WWF - Canada  Annual Report 2019

President’s message

Thanks to our amazing donors, partners and volunteers, WWF-Canada has been taking a stand every single day for our planet and the future of all life on Earth.  

We work hard to protect everything from the tiny capelin that sustain so many Atlantic species to the West Coast’s 73 remaining southern resident killer whales, the Arctic’s barren-ground caribou that, in some herds, have declined by more than 95 per cent, and Canada’s vast landscapes, rivers, lakes and coastlines.

Our environment is facing unprecedented challenges from climate change and biodiversity loss. Canada is warming at twice the global average, and the Arctic at three times, while half of monitored species in Canada have declined by an average of 83 per cent between 1970 and 2014.   

At WWF-Canada, we’re seeking evidence-based solutions and Indigenous knowledge  to address these dual crises. It’s been a busy year, and here’s a look at some of the important progress we’ve made:   

  • Mapped key carbon sinks — ecosystems that store carbon naturally — that are also habitats for high concentrations of at-risk species in Canada through our Wildlife  Protection Assessment. 
  • Celebrated the protection of Tuvaijuittuq, a Germany-sized section of “The Last Ice Area” that will provide a climate refuge for ice-dependent High Arctic species like polar bears and narwhals. 
  • Monitored the health of our rivers and streams with the help of local citizen scientists.
  • Promoted and strengthened biodiversity throughout the Montreal region through Biopolis, laying the groundwork for expanding healthy ecosystems throughout southwestern Quebec. 
  • Co-created Canada’s Arctic Marine Atlas, a 122-page survey available in English, French and Inuktitut which, alongside our Arctic Mariner’s guides, helps protect species and provide vital data for decision-making in the North. 
  • Tracked 2,710 native gardens in southwestern Ontario through our In the Zone Garden Tracker, which are growing healthy habitat for pollinators like bumblebees and butterflies.

With  your support, WWF-Canada will continue our work to reverse wildlife decline, enrich coastal zones and land cover in urban regions and priority wilderness areas to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support resilient communities that thrive along with the environment. Together, we can build a healthy future – for today and tomorrow.

Thank you for putting nature first. 



Megan Leslie 

President and CEO

World Wildlife Fund Canada

Wildlife Protection Assessment
"By using the best available data to map carbon for soils, peat bogs and forest biomass, we are able for the first time to present a conservative estimate of the power of nature in Canada to help keep climate change in check – while providing benefits for wildlife. Nature could be one of the most powerful tools in the fight against climate change, and it’s been largely overlooked.” 

James Snider, vice-president, science, research and innovation, WWF-Canada  

Just as we need housing, wildlife needs somewhere to live and loss of habitat is one of the main reasons half of Canada’s monitored species have declined by an average of 83 per cent. In fact, 84 per cent of habitats with high concentrations of at-risk species (at least 10) are either inadequately or completely unprotected. At the same time, three-quarters of Canada’s carbon sinks that sequester and store carbon in soil or forest biomass are either inadequately or not at all protected.

WWF-Canada’s 
Wildlife Protection Assessment used cutting-edge science to map five priority areas in Canada that are currently unprotected but play dual roles in safeguarding at-risk species and storing carbon. These areas, which include wetlands, peat bogs and forests, are comprised of the Territories, Okanagan, prairie grasslands, southern Ontario and Quebec, and the Saint John River Watershed.

This is the first time these areas have been assessed for their potential to fight climate change and reduce biodiversity loss. The results of this report will help inform future conservation efforts. 

Each year, WWF-Canada joins government researchers, Canadian universities and the community of Pond Inlet for narwhal camp — an annual research expedition to learn more about narwhal and other Arctic species — including the mysterious Greenland shark.

In fact, during last summer’s camp in Tremblay Sound, Nunavut, 34 sharks were outfitted with tags to enable us to learn more about their movements throughout the Arctic Ocean. Although we’ve tagged  Greenland sharks  in the past, which helped us to discover that some will travel from Nunavut all the way to the icy waters of Greenland, this year was special. In a global first, the team was able to measure the metabolic rate of this slow-moving species, which could help us better understand their incredible lifespan. 

New learning at annual Narwhal Camp
Our Arctic Species Conservation Fund, made possible through the generous support of the Alan and Patricia Koval Foundation  and Lindt & Sprüngli (Canada), Inc., is making incredible strides for Arctic wildlife. This year, we:
  • Delivered peer-reviewed publications that were used to inform the development of WWF’s Western Arctic Mariner’s Guide – a resource for mariners on how to strategically avoid harming wildlife and habitat in the sensitive environment of the western Arctic. 
  • Continued our work to study narwhal (90 per cent of which live in Canadian waters) to better understand how climate change is impacting them. 
  • Counted the polar bears of the Davis Strait subpopulation, one of the most southerly subpopulations in the world. 
  • Monitored the impact of disturbances from mines and roads on caribou in the Northwest Territories.
  • Created a comprehensive, national-scale map of polar bear denning sites, which will be used to help protect these critical habitats. 
  • Encouraged the delivery of 10 expressions of support from Inuit communities and representative organizations for a permanent ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic to Canada’s Minister of Transport. 
  • Joined researchers in Pond Inlet, Nunavut to collect 108 days of baseline data on the sound environment and the local calls of whales to understand how they will be impacted by increasing underwater noise. 
  • Analyzed 14,000 aerial photos of narwhal to better understand their migration, calving and feeding patterns.

