Cooling Streams Press Release

by | Jun 29, 2023 | Cooling Streams | 0 comments

Trout Unlimited Canada Launches Cooling Streams Pilot Project
Tree Planting Program to restore riparian areas across Canada.

Markdale, ON – Trout Unlimited Canada, a national leader in freshwater ecosystem conservation and restoration for 50 years, announces the launch of the pilot project Cooling Streams for its national Restoring Riparian Refuges tree planting program. The pilot project takes place at the Armstrong Creek Trail in Markdale, Ontario and marks the completion of a multi-year dam removal and cold-water stream rehabilitation campaign. Cooling Streams is funded by the federal 2 Billion Trees program in the amount of $296,000.

Trout Unlimited Canada’s Cooling Streams program is focused on restoring riparian areas – the buffer of vegetation that connects land and water along streams, rivers, and lakes. The trees and plants found within riparian zones are adapted to natural disturbance, such as spring floods and summer low-flow periods, which helps make these ecosystems more resilient to the expected disruptions from climate change. The built-in resilience of riparian ecosystems is ideal for protection and provides refuge for vulnerable wildlife and plant species, while also helping communities adapt to climate change.

The Government of Canada’s 2 Billion Trees program is a commitment of $3.2 billion over 10 years to support organizations in their tree-planting efforts. Planting two billion trees is taking a significant step forward in Canada’s approach to tackle the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. These trees will capture and store carbon from the atmosphere, improve air and water quality, help to restore nature and biodiversity, cool our communities, and create and support thousands of green jobs.

“The 2 Billion Trees program is enabling us to build capacity among our local chapters across the country to expand our stream restoration efforts by rehabilitating riparian areas and increasing our contribution to nature-based solutions to climate change,” said Lesley Peterson, Director of Conservation with Trout Unlimited Canada. “We will be in a position to plant 10,000 trees per year, hire staff to implement the program, and expand local engagement and action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

“Trees are essential to our lives — they capture carbon, improve air quality and support wildlife — and they are important allies in our fight against climate change. That’s why Canada has committed to planting two billion trees. Through this investment to support the future planting of 10,000 trees per year with Trout Unlimited Canada, we are restoring riparian refuges while delivering clean air for the next generation,” said the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

“This rehabilitated section of Armstrong Creek provides habitat and spawning opportunities for native brook trout, a vulnerable species in Ontario, and expand habitat for bird and animal species. It is also a popular amenity for families and the community to enjoy beauty and nature now and in the future,” said David Fields, Program Manager with Trout Unlimited Canada.
The Cooling Streams pilot project will be implemented by TUC staff, the local Happy Trout chapter, and community volunteers, including staff from the neighbouring Rossiter Boat plant.

For more information:
David Fields, Program Manager – 519-817-8596, dfields@tucanada.org
Lesley Peterson, Director of Conservation – 403-221-8360, lpeterson@tucanada.org

Backgrounder on the importance of riparian areas to climate change adaptation: https://tucanada.org/2022/12/07/building-resilience-to-climate-change/
About Trout Unlimited Canada: Trout Unlimited Canada is a registered Canadian charitable organization since 1972. Our mission is to conserve, protect and restore Canada’s freshwater ecosystems and their cold-water resources for current and future generations. All work Trout Unlimited Canada does is directed toward achieving this mission. Our work is guided by science and research and fueled by the unending passion of our volunteers and professional staff.

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Trout Unlimited Canada is a nonprofit, charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.