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Great Lakes Article:

LCBO and partners launch project to bring Atlantic salmon back to Lake Ontario after more than 100 years
CNW Telbec
Published April 27, 2006


The LCBO and Banrock Station Wines announcedtoday a five-year project to help restore native Atlantic salmon to Lake Ontario, after an absence of more than 100 years due to habitat loss at thetime of early settlement.   

Australian wine maker Banrock Station is contributing $1.25 million toone of the most significant species restoration projects in the world. BanrockStation Manager Tony Sharley says bringing native Atlantic salmon back to LakeOntario is the winemaker's most significant species restoration projectoutside of Australia, where it is known for a successful 3,400-acre wetlandsrestoration project.   

"Banrock Station's $1.25 million contribution to help restore Atlanticsalmon to Lake Ontario will be our largest investment outside of Australia,"Sharley said. "Banrock Station Wines has supported wetland and native speciesrestoration projects for more than 15 years, however this project in Ontariowill create a legacy of which every member of the Banrock Station team aroundthe world can be proud."   

The project will improve Atlantic salmon habitats in Ontario rivers andstreams which empty into Lake Ontario. Ministry of Natural Resources, itspartners and conservation-minded volunteers from local communities willrelease millions of fry, yearlings and fingerlings over the next five yearsinto selected spawning streams to build a self-sustaining population of theprized fish. The 81,000 member Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters(OFAH) will be a key partner in the project, as members work to revitalizeriver banks and improve the salmon's natural habitats.    The announcement was made today by David Orazietti, ParliamentaryAssistant to Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay, at the Balmy Beach Clubon Lake Ontario.   

"The Ontario government is working to protect the natural environment andimprove our biodiversity," said Minister Ramsay. "Restoring Atlantic salmonwill have wide-ranging environmental benefits throughout the Lake Ontariowatershed and will help improve the health of the aquatic ecosystem."   

Banrock Station has also chosen Ontario for the global launch of theirwines in environmentally-friendly Tetra Pak containers. They are beingfeatured in LCBO stores from April 27 to May 20, where colourful displays willinvite customers to "Bring home a wine that brings back the salmon". ThreeBanrock Station varietals will be available in 1L. Tetra Pak containers: anUnwooded Chardonnay ($12.60), a Cabernet Sauvignon ($13.90), and a Shiraz($13.90).   

"We're delighted Banrock Station is making such a strong commitment toOntario's natural environment and helping restore this native Ontario fishspecies," said LCBO Acting Chair and CEO Philip Olsson. "We're also pleasedBanrock is offering their wines in convenient packaging that supports LCBOefforts to reduce package waste."   

The LCBO will also contribute approximately $250,000 over five years fromits Natural Heritage Fund to the Atlantic salmon restoration project. The Fundis used to sponsor improvements to Ontario natural habitats, supported bysales of cloth Envirobags in LCBO stores.   

LCBO President and COO Bob Peter said LCBO and its employees arecommitted to making a positive contribution to the community. "LCBO'sleadership in bringing alternative packaging to consumers and in providinghabitat restoration through the Natural Heritage Fund is part of ourcommitment to be a responsible retailer," Peter said.   

OFAH Executive Director Mike Reader said his organization and the entireoutdoor community are involved in the Atlantic salmon restoration projectbecause it helps protect Ontario's biodiversity, improving coldwater streamsand, ultimately, increasing outdoor recreation opportunities.   

"We welcome the support of the LCBO and Banrock Station Wines for thismajor conservation project," Reader said. "Together with the Ministry ofNatural Resources staff and our many dedicated volunteers, we can now moveahead swiftly to deliver this considerable conservation project. In just a fewdays, we will begin to expand our hands-on stream improvement projects and,over the next five years, we will be stocking millions of Atlantic salmon backinto Lake Ontario."    Banrock Station Wines, represented in Ontario by Churchill CellarsLimited, has been acclaimed internationally for restoration of the BanrockStation wetlands on the River Murray in South Australia. They have establishedBanrock Station Wetlands Foundations in various countries to do similar workin other parts of the world.   

Fry will be released into the Credit River in Mississauga, Duffins Creekin Pickering/Ajax and Coburg Creek in Northumberland County, beginning theweek of May 8th, 2006.   

Editor's Note: Please see backgrounders from LCBO; Ministry of NaturalResources; the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters; and Banrock Station.Also visit, www.mnr@gov.on.ca; www.lcbo.com; www.bringbackthesalmon.ca;www.banrockstation.com; www.churchillcellars.com (representing Banrock Winesin Ontario).

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