Raise Your Voice and Get the American Eel Listed by SARA

American Eels are pretty impressive creatures.

They swim 5,000 kilometres from Ontario waters to the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda to spawn. Then their offspring make the long journey back.

american eel migration map @ CWF

Considering they’ve got such a long trek, you’d think making the journey itself and the sheer energy they’d exhaust making it would be the hardest part for these eels.

Unfortunately, it’s really not.

They face so many threats along the way, like facing barriers such as dams and turbines that can kill adults as they return to sea. They’re having such a hard time that they’ve declined by more than 99 per cent in Ontario.

It’s Not Looking Good for the Eels

american eel @ sean landsman

That’s why it’s more important than ever that they become listed. They’re already considered Threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, but they still haven’t been listed under the Species at Risk Act. Getting listed would make such a big impact for the American Eel. It would protect the species. And they certainly need our protection!

The good news? The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is in the final stages of developing listing advice to Cabinet on whether or not to add the American Eel to the Species at Risk Act. The bad news? They’ve been reviewing it for over three years and still haven’t delivered their final listing decision.

We Need Action if We Are Going to Save the American Eel!

This Rivers to Oceans Week, we want to help the migratory species that need it the most.

Will you send an email to government urging them to list the American Eel in the Species at Risk Act?

Continue reading “Raise Your Voice and Get the American Eel Listed by SARA”

Here Are the Most Dangerous Roads in Eastern Ontario

Turtles and roads are a dangerous combination.

When turtles leave their wetlands on an overland trek, they often have to cross a road to get where they are going. Their destination may simply be the wetland across the road, or a nesting site for an adult female to lay her eggs. Whatever the reason for setting out, the result is often a dead turtle on the road.

Turtles are slow, which increases their risk of being hit by a car or truck as they cross a road. In addition, a turtle’s reaction to danger is often to pull in their head and legs and remain immobile. Unfortunately, remaining immobile on a busy road turns a turtle into a sitting duck.

Road Survey Results

Excavating a nest | Marquage des œufs de tortues serpentines.

Over the past two years, the CWF turtle team has been conducting road surveys in the greater Ottawa area to find out where turtles are getting hit on the roads.

Tragically, we have found more than 1,000 dead turtles on roads.

That is a staggering amount of roadkill that is likely not sustainable in the long term. We are working hard to get wildlife fencing installed at two of the locations where we found the most turtles on roads near Ottawa.

We found more turtles on some roads than others. A lot of things affect how many turtles are found on a given road, such as the length of the road, the traffic volume, how many wetlands are nearby, and how often the road is surveyed.

Turtles can be on the move from May to September but much of the movement occurs in June when adult females are looking for nesting locations. It is always a good idea to be alert for turtles when driving in the spring and summer.

If you can slow down when approaching wetlands this can increase the odds of seeing a turtle on the road before it is too late. And while it is good to be watching for turtles on any rural road, we can now say which roads in the Ottawa area cause the most mortality for turtles.

So if you are driving near Ottawa this spring and summer, be extra careful on the following roads:

Hot Roads Do you regularly drive one of Eastern Ontario's 'hot roads?' This map is a compilation of CWF's 2018 data on turtle strikes.
Hot Roads: Do you regularly drive one of Eastern Ontario’s ‘hot roads?’ This map is a compilation of CWF’s 2018 data on turtle strikes.
  • #7 (west of Carleton Place)
  • #10 (southwest of Perth)
  • #15 (south of Carleton Place)
  • Dwyer Hill Rd (western Ottawa)
  • Roger Stevens Drive (southern Ottawa)
  • Wolf Grove Rd (west of Almonte)

(These roads are ordered alphabetically. We have not attempted to rank these roads by the number of turtles as not all roads were surveyed the same amount.)

Not surprisingly these are all relatively long and busy roads. Various other shorter roads also had a number of dead turtles, just not as many as these roads. It is a dangerous place out there for turtles. Please watch for them as they try to cross our roads.

If you want to find out more about what you can do for turtles, please check out our website, HelptheTurtles.ca.

American Eel By-catch: Critical Information for Anglers

As temperatures warm outdoors, many anglers are restocking their tackle kits and preparing their rods and reels for another season of fishing.