Arctic Species Conservation Fund
WWF-Canada spent more than a decade pushing for the protection of what we coined “The Last Ice Area,” a High Arctic region above Canada and Greenland, where it’s projected that ice will persist the longest as climate breakdown continues. This year, a large portion of The Last Ice Area was designated as an interim Marine Protected Area, and coined “Tuvaijuittuq,” an Inuktitut word for “the place where the ice never melts”.

Thanks to the support of our donors, including Coca-Cola Ltd. and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, we helped create a long-term vision for this region by bringing relevant science and Indigenous Knowledge together and supporting Inuit-led conservation.

This hard work paid off when the leadership of the Qikiqtani Inuit Assocation, along with our advocacy, paved the way for the federal government to declare Tuvaijuittuq, a 319,411 sq. km part of The Last Ice Area, an interim Marine Protected Area while also cementing protected status for nearby Tallurutiup Imanga. This decision helped the Canadian government surpass its commitment of 10 per cent marine protection.

The Last Ice Area
Set against the backdrop of diminishing sea ice, this publication describes an extraordinary ecosystem undergoing dramatic shifts due to climate change. The 122-page atlas published by WWF-Canada, Oceans North and Ducks Unlimited, provides a snapshot of this fragile and unique environment and tells the story of humans and wildlife using detailed scientific information converted into accessible maps.

Available in English, French and Inuktitut, the Atlas has been distributed to over 200 northern schools, Inuit organizations, decision-makers and non-profit organizations. It can also be downloaded for free at 
wwf.ca/reports.   

Canada’s Arctic Marine Atlas

In 2017–2018, the number of Canadians who became Wildlifers, individuals taking action for nature through WWF-Canada, reached 1 million

Each year, WWF-Canada calls on Canadians to take action for our planet — at home, at work, at school and in their communities through the support of our Go Wild Grants presented by TELUS. And each year, we’re amazed by the response we get. Across the country, individuals and groups are restoring habitats, fundraising to support conservation projects, making contributions as citizen scientists and much more. Below are a few examples of how these incredible champions made a difference for nature.

WWF-Canada spent August working with the Dane Nan Yḗ Dāh Guardians of the Daylu Dena Council and Dease River First Nation to expand their Guardian program to better understand the impacts of increasing resource development and recreation on their waterways, including the mighty Liard River. Our partner, Living Lakes Canada, trained guardians in Environment Canada’s Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network protocol. This is a standardized technique to ensure results can be compared against communities upstream and down.

Together, we took bug samples and measured water quality, depth, velocity, and rock size. It was good news — the abundance of pollution-sensitive caddisflies in our samples indicated the water is in good health.  This information will help us narrow the gap in data regarding the health of our watersheds and allow us to make better decisions for future protection.

Wild River Guardians
Road salt keeps public areas safe during icy winters, but it's also a critical threat to the health of Ontario’s freshwater and wildlife. Each winter, more than seven million tonnes of road salt are used in Canada by public road agencies alone, creating toxic conditions for species like fish, frogs and mussels. In fact, some freshwater has become as salty as the ocean during the winter. 

In June 2019, we released WWF-Canada’s Great Lakes Chloride Summer Hot Spot Map, part of our
#LessSalty campaign, to track chloride in southern Ontario waterways and identify areas with the highest levels, including Greater Toronto, Stratford, Barrie and Kitchener. These maps, supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada, will inform policy recommendations to the provincial government.

Making Ontario’s freshwater less salty
Citizen scientists are individuals like you who are helping to monitor their environments. The data they gather for our environmental DNA program analyzes samples to understand an area’s overall health and inform future conservation decisions. 
  • This year we began a new $2.6-million partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Living Lakes Canada, Genome Canada, and the University of Guelph. Powered by this revolutionary eDNA technology, our partnership is broadening the reach and impact of existing community-based monitoring programs and leading to more informed decision-making. 
  • The program’s three-year goals include collecting 1,500 water samples, training over 400 citizen scientists who are certified in the CABIN (Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network) protocol, and 30 sub-watersheds becoming data sufficient.




STREAM
What we plant matters. When gardeners choose native plants, they’re helping grow healthier landscapes for communities and for wildlife. WWF-Canada’s In the Zone program helps and inspires people to look at their gardens and green spaces differently: as potential habitats for bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife.

Over the past year, we unveiled the In the Zone plant tag, in partnership with Carolinian Canada, to make it easier for gardeners in southern Ontario to purchase native plants. We also participated in over 15 outreach events, including Canada Blooms in the spring where 1,000 people registered to participate in In the Zone.
 
