Fact sheet: Restoration of important coastal habitats for the Mi'gmaq communities of Gespeg and Gesgapegiag and the Maliseet of Viger

Backgrounder

The Mi'gmaq Maliseet Aboriginal Fisheries Management Association (MMAFMA) will receive $800,000 over four years for a project to help restore coastal habitats for fish on the territories of importance to the Mi'gmaq communities of Gespeg and Gesgapegiag and the Maliseet of Viger.

The first phase of the project is to identify and prioritize sites to be restored for the benefit of the members of the Mi'gmaq communities of Gespeg and Gesgapegiag and the Maliseet of Viger. Subsequently, the characterization and planning of activities will help implement restoration projects on the selected sites and ensure the sustainability of enhancements.

The sites that will be restored are located along the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. Areas targeted by the project are eelgrass beds, salt marshes, shellfish beds and migration corridors of species that require fresh water to complete their life cycle.

Ultimately, the project will enhance key habitats for several fish species, including forage species at the bottom of the food chain, namely, the stickleback, rainbow smelt, herring and capelin; predatory species like the striped bass and flounder; and migratory species, such as salmon and the American eel.

This project, led by the MMAFMA, will also increase the capacity of these communities in terms of conservation and restoration of coastal habitats.

In May 2017, the Government of Canada announced the $75-million Coastal Restoration Fund to help rehabilitate some of our most vulnerable coastlines and protect marine life and ecosystems. The Coastal Restoration Fund supports projects that contribute to healthier habitats for fish on all of Canada’s coasts with preference given to projects that are multiyear and involve a broad number of partners, including Indigenous groups.

To date, the Fund has provided funding to 32 strategic projects that will have an impact on the affected areas. To further support these efforts, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will fund an additional seven projects from the original call for proposals worth over $8 million, for a total of 39 projects, totaling approximately $55 million.

The Coastal Restoration Fund is part of the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan, the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. In collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities, the Government of Canada is making its part in ensuring the protection of our marine environment for generations to come.

Contacts

Jocelyn Lubczuk
Press Secretary               
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Phone: 613-992-3474
Email: jocelyn.lubczuk@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Phone: 613-990-7537
Email: media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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