More than three million people go fishing in Canada each year. For many of those people, fishing is about more than bringing home a fresh and nutritious supper. Fishing is a way to relax, spend time with friends and family, and reconnect with nature.

But responsible fishing also means being prepared to safely handle any fish that bites the hook  even if it isn’t what you were targeting.

A closeup of an American Eel © Sarah Gough
A closeup of an American Eel © Sarah Gough

The American Eel is an example of a fish that you might accidentally capture when you head out fishing in Central and Eastern Canada. In Ontario, the eel population has declined by more than 99 per cent since the 1980s. As an Endangered species in Ontario, American Eels cannot be intentionally targeted by anglers. But these rare fish still surprise unsuspecting anglers at the end of the line sometimes. If caught, American Eels must be released immediately!

What Do You Do?

Would you know what to do if you incidentally captured an American Eel? If not, the Canadian Wildlife Federation can help!

american eel on fishing line
Removing the hook from an American Eel @ Aline Litt

In 2018, CWF conducted an experiment to find out how to best release incidentally captured eels. We’re happy to report that all American Eels survived the catch-and-release experiment, whether they were released by cutting the line or hook removal.

Even better, after a seven-day monitoring period, 87 per cent of American Eels exhibited little or no sign of hooking injury. Also, a large proportion of the line-cut eels had shed their hooks, with shallower hooks being shed more easily. This suggests that eels are not highly vulnerable to incidental capture by anglers.

Bottom Line

In conclusion? If you catch an American Eel, don’t be intimidated  all you need to do is release it!

 It’s up to you whether you choose to cut the line or remove the hook. Line cutting may be the easiest and quickest option because these slippery fish are extremely challenging to handle!

Learn more about the American Eel and other related projects.

Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?

To get to the wetland on the other side.

It is spring and turtles are active, often moving from one wetland to another. Or females are looking for a place to lay their eggs. These movements often mean turtles must cross roads to get where they want to go.

Over the past two years, the Canadian Wildlife Federation turtle team has found over 1,000 dead turtles on roads in eastern Ontario. That is a staggering amount of mortality. We know that road mortality is a serious threat to turtles and we are working on getting wildlife fencing installed at some of the worst spots to keep turtles off the road.

What Can I Do?

In the mean time, we can all do our part by watching for turtles on roads, particularly when we are driving in rural areas close to lakes and wetlands. The CWF turtle team has rescued over 100 turtles from roads over the past two years. You can help too.

First of all, if you see a turtle trying to cross the road, make sure it is safe to help. If the traffic isn’t too heavy and it is safe to do so, pull off onto the road shoulder and turn on the car’s four-way flashers. Look both ways before heading onto the road to save the turtle. If there are cars coming, don’t risk your life.

With the exception of Snapping Turtles it is fairly easy to pick up most turtles. Use both hands and grab the turtle on either side of the shell. The turtle may not appreciate or understand that it is being rescued from the road and may scratch or pee on you, so be prepared for this. If you have a firm grip on the turtle with both hands you are less likely to drop it if it does scratch you. It’s a good idea to keep a pair of work gloves in the car to protect your hands when moving turtles, and for other roadside adventures.

Always move the turtle in the direction that it is heading. Turtles know where they want to go. Release the turtle on the shoulder of the road and it will likely quickly shuffle away from you and the road. Take a bow, as you just saved a turtle.

Moving Snapping Turtles, especially large ones, is more challenging. Snapping Turtles can be fast and they can bite. They can also spin around quickly or even lunge. Do not grab the sides of the shell of a Snapping Turtle as the head may whip around and bite you.

One option to move a Snapping Turtle is the car mat drag. Place a car mat behind the turtle, grab the back of the shell near the back legs and drag the turtle onto the mat. Do not drag the turtle by its tail as this can injure the turtle. Once the turtle is on the mat, drag the mat off the road, keeping one hand on the back of the turtle.

Another technique for moving a Snapping Turtle is the shovel lift. If you have a shovel in the car, approach the turtle from behind and slide the shovel under it. Then lift and move the Snapping Turtle off the road. Don’t lift the shovel too far above the road as the turtle may try to move and fall off the shovel.

To see how to safely pick up a Snapping Turtle by hand, check out our video on how to move a turtle off the road.