Our In the Zone Garden Tracker, an online citizen-science tool, is now in its third growing season, tracking 2,710 gardens across nearly 28,000 hectares. The data gathered on native plants, pollinators, other wildlife and sustainable gardening practices helps us demonstrate the impact of In the Zone at a landscape level.

In the Zone
Canada has the longest shoreline of any country in the world, and WWF is working hard to engage and empower individuals to help protect it.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
 program is a partnership between Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada, and presented by Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Coca-Cola Ltd. The 2018 results are impressive: 2,074 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups involving over 61,631 registered participants who collected 116,429 kilograms of litter along roughly 3,397 kilometres of shoreline.
Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
Developed in partnership with 11 post-secondary institutions, WWF-Canada’s Living Planet @ Campus engages students across the country to enhance biodiversity and  related actions to help nature thrive. Students can personally lead change during their campus experience and achieve Living Planet Leader certification, which recognizes their knowledge of and experience in the practice of sustainability, preparing them to lead change in their communities and professions.

Launch of Living Planet @ Campus
From coast to coast to coast, we’re helping individuals make a difference for nature. Go Wild Community Grants, presented by TELUS, are helping thousands of individuals connect with nature and take action to protect Canada’s incredible natural riches, diverse wildlife and varied ecosystems.

Throughout the past year, Go Wild Grants funded $107,292 to 26 projects across seven provinces and one territory.

These community-led projects have helped restore habitats for and monitor populations of monarch butterflies, bees, turtles, grizzly bears, bats, chimney swifts, sea stars, shorebirds, freshwater wildlife and more.

Go Wild Grants

• Marine and terrestrial protections and stewardship 

• Coastal restorations

• Monitoring and supporting freshwater ecosystems

• Responsible development solutions that conserve wildlife


• Low-impact sustainable fisheries 

• Habitat-friendly renewable energy 

• Engaging Canadians to protect nature

 


One million Wildlifers make an impact

WWF-Canada works towards healthy nature for wildlife and communities through:

2018 year in review

Greenland shark
Narwhal
polar bear
Arctic Marine Atlas
wild river guardians
Stream
In the Zone
Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
Living Planet @ Campus
Bees

WWF-Canada’s work is made possible through the generous contributions of individual donors, corporate partners, foundations, government and other organizations . We are deeply grateful for your trust and commitment and appreciate your role in our achievements over the past year. Thank you for your gift to nature and for believing in our mission to build a future in which people and nature thrive.

Our donors and supporters

Find out more

Note from our CFO

Thank you for your continued support of WWF-Canada. Throughout this past financial year, we made great strides for wildlife, which would not have been possible without our donors, partners and volunteers. With most of our funds coming from individuals, I’m pleased to report an increase in funds raised, allowing us to direct even more spending to conservation efforts while keeping administrative costs fiscally responsible. As we move into the new year, our goal remains to raise and direct all funds in the most meaningful ways for the conservation of all wildlife.

Building a future in which people and nature thrive.
410 Adelaide Street West, Suite 400, Toronto, ON, M5V 1S8

Privacy policy

© All photos, graphics and images on this site remain the copyright of WWF, unless otherwise noted, and should not be downloaded without prior permission. © 2020 WWF-Canada; © 1986 Panda symbol WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund); ® "WWF" and "living planet" are WWF Registered Trademarks. Charitable Reg.#11930 4954 RR0001.



For a future where people and nature thrive.


410 Adelaide Street West, Suite 400, Toronto, ON, M5V 1S8

Privacy policy


© All photos, graphics and images on this site remain the copyright of WWF, unless otherwise noted, and should not be downloaded without prior permission. © 2020 WWF-Canada; © 1986 Panda symbol WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund); ® "WWF" and "living planet" are WWF Registered Trademarks. Charitable Reg.#11930 4954 RR0001.

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For a future where people and nature thrive.


410 Adelaide Street West, Suite 400, Toronto, ON, M5V 1S8
Charitable Reg.#11930 4954 RR0001.

Privacy policy


© 1986 Panda symbol WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund). 

© “WWF” is a WWF Registered Trademark. 

© Paul Nicklen / National Geographic Stock / WWF-Canada 

© Nansen Weber / WWF-Canada


Stephen Hutchinson

CFO & SVP Operations

Revenue and Expenditures

WWF-Canada Annual Report 

2019

Thanks to our amazing donors, partners and volunteers, WWF-Canada has been taking a stand every single day for our planet and the future of all life on Earth.  

We work hard to protect everything from the tiny capelin that sustain so many Atlantic species to the West Coast’s 73 remaining southern resident killer whales, the Arctic’s barren-ground caribou that, in some herds, have declined by more than 95 per cent, and Canada’s vast landscapes, rivers, lakes and coastlines.

