Nova Scotia farmers have new opportunities to increase the natural habitat on their properties. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Ducks Unlimited Canada are working together to provide technical and financial assistance to farmers for projects that include wetland construction and restoration, beaver pond management, wildlife flushing bars or invasive species control. Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Chris d’Entremont made the announcement today, May 31. “Nova Scotia farmers continue to be leaders in conservation farming. They are involved in environmental farm planning and contribute to healthy wetland habitat,” said Mr. d’Entremont. “My department is providing resources to help farmers complete environmental projects within this biodiversity program.” Mark Gloutney, manager for Ducks Unlimited Canada in the Atlantic provinces, acknowledges the leadership of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in developing this program. “We have been talking to provincial governments about providing assistance to farmers who manage natural lands that benefit the public through the production of wildlife, clean water and clean air,” said Mr. Gloutney. “We are pleased that Nova Scotia is demonstrating national leadership in recognizing that these resources have benefits for the public.” The program will be delivered through the Nova Scotia Farm Investment Fund. To be eligible for assistance, farmers must be registered under the Farm Registration Act and have a completed environmental farm plan. Since 1938, Ducks Unlimited Canada has conserved, restored and managed wetlands and their associated habitats for the benefit of North America’s waterfowl. These habitats — nature’s water filters — also benefit other wildlife and people. In Nova Scotia, Ducks Unlimited has 325 projects which have positively impacted 43,016 acres of habitat and has agreements with 532 landowners, many of these landowners are farmers.