To learn more how you can help turtles, visit HelpTheTurtles.ca

CWF Testifies to Government Recommending Three Amendments to Fisheries Act

This week, CWF’s CEO Rick Bates testified to the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans for better protection for fish habitat.

He recommended three related amendments that build on existing provisions in Bill C-68. Here they are:

Rick Bates, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Wildlife Federation speaking to the Standing Committee about the Fisheries Act

Good evening, senators, staff and guests. Our organization, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, is known and respected for providing a balanced voice on environment and wildlife conservation issues.

Minister Wilkinson indicated that the government is open to amendments, particularly where they provide improved certainty for proponents and better protection for fish habitat.

We are recommending three closely related amendments that build on existing provisions in the bill. They strengthen certainty for industry and improve fish habitat across Canada. Our amendments focus specifically on the mechanisms within the Fisheries Act for offsetting harm to fish habitat. These three amendments are:

First, we propose expanding the ability to create habitat banks to more than just project proponents; in other words, allow any organization to create a habitat bank and then sell the credits to the project proponent.

Second, complement this by allowing the payment of a fee in lieu of doing an offset for certain projects and dedicate all revenues collected to aquatic habitat restoration. The Environmental Damages Fund already exists and could be used for this purpose.

Third, clarify in law that fish habitat destruction authorized under the Fisheries Act can be offset by the proponent creating the offset themselves, buying the offset from a habitat bank, making a payment in lieu or a combination of these three.

I want to clarify that Bill C-68 includes new provisions for habitat banking. However, as currently written, the bill limits the opportunity to create a habitat bank exclusively to project proponents. In other words, if you plan to build a road over a series of rivers, only you as the developer can create new habitat as a bank to offset the habitat you may destroy in the future. DFO will then award you credits for that restored habitat, which you hold in your bank until you can use those credits to offset any damage from the roads you build.

The main problems with this are that it requires the developer to invest a lot of money up front to create the bank of habitat credits. But these developers are not in the business of habitat banking, so they are unlikely to want to tie up capital in habitat restoration. This means that the actual creation of habitat banks will be very limited.

Offsets must last a very long time, essentially in perpetuity. This means that the developer will need to monitor and maintain that offset over its lifespan, which diverts their focus from their core business.

These ideas are not new. Habitat banking has existed in the U.S.A. since the 1980s, in Germany since 2002 and in Australia since 2008. Our proposed changes will have many positive impacts, including, for proponents, they increase certainty for projects, as developers could purchase an offset credit that has already been approved by DFO or pay a fee. This eliminates questions of whether their offset will meet DFO’s requirements. Plus, they gain the certainty of knowing their costs up front.

This will also get faster project approval because developers won’t need to spend time and money to design, develop and wait for approval from DFO. They simply buy an offset.

For local economies, establishment of a new sector, habitat banking companies. These could be operated by private companies, Indigenous people or non-government organizations. It will also help limit the growing bill that taxpayers will eventually have to pay to restore aquatic habitat.

For our lakes, rivers and coasts, habitat banking can pool offsets from multiple projects to allow for larger-scale habitat restoration and greater gains for fish production. Fees paid in lieu of doing an offset would be earmarked specifically for habitat restoration.

We see the many benefits of these amendments as easy to capture, as we believe the administrative impact on DFO is very manageable. The concept of habitat banking is already in the bill, so implementing third party habitat banking would be incremental to work DFO already needs to carry out.

DFO already has to monitor offsets created under the act and to enforce authorization conditions. It may actually take fewer DFO staff to monitor a few larger habitat banking projects than to monitor many individual offsets.

In closing, I’d like to thank you for your work here today and for your work on this important bill.

Helping At-Risk Freshwater Turtles: From Start to Finish

In June of this year, CWF’s turtle team spent many long evenings searching for turtles laying eggs.

In particular we were looking for Snapping Turtles and Blanding’s Turtles in the process of laying their eggs. Our goal was to let the females lay their eggs and afterwards we would dig up and collect the eggs to incubate them back at CWF headquarters.