Our environment is facing unprecedented challenges from climate change and biodiversity loss. Canada is warming at twice the global average, and the Arctic at three times, while half of monitored species in Canada have declined by an average of 83 per cent between 1970 and 2014.   

At WWF-Canada, we’re seeking evidence-based solutions and Indigenous knowledge  to address these dual crises. It’s been a busy year, and here’s a look at some of the important progress we’ve made:   

  • Mapped key carbon sinks — ecosystems that store carbon naturally — that are also habitats for high concentrations of at-risk species in Canada through our Wildlife  Protection Assessment. 
  • Celebrated the protection of Tuvaijuittuq, a Germany-sized section of “The Last Ice Area” that will provide a climate refuge for ice-dependent High Arctic species like polar bears and narwhals. 
  • Monitored the health of our rivers and streams with the help of local citizen scientists.
  • Promoted and strengthened biodiversity throughout the Montreal region through Biopolis, laying the groundwork for expanding healthy ecosystems throughout southwestern Quebec. 
  • Co-created Canada’s Arctic Marine Atlas, a 122-page survey available in English, French and Inuktitut which, alongside our Arctic Mariner’s guides, helps protect species and provide vital data for decision-making in the North. 
  • Tracked 2,710 native gardens in southwestern Ontario through our In the Zone Garden Tracker, which are growing healthy habitat for pollinators like bumblebees and butterflies.   

    With  your support, WWF-Canada will continue our work to reverse wildlife decline, enrich coastal zones and land cover in urban regions and priority wilderness areas to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support resilient communities that thrive along with the environment. Together, we can build a healthy future – for today and tomorrow.

Thank you for putting nature first. 



Megan Leslie 

President and CEO

World Wildlife Fund Canada


"By using the best available data to map carbon for soils, peat bogs and forest biomass, we are able for the first time to present a conservative estimate of the power of nature in Canada to help keep climate change in check – while providing benefits for wildlife. Nature could be one of the most powerful tools in the fight against climate change, and it’s been largely overlooked.” 

James Snider, vice-president, science, research and innovation, WWF-Canada


Just as we need housing, wildlife needs somewhere to live and loss of habitat is one of the main reasons half of Canada’s monitored species have declined by an average of 83 per cent. In fact, 84 per cent of habitats with high concentrations of at-risk species (at least 10) are either inadequately or completely unprotected. At the same time, three-quarters of Canada’s carbon sinks that sequester and store carbon in soil or forest biomass are either inadequately or not at all protected.

WWF-Canada’s 
Wildlife Protection Assessment used cutting-edge science to map five priority areas in Canada that are currently unprotected but play dual roles in safeguarding at-risk species and storing carbon. These areas, which include wetlands, peat bogs and forests, are comprised of the Territories, Okanagan, prairie grasslands, southern Ontario and Quebec, and the Saint John River Watershed.

This is the first time these areas have been assessed for their potential to fight climate change and reduce biodiversity loss. The results of this report will help inform future conservation efforts. 

Each year, WWF-Canada joins government researchers, Canadian universities and the community of Pond Inlet for narwhal camp — an annual research expedition to learn more about narwhal and other Arctic species – including the mysterious Greenland shark.

In fact, during last summer’s camp in Tremblay Sound, Nunavut, 34 sharks were outfitted with tags to enable us to learn more about their movements throughout the Arctic Ocean. Although we’ve tagged  Greenland sharks  in the past, which helped us to discover that some will travel from Nunavut all the way to the icy waters of Greenland, this year was special. In a global first, the team was able to measure the metabolic rate of this slow-moving species, which could help us better understand their incredible lifespan. 


Our Arctic Species Conservation Fund, made possible through the generous support of the Alan and Patricia Koval Foundation  and Lindt & Sprüngli (Canada), Inc., is making incredible strides for Arctic wildlife. This year, we:
  • Delivered peer-reviewed publications that were used to inform the development of WWF’s Western Arctic Mariner’s Guide – a resource for mariners on how to strategically avoid harming wildlife and habitat in the sensitive environment of the western Arctic. 
  • Continued our work to study narwhal (90 per cent of which live in Canadian waters) to better understand how climate change is impacting them. 
  • Counted the polar bears of the Davis Strait subpopulation, one of the most southerly subpopulations in the world. 
  • Monitored the impact of disturbances from mines and roads on caribou in the Northwest Territories.
  • Created a comprehensive, national-scale map of polar bear denning sites, which will be used to help protect these critical habitats. 
  • Encouraged the delivery of 10 expressions of support from Inuit communities and representative organizations for a permanent ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic to Canada’s Minister of Transport. 
  • Joined researchers in Pond Inlet, Nunavut to collect 108 days of baseline data on the sound environment and the local calls of whales to understand how they will be impacted by increasing underwater noise. 
  • Analyzed 14,000 aerial photos of narwhal to better understand their migration, calving and feeding patterns. 
WWF-Canada spent more than a decade pushing for the protection of what we coined “The Last Ice Area,” a High Arctic region above Canada and Greenland, where it’s projected that ice will persist the longest as climate breakdown continues. This year, a large portion of The Last Ice Area was designated as an interim Marine Protected Area, and coined “Tuvaijuittuq,” an Inuktitut word for “the place where the ice never melts”.

