephen Burnett and Associates, the consulting engineers on the project, to administer the construction of the five culverts.
To date, the LPCIP has spent about $140,000 to secure the necessary approvals including a full Environmental Assessment, conducting various studies, completing the design and engineering of the culverts and preparing the construction tender.
“We’ve received tremendous support from the federal and provincial governments to protect wildlife that were regularly killed by vehicles on the Causeway and reconnect the Big Creek Marsh with Long Point Bay,” said Jongerden. The Project’s other funding has come from Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, Ontario’s Species at Risk Stewardship Fund and the Canada-Ontario Agreement on the Great Lakes.
Photo caption: A large snapping turtle exiting one of the wildlife culverts installed by the Long Point Causeway Improvement Project in 2012. (photo courtesy of LPCIP)
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The Long Point Causeway Improvement Project is managed by Steering Committee comprised of representatives from 16 government agencies and local organizations and several individuals well-known in the community. The LPCIP receives financial and administrative support from the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation, which promotes research, monitoring, education and projects that support the goals of conservation and sustainable use in the Biosphere Reserve.
To learn more about the Long Point Causeway Improvement Project, please visit www.longpointcauseway.com
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