Hannah moving a Blanding's Turtle @ Mackenzie Barns
Hannah moving a Blanding’s Turtle @ Mackenzie Barns

All eight of Canada’s freshwater turtles are now considered to be species at risk. Turtles face a lot of threats such as loss of wetland habitat, and traffic mortality. In many areas 50 per cent or more of turtle nests will be destroyed and eaten by predators such as raccoons. Nest predation is a natural process, but giving turtles a helping hand by protecting their nests can benefit their populations.

From Start to Finish

1. Collecting Eggs

Excavated Snapping Turtle eggs in the field
Excavated Snapping Turtle eggs in the field | Marquage des œufs de tortues hargneuses.

Collecting turtle eggs is not as easy as it may sound. After a female turtle has laid her eggs, she packs the soil back into the hole and there is often no sign of the nest. The surest way to find a turtle nest is to find the female during the few hours she is in the process of laying her eggs. This can involve a lot of searching in the evening, when turtles are most apt to lay their eggs.

Great care has to be taken not to startle the turtle, or she may abandon her search for a nesting site until another evening. Once the female has finished nesting, we carefully dig up the nest and collect the eggs. After many long and late nights, the Turtle Team gathered more than 400 eggs from roadside nests!

2. Egg Incubation

CWF Freshwater Turtle Specialist Dave Seburn shows us the turtle eggs in the incubator.
CWF Freshwater Turtle Specialist Dave Seburn shows us the turtle eggs in the incubator | Œufs dans un incubateur

The eggs were kept in a special reptile egg incubator that maintains a constant temperature. Eggs from two species at risk turtles were collected: the Blanding’s Turtle and Snapping Turtle. Blanding’s Turtle eggs are oval, whereas Snapping Turtle eggs are round, like tiny ping-pong balls. Blanding’s Turtles lay about a dozen eggs, whereas Snapping Turtles lay 30 to 40 eggs.

The eggs from each nest were placed in a separate container filled with damp vermiculite, an artificial potting soil mixture. Our first eggs began to hatch in early August, but the eggs continued to hatch over the next few weeks. Excluding the eggs which weren’t fertilized, we had about 97 per cent of the eggs hatch successfully.

3. Hatched Eggs

Blanding’s Turtles at different stages of hatching
Blanding’s Turtles at different stages of hatching | Tortues mouchetées à différentes phases d’éclosion | Tortues mouchetées à différentes étapes de l’éclosion.

When the hatchlings first emerge, they have a yolk sac attached to their bottom shell. This contains nutrients and feeds the hatchlings for the first few days of life. We kept the hatchlings until the yolk sac was absorbed and then released each clutch of hatchlings back near where the eggs were found, at the closest wetland to each nest. By the end of August we had released almost 400 hatchlings back into the wild.

4. Releasing the Hatchlings

These hatchlings still have a hard life in front of them.

The parents do not provide any care for the hatchlings, so they are on their own to find food, avoid predators and find a safe place to hibernate for the winter. Without our help though, at least half of these eggs would have simply become food for raccoons. And possibly many of the hatchlings would not have successfully made the trek to water as the eggs are often laid 100 metres or more from a wetland.

Adding more turtles to wild populations is a good start, but there are many other threats that need to be addressed to help the turtles.

Learn other ways how you can HelpTheTurtles.ca.

How We Took Positive Steps in Helping the American Eel This Summer

Taking little steps to make big strides in saving the American Eel.

This year, the Canadian Wildlife Federation Aquatic Science Team conducted research on American Eel in the Ottawa River. Our research has focused on the downstream migratory routes the eels take while passing the Chaudière Falls Generating Station in the heart of Ottawa.

The owner of the dam, Energy Ottawa, has gone above and beyond to protect eels in the Ottawa River by installing a new eel bypass which will ideally provide safe passage downstream — away from the turbines — on their migratory journey back to the Sargasso Sea.

Photo @ Robbie Morrison | Robbiemorrison.com
This research is targeting large eels that are ready to make their downstream journey back to their breeding grounds in the Sargasso Sea. Photo @ Robbie Morrison | Robbiemorrison.com

At the beginning of the field season, we placed 40 acoustic receivers in the water upstream and downstream of the station. The receivers pick up the signals from the tagged eels and allow us to track the exact route they take as they move downstream past the dam.

