Help for species at risk

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By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Chatham-Kent council is lending a hand to nature, specifically helping wildlife classified as Species-at-Risk.

At a recent meeting, council approved a motion from South Kent Coun. Anthony Ceccacci to put up signage throughout the municipality to make road crossings and habitat safer for animals.

Ceccacci said the venture – a collaborative effort between the municipality and the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority – is a good way to raise awareness of the issue.

“Hopefully it brings a little bit of extra care and a little bit of extra caution,” Ceccacci said.

Chatham-Kent administration has now been tasked with compiling a report detailing wildlife nesting and crossing areas as a first step, Ceccacci explained.

Turtles are one example, the councillor said, as there are seven types that are on the Species-at-Risk list.

Eventually a media campaign will be launched, he said, to share information about the pressures facing local wildlife.

Ceccacci has been an instrumental friend of the environment. He is behind a bid to plant a million trees in Chatham-Kent, along with developing wetlands and planting plots of tall grass prairie.

A $1-million donation from Ridge Landfill in Blenheim to encourage naturalization in South Kent has aided in the effort.

Ceccacci said he’s encouraged by the response from the many landowners undertaking conservation and naturalization projects.

However, he points out he’s a “neutral party” that considers the viewpoint of all rural and urban parties.

“I have an open mind,” he said. “It’s never a bad thing to work with your neighbours.”

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