New federal funding of $4 million will go towards supporting 53 new projects under the EcoAction Community Funding Program.
EcoAction is a cost-shared program that leverages contributions and requires that at least 50 per cent of the total project value be funded from sources other than the Government of Canada.
“Our government is pleased to invest in these community-driven projects aimed at protecting water, creating habitat for wildlife, and supporting good local jobs,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Just like we did during this pandemic, Canadians are coming together through EcoAction to safeguard the health of our ecosystems, now and for future generations.”
All 53 projects focus on protecting the health and quality of water. Some projects tackle chemicals in the water, while others restore damaged wetlands and the remainder boost ecosystems so that they have additional capacity to handle floods that are more frequently occurring due to the impacts of climate change. The funds will also support various communications and public-engagement initiatives aimed at ensuring that local communities have the tools they need to protect their water and related ecosystems.
For example, through EcoAction, the British Columbia Conservation Foundation will receive $85,000 to work with Indigenous communities to restore wetlands in West Sechelt, that were damaged by forest fires and logging activities. Project leader Dr. Michelle Evelyn joined the virtual event to highlight how this investment will be used to protect fresh water for British Columbians. With these funds, including additional matched contributions, the organization will be able to hire a field team including a biologist and an excavator to dig the new wetlands and plant native vegetation like reeds, rushes, willows, and shrubs. This project will have the added benefit of creating new habitat for wildlife.
“We are so grateful for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s support of our project, which takes place on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the shíshálh (Sechelt) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations,” said Dr. Michelle Evelyn, biologist and project leader. “In partnership with EcoAction, we are thrilled to embark on this project to improve freshwater ecosystems on the Sunshine Coast.”
Canada has approximately 20 per cent of the world’s fresh water.
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EcoAction Community Funding Program