This research is targeting large eels that are ready to make their downstream journey back to their breeding grounds in the Sargasso Sea. The eels caught above this threshold are implanted with a transmitter. This device sends out a signal that is picked up by the receivers in the water. Every eel that is caught is also given a microchip (like the ones in your pets!). This is done so they can be identified if they are ever re-captured. The transmitter also helps to track movements within the Ottawa River.

Trap Netting

Photo @ Robbie Morrison | Robbiemorrison.com
Photo @ Robbie Morrison | Robbiemorrison.com

We spent most of our summer trap netting on the Ottawa River. We processed over 3,600 fish (22 species), but sadly, only one eel. By far, these were our most abundant species caught:

  • Channel Catfish
  • Redhorse
  • Longnose Gar

However, we also caught some beautiful Muskellunge, Walleye, Freshwater Drum and Common Carp!


Photo @ Robbie Morrison | Robbiemorrison.com
Electrofishing temporarily stuns fish but as soon as the fish is out of the electrical current it recovers and swims off as if nothing ever happened. Photo @ Robbie Morrison | Robbiemorrison.com

Boat electrofishing was more successful for finding eel. This could be attributed to working at night when eels are most active. We were also able to access areas of the river that are unsuitable for setting trap nets and covering a wider area. Electrofishing temporarily stuns fish. But as soon as the fish is out of the electrical current it recovers and swims off as if nothing ever happened. It’s quite an experience working under the stars and seeing all the fish swimming around!

Photo @ Robbie Morrison | Robbiemorrison.com
Photo @ Robbie Morrison | Robbiemorrison.com
Photo @ Robbie Morrison | Robbiemorrison.com
Photo @ Robbie Morrison | Robbiemorrison.com

Eels face many challenges, and their populations have declined dramatically in recent years. Research like this provides more insight into the plight of the American Eel. It helps us learn how we can protect, and ideally restore the population back to their original numbers in years past!

A Red Tide of Death for Turtles

Since October, hundreds of dead and sickened sea turtles have been washing ashore on the beaches of Southwest Florida.

The cause? An annually occurring natural phenomenon known as Red Tide.

red tide california
A Red Tide near La Jolla, California.

What is Red Tide?

Red Tide is the result of excessive growth of the algae Karenia brevis. As the name suggests, it often turns the sea a rusty red colour.

So what is it that makes Red Tide so deadly? The red algae produces a chemical that is toxic to marine organisms. This can be fatal when the algae is present in great enough quantities.

This year has been worse than most for the seasonal algal bloom. Most blooms begin in the late fall and dissipate by April. Sadly, this Red Tide is still going strong well into the summer. It is suspected to remain a problem for several months to come.

CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife)
CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife), Florida

At-Risk Sea Turtles Dying

Two at-risk sea turtles are most affected by this Red Tide: Loggerhead and Kemp Ridley. Many of the turtles found on beaches have been adults — part of what makes this bloom so devastating to their conservation. Turtles can take between 25 to 30 years to reach maturity, and will lay thousands of eggs over decades. Only about one in 1,000 of these eggs will survive to adulthood. So the death of so many adults has the potential to stunt the recovery of these protected sea turtles for decades to come.

Red Tide isn’t the only type of algal bloom that poses a risk to wildlife. While you won’t see a Red Tide in freshwater, you may have observed scummy, foamy or discoloured water in a pond or lake near you. These unsightly features are also caused by algae blooms.

Freshwater algal bloom
Freshwater algae blooms may produce toxins, but can also lead to anoxia.

Freshwater Algal Blooms

Freshwater algae blooms may produce toxins, but can also lead to anoxia (a depletion of oxygen available in the water) when the algae dies and decomposes — killing fish. These blooms can also be harmful to humans, and can irritate the skin and eyes of swimmers or even make you sick.

Caused by Humans

There are some human-caused factors that may in part be responsible for the severity of this year’s Red Tide.

  1. Climate change has been increasing ocean temperatures worldwide, favouring algae growth.
  2. Nutrient pollution is largely the result of human activities, like farming, where fertilizers can contaminate nearby water through run-off. Nutrient pollution increases levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water, and provides algae with the food it needs to grow out of control.