Thanks to the support of our donors, including Coca-Cola Ltd. and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, we helped create a long-term vision for this region by bringing relevant science and Indigenous Knowledge together and supporting Inuit-led conservation.

This hard work paid off when the leadership of the Qikiqtani Inuit Assocation, along with our advocacy, paved the way for the federal government to declare Tuvaijuittuq, a 319,411 sq. km part of The Last Ice Area, an interim Marine Protected Area while also cementing protected status for nearby Tallurutiup Imanga. This decision helped the Canadian government surpass its commitment of 10 per cent marine protection. 

Set against the backdrop of diminishing sea ice, this publication describes an extraordinary ecosystem undergoing dramatic shifts due to climate change. The 122-page atlas published by WWF-Canada, Oceans North and Ducks Unlimited, provides a snapshot of this fragile and unique environment and tells the story of humans and wildlife using detailed scientific information converted into accessible maps.

Available in English, French and Inuktitut, the Atlas has been distributed to over 200 northern schools, Inuit organizations, decision-makers and non-profit organizations. It can also be downloaded for free at 
wwf.ca/reports.   



Each year, WWF-Canada calls on everyday Canadians to take action for our planet — at home, at work, at school and in their communities through the support of our Go Wild Grants. And each year, we’re amazed by the response we get. Across the country, groups and individuals are restoring habitats, fundraising to support conservation projects, making contributions as citizen scientists and so much more.

In 2017–2018, the number of Canadians who have become Wildlifers (individuals taking action for nature through WWF-Canada) reached 1 million. Below are a few examples of how these incredible champions made a difference for nature.

WWF-Canada spent August working with the Dane Nan Yḗ Dāh Guardians of the Daylu Dena Council and Dease River First Nation to expand their Guardian program to better understand the impacts of increasing resource development and recreation on their waterways, including the mighty Liard River. Our partner, Living Lakes Canada, trained guardians in Environment Canada’s Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network protocol. This is a standardized technique to ensure results can be compared against communities upstream and down.

Together, we took bug samples and measured water quality, depth, velocity, and rock size. It was good news — the abundance of pollution-sensitive caddisflies in our samples indicated the water is in good health.  This information will help us narrow the gap in data regarding the health of our watersheds and allow us to make better decisions for future protection.

Road salt keeps public areas safe during icy winters, but it's also a critical threat to the health of Ontario’s freshwater and wildlife. Each winter, more than seven million tonnes of road salt are used in Canada by public road agencies alone, creating toxic conditions for species like fish, frogs and mussels. In fact, some freshwater has become as salty as the ocean during the winter. 

In June 2019, we released WWF-Canada’s Great Lakes Chloride Summer Hot Spot Map, part of our
#LessSalty campaign, to track chloride in southern Ontario waterways and identify areas with the highest levels, including Greater Toronto, Stratford, Barrie and Kitchener. These maps, supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada, will inform policy recommendations to the provincial government. 
Citizen scientists are individuals like you who are helping to monitor their environments. The data they gather for our environmental DNA program analyzes samples to understand an area’s overall health and inform future conservation decisions. 
  • This year we began a new $2.6-million partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Living Lakes Canada, Genome Canada, and the University of Guelph. Powered by this revolutionary eDNA technology, our partnership is broadening the reach and impact of existing community-based monitoring programs and leading to more informed decision-making. 
  • The program’s three-year goals include collecting 1,500 water samples, training over 400 citizen scientists who are certified in the CABIN (Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network) protocol, and 30 sub-watersheds becoming data sufficient.



What we plant matters. When gardeners choose native plants, they’re helping grow healthier landscapes for communities and for wildlife. WWF-Canada’s In the Zone program helps and inspires people to look at their gardens and green spaces differently: as potential habitats for bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife.

Over the past year, we unveiled the In the Zone plant tag, in partnership with Carolinian Canada, to make it easier for gardeners in southern Ontario to purchase native plants. We also participated in over 15 outreach events, including Canada Blooms in the spring where 1,000 people registered to participate in In the Zone.
 
Our In the Zone Garden Tracker, an online citizen-science tool, is now in its third growing season, tracking 2,710 gardens across nearly 28,000 hectares. The data gathered on native plants, pollinators, other wildlife and sustainable gardening practices helps us demonstrate the impact of In the Zone at a landscape level.

Canada has the longest shoreline of any country in the world, and WWF is working hard to engage and empower individuals to help protect it.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program is a partnership between Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada, and presented by Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Coca-Cola Ltd. The 2018 results are impressive: 2,074 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups involving over 61,631 registered participants who collected 116,429 kilograms of litter along roughly 3,397 kilometres of shoreline.

Developed in partnership with 11 post-secondary institutions, WWF-Canada’s Living Planet @ Campus engages students across the country to enhance biodiversity and  related actions to help nature thrive. Students can personally lead change during their campus experience and achieve Living Planet Leader certification, which recognizes their knowledge of and experience in the practice of sustainability, preparing them to lead change in their communities and professions.
From coast to coast to coast, we’re helping individuals make a difference for nature. Go Wild Community Grants, presented by TELUS, are helping thousands of individuals connect with nature and take action to protect Canada’s incredible natural riches, diverse wildlife and varied ecosystems.

Throughout the past year, Go Wild Grants funded $107,292 to 26 projects across seven provinces and one territory.

These community-led projects have helped restore habitats for and monitor populations of monarch butterflies, bees, turtles, grizzly bears, bats, chimney swifts, sea stars, shorebirds, freshwater wildlife and more.


WWF-Canada’s work is made possible through the generous contributions of individual donors, corporate partners, foundations and organizations. We are deeply grateful for your trust and commitment and recognize your role in our achievements this year. Thank you for your gift to nature and for believing in our mission to build a future in which people and nature thrive.

In 2017–2018, the number of Canadians who became Wildlifers, individuals taking action for nature through WWF-Canada, reached 1 million

Each year, WWF-Canada calls on Canadians to take action for our planet — at home, at work, at school and in their communities through the support of our Go Wild Grants presented by TELUS. And each year, we’re amazed by the response we get. Across the country, individuals and groups are restoring habitats, fundraising to support conservation projects, making contributions as citizen scientists and much more. Below are a few examples of how these incredible champions made a difference for nature.

100 citizen scientists

trained and monitored freshwater health through STREAM (Sequencing the Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring).

30 community partners

Worked with 30 community partners to learn more about the health of Canada’s freshwater.

5,971 climbers

conquered the CN Tower's 1,776 steps for wildlife at the annual CN Tower Climb for Nature.

2,225 participants

1.3 million kgs

Teamed up with property management companies to keep over 1.3 million kgs of salt from entering our waterways.

Your support adds up

• Marine and terrestrial protections and stewardship 

• Coastal restorations 

• Monitoring and supporting freshwater ecosystems

Responsible development solutions that conserve wildlife


• Low-impact sustainable fisheries 

• Habitat-friendly renewable energy 

• Engaging Canadians to protect nature


5,971 climbers

31 citizen scientists

30 community partners 

1.3 million kgs

© Francoise Gervais

© Doug Beach

© National Geographic Stock - Nick Caloyianis - WWF

© Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Stock / WWF-Canada

© Richard Barrett / WWF-UK

© roman Samborskyi via Shutterstock.com

© Tessa MACINTOSH / WWF-Canada

© Meghan Tansey Whitton

© EMILY VANDERMEER / WWF- CANADA

© Catherine Paquette

© Rebecca Spring – WWF-Canada

© Pete Ewins

© Sergi Bachlakov via shutterstock.com

©  Pete Ewins

© EMILY VANDERMEER / WWF- CANADA

tracked in southwestern Ontario through our In the Zone Garden Tracker.

2,710 gardens

21 programs

Led 21 educational and awareness programs through Biopolis to promote urban biodiversity.

identified across Canada that can deliver the most at-risk species protection and the most carbon storage  to help Canada achieve its 17 per cent terrestrial target.

5 priority areas 

"The climate crisis is a fight for our future — and nature is our most important ally. Nature-based solutions reduce emissions by capturing carbon in forests, grasslands, coastal regions and wetlands  that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere.

Healthy ecosystems, in many areas made stronger by Indigenous knowledge  and leadership, also support resilience to climate impacts that have already begun such as flooding, fires, extreme weather and desertification.

We can, we must — and at WWF-Canada we will — fight the climate crisis with nature.”  
Mary MacDonald, senior vice-president and chief conservation officer, WWF-Canada
“The disappearance of sea ice threatens the very existence of ice-dependent wildlife and Inuit communities that rely on them for food, livelihood and cultural survival.” 

Paul Okalik, lead specialist, Arctic conservation, WWF-Canada

 

The Arctic is warming at three times the global average, which is drastically impacting wildlife and the people who depend on them. With your help, WWF-Canada is working to create solutions that will help to build a healthy future for the Arctic.

 
“All waterways deserve protection in Canada, whether they are the wild rivers of Canada’s North or the beleaguered rivers in our heavily populated and developed South. Now is the time to restore lost oversight, and we look forward to working with Canada’s government to do so.” 
Elizabeth Hendriks, vice-president, freshwater, WWF-Canada
 

WWF-Canada is working towards a future where all Canadian waters are in good condition by building water resilient communities, bringing big water data to decision-making tables, and creating a culture of water stewardship across the country by collaborating with governments at all levels, Indigenous communities,  researchers and local communities.