Prevented by Humans

Luckily there are some things we can all do to help prevent nutrient pollution:

  • Avoid using fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn or garden.
  • If you have a septic system, ensure that it is properly maintained, so that leaking sewage doesn’t contaminate local bodies of water.
  • Use phosphate-free detergents, cleaning products and personal care products.
  • Build a shoreline buffer on your property using native vegetation to intercept contaminants.

Learn other ways you can help using CWF’s Love Your Lake Shoreline Property Resources. Or, learn more about our turtles at HelpTheTurtles.ca.

Saved by the Boat! Learn How to Avoid Damaging Boating Practices

Sunny skies, subtle waves and fresh air — all the components of a great day on your boat.

Boating is a favourite past time of many, but some people don’t know that improper boating practices can have damaging effects on their lake.  But it doesn’t have to be! Learn what you can do to avoid these environmental losses.

Boat on the water at sunset

Do’s and Don’ts of Safe Boating

There are changes you can make to reduce your impact on the environment while using your watercraft:

  • Don’t speed while close to the shore — the closer you are, the stronger the wake.
  • Do be conscious of your surroundings: small animals easily go unseen.
  • Do dispose of used oils and filters properly.
  • Do be careful of portable gas or fuel tanks.
  • Don’t get too close! Enjoy wildlife from afar, especially during nesting seasons.
  • Do regularly maintain your watercraft or upgrade when needed. Degraded boats are more likely to leak into waterways.
  • Do properly wash and dry your watercraft when switching between waterways to reduce the chance of transporting invasive species.
  • Don’t speed! Reduce your speed or use your electric motor to troll.
  • Do interchange between a motorized and non-motorized watercraft to reduce the chances of motor pollution and excessive wave action.

By taking these necessary steps to use your watercraft consciously, you can do your part to ensure the health of our lakes for future generations.

Learn more ways to improve your lake’s shoreline at LoveYourLake.ca

Fish Eggs and Bull’s Eyes in Saskatchewan – CCC Participant Update

 Group 1 participant Adam Joseph tells us what he has learnt so far in the field placement Phase 2 of the Canadian Conservation Corps. 

adam joseph on field placement

My field learning placement has been at the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation. One of the subjects I have learned a lot about are bottom feeding fish. So much so that they have asked me to help contribute to a new poster they are in the process of making. I wanted to share with you what I have submitted for the poster so far:

Aquatic basement dwellers (aka bottom feeders)

Bottom feeders are not a fish family but are categorized together because of their shared habitat preference, which is near the bottom of bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and ponds. Although the name may imply they feed directly off the bottom, some only find their food near the bottom. They are not typically a sport fish because they are not typically eaten.

These are the families of bottom feeders found in Saskatchewan:

Catostomidae (Long Nose Sucker, White Sucker and a Short Head Red Horse).  These fish typically have mouths located on the bottom of their head (sub-terminal). They are distinguished from related fish by having a long pharyngeal bone (behind the mouth and nasal cavity but above the esophagus and larynx) and having a single row of teeth. Most are 60 centimetres in length but some species can get larger.

Ictaluridae (Black and Brown Bullhead and Channel Catfish). These fish have four pairs of barbels (‘whispers’). Their skin has no scales and  their dorsal and pectoral fins usually possess spines, with the dorsal fin normally having six soft rays.

Lotidae (Burbot). These fish have a serpent-like body with an appearance similar to both eels and catfishs. It is easily distinguished by a single barbel on their chin.

Acipenseridae (Lake Sturgeon). These fish have torpedo-shaped bodies, with four barbells. They have soft-rayed fins and tough skin lacking real scales.

The Perfect Candidate

This placement is perfect for someone who enjoys experiencing in different areas. So far, my field learning has included — but is not limited to — the following:

  1.  Visiting a spawn camp at Buffalo Pound, checking trap nets and retrieving fish for SWF.
  2. Touring various cities for NASP archery tournaments (let me tell you, watching 30 to 50 people all launching arrows from a bow in rapid succession is just amazing).
  3. Learning about various types of fish and how they reproduce. We’ve also visited a spawn camp to help fertilize millions of fish eggs.
  4. Meeting a lot of people whom would be a great for reference on a resume.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming weeks where we will likely be having more entertaining and educational experiences, making this field learning placement even better.

Learn more about the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Canadian Conservation Corps.