 
“It’s important to recognize the role that nature plays in sustaining us — and commit to doing our part to sustain it. WWF-Canada is proud to help thousands of Canadians connect more deeply with their environment because when nature thrives, so do our communities.” 
 Sarah Winterton, director, nature-connected communities, WWF-Canada
 

At WWF-Canada, we’re engaging people across the country to take action for nature. Whether planting a native garden for pollinators or promoting sustainable actions on campus, our programs are helping thousands do more for wildlife.

 
“The ocean is our planet’s life-support system so any threat to the health of the ocean, in turn, threatens us all. That’s why WWF-Canada wants to see bold action on climate change alongside real measurable protections for marine habitats and species.” 
Sigrid Kuehnemund, vice-president, oceans, WWF-Canada
 

Canada has the longest coastline in the world, bordering the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. WWF-Canada is working to change the tide and drive protection and sustainable management so that these oceans have a vibrant future.

 
This summer, the field team for the Ships, Whales and Acoustics in Gitga’at territory (SWAG) Project were out fixing and replacing hydrophones that record and analyze whale calls around Hartley Bay, B.C. The project uses these recordings along with land-based visual observations to track whales and monitor their behaviour in the presence of boats and ships. It also utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to differentiate between the calls of orcas, fin whales and humpback whales. 

The goal of this project is to track whales and vessels in real time and collaboratively  develop ways to manage marine traffic so that risks to local whale populations are reduced as commercial shipping increases from industrial development. SWAG is a partnership of The Gitga’at Nation, North Coast Cetacean Society and WWF-Canada. 

Monitoring whales and ships
This summer, the field team for the Ships, Whales and Acoustics in Gitga’at territory (SWAG) Project were out fixing and replacing hydrophones that record and analyze whale calls around Hartley Bay, B.C. The project uses these recordings along with land-based visual observations to track whales and monitor their behaviour in the presence of boats and ships. It also utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to differentiate between the calls of orcas, fin whales and humpback whales. 

The goal of this project is to track whales and vessels in real time and collaboratively  develop ways to manage marine traffic so that risks to local whale populations are reduced as commercial shipping increases from industrial development. SWAG is a partnership of The Gitga’at Nation, North Coast Cetacean Society and WWF-Canada.

© Tim Irvin / WWF-Canada

After two years of diligent advocacy, WWF-Canada was thrilled with the federal government's move to adopt minimum standards for federal marine protected areas, which includes a ban on oil and gas exploration, mining, dumping and bottom-trawling.

This ensures that the newly protected Laurentian Channel, which would have still allowed oil and gas activities in most of the protected area, will now have higher standards thanks to Canadians standing up to this type of development. These higher standards for marine protected areas will ensure critical habitats remain uncompromised by damaging human activities.


Banning harmful industrial activities in Marine Protected Areas
After two years of diligent advocacy, WWF-Canada was thrilled with the federal government's move to adopt minimum standards for federal marine protected areas, which includes a ban on oil and gas exploration, mining, dumping and bottom-trawling.

This ensures that the newly protected Laurentian Channel, which would have still allowed oil and gas activities in most of the protected area, will now have higher standards thanks to Canadians standing up to this type of development. These higher standards for marine protected areas will ensure critical habitats remain uncompromised by damaging human activities. 

©  Jürgen Freund / WWF

In the Salish Sea, forage fish like Pacific sand lance and surf smelt use beaches along the coasts of B.C. to spawn. They are an essential part of the marine ecosystem and act as prey for Chinook salmon, which in turn feed the endangered southern resident killer whales. But there is relatively limited research to understand the behaviour of forage fish and the habitats they need to feed and reproduce.

But we do know that the impacts of climate change combined with shoreline development are diminishing the quantity and quality of spawning habitats. So, with the support of the Sitka Foundation and Dragon Fire Charitable Foundation, WWF-Canada and our partners sampled over 43 potential spawning beaches within B.C.’s Salish Sea.

With help from more than a hundred volunteers, we identified 19 beaches used for spawning by Pacific sand lance. With this data, we’ll continue to expand our network and identify beaches in need of restoration and protection so that we can ensure the future health of forage fish populations and the entire marine food web that they support.

Forage fish in the Salish Sea
Chinook salmon
In the Salish Sea, forage fish like Pacific sand lance and surf smelt use beaches along the coasts of B.C. to spawn. They are an essential part of the marine ecosystem and act as prey for Chinook salmon, which in turn feed the endangered southern resident killer whales. But there is relatively limited research to understand the behaviour of forage fish and the habitats they need to feed and reproduce.

But we do know that the impacts of climate change combined with shoreline development are diminishing the quantity and quality of spawning habitats. So, with the support of the Sitka Foundation and Dragon Fire Charitable Foundation, WWF-Canada and our partners sampled over 43 potential spawning beaches within B.C.’s Salish Sea.

With help from more than a hundred volunteers, we identified 19 beaches used for spawning by Pacific sand lance. With this data, we’ll continue to expand our network and identify beaches in need of restoration and protection so that we can ensure the future health of forage fish populations and the entire marine food web that they support.

© Randy Bjorklund via Shutterstock.com

WWF-Canada, with a coalition of six conservation groups, continued to advocate for measures to support the recovery of the critically endangered southern resident killer whales. These included whale-watching restrictions for southern residents, expanded voluntary slowdowns for ships to reduce noise and the creation of no-vessel and no fishing zones in feeding areas. In May 2019, the federal government announced the implementation of these new protections for the 2019 season – a decision commended by WWF-Canada. We continue to work with our partners to assess the impact of these measures and to advocate for additional measures in 2020 that will more effectively protect the remaining 73 whales.

Advocating for southern resident killer whales
WWF-Canada, with a coalition of six conservation groups, continued to advocate for measures to support the recovery of the critically endangered southern resident killer whales. These included whale-watching restrictions for southern residents, expanded voluntary slowdowns for ships to reduce noise and the creation of no-vessel and no fishing zones in feeding areas. In May 2019, the federal government announced the implementation of these new protections for the 2019 season – a decision commended by WWF-Canada. We continue to work with our partners to assess the impact of these measures and to advocate for additional measures in 2020 that will more effectively protect the remaining 73 whales.


©  Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada

Southern resident killer whale
"After the severe flooding experienced by several Quebec municipalities in 2017 and 2019, it is clear that we need to acquire tools that will improve our communities’ blue resilience in the face of climate disruption. It is a social, economic and nature-based approach that WWF-Canada intends to bring to cities across the country. It will also benefit the biodiversity and connectivity between ecosystems, from North to South.” 
Sophie Paradis, director, Quebec program, WWF-Canada
WWF-Canada’s Quebec program has two objectives: creating conservation and mobilization projects in Quebec and communicating WWF-Canada’s work in French. The Quebec program supports wildlife, habitats and ecosystems native to the province, and is focused on developing WWF-Canada’s urban expertise and building resilient communities through urban and aquatic biodiversity projects. This program also works on shipping and protected areas connected to the St. Lawrence River, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Biopolis is the first urban biodiversity hub in North America. It’s a digital platform designed to share knowledge, projects and expertise encouraging individuals to partake in urban projects promoting the health and sustainability of native species. Since launching in Montreal in December 2016, this informative platform has grown from 40 to 75 projects. As the need expands to measure our environmental impact by protecting and restoring nature in our urban areas, WWF-Canada is on the forefront of developing the first urban biodiversity indicators for Canada.
Biopolis
Biopolis is the first urban biodiversity hub in North America. It’s a digital platform designed to share knowledge, projects and expertise encouraging individuals to partake in urban projects promoting the health and sustainability of native species. Since launching in Montreal in December 2016, this informative platform has grown from 40 to 75 projects. As the need expands to measure our environmental impact by protecting and restoring nature in our urban areas, WWF-Canada is on the forefront of developing the first urban biodiversity indicators for Canada.
Through Blue Montreal, and with the support of Intact Financial Corporation, WWF-Canada is aiming to breathe new life into Montreal’s aquatic ecosystems, return water to its rightful place in the urban landscape, improve water management and strengthen resilience to climate change. Three boroughs have already been targeted with proposed revitalization work, including bringing underground rivers back above ground, building new urban rivers and developing blue alleys (laneways designed to better manage storm water runoffs, among other things). This past year we completed feasibility studies at three potential sites in Montreal, which will also be used as examples for our Blue Resilience Research Action Centre – on track to be built next year.
Blue Montreal
Through Blue Montreal, and with the support of Intact Financial Corporation, WWF-Canada is aiming to breathe new life into Montreal’s aquatic ecosystems, return water to its rightful place in the urban landscape, improve water management and strengthen resilience to climate change. Three boroughs have already been targeted with proposed revitalization work, including bringing underground rivers back above ground, building new urban rivers and developing blue alleys (laneways designed to better manage storm water runoffs, among other things). This past year we completed feasibility studies at three potential sites in Montreal, which will also be used as examples for our Blue Resilience Research Action Centre – on track to be built next year.
Montreal

2,710 gardens

21 programs

5 priority areas

Expanded Kids’ Run for Nature with more than 2,200 youth and 400 volunteers participating in 27 communities across Canada.   

2,225 participants 

 

Nature, when adequately protected, can provide solutions needed to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. At WWF-Canada, we are dedicated to finding new ways to keep carbon stored above and below ground.

 

Nature-based solutions

Arctic

Freshwater

 

 GRANTING PARTNER From 2014 to 2019 Loblaw Companies Ltd. granted $1.57 million through Loblaw Water Fund to 73 projects, engaging over 18,000 Canadians and planting over 95,000 native species.


Nature-connected communities

Oceans

Quebec

© naturepl.com / Nick Garbutt / WWF

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© Jordan Hamelin

© EB Adventure Photography via Shutterstock.com

©  Hectare urbain HEC Montréal

©  Ed Kwong