The Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives

Backgrounder

One of the ways that the Government of Canada is working to improve the health, productivity, and long term sustainability of ecosystems in Atlantic Canada is through the Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives (AEI) Funding Program. The program achieves greater environmental benefits by encouraging broad ecosystem-based projects that include partnerships and collaborative action among organizations throughout Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives Funding Program focuses on water quality, habitat and biodiversity and the impacts of climate change. It funds projects that enhance integrated ecosystem planning and decision-making, increase ecosystem knowledge and science, and take actions that reach across Atlantic Canada.

Program requirements

Eligible recipients include non-profit organizations, coalitions and networks or organizations, research and academic institutions, and Indigenous governments and organizations.

Projects must be focused on Atlantic Canadian ecosystems, which include the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The 8 projects approved for AEI funding include:

Project name: Atlantic Canada’s Biological Data for Ecosystem Planning and Decision-making: Improving Access and Reusing Atlantic Canada Biological Data Assets
AEI funding amount: $51,947
Recipient: Atlantic Coastal Zone Information Steering Committee
Location: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Project description: This project will increase the understanding of ecosystem stressors in estuarine habitats, and recommended actions to prevent biodiversity loss. 
 
Project name: Modelling the effect of climate change on biological invasions and range expansions in Atlantic Canada
AEI funding amount: $60,000 (2-year project)
Recipient: University of New Brunswick
Location: Atlantic Canada
Project description: This project focuses on understanding how changing environmental conditions that result from various climate change conditions will affect biological invasions.
 
Project name: Acadian Forest Carbon Initiative 
AEI funding amount: $210,000 (3-year project)
Recipient: Community Forests International
Location: Private Acadian Forest woodlots in the three Maritime provinces.
Project description: This project will support the restoration of forest health and biodiversity, improve Acadian Forest ecosystem resilience to climate change and increase climate change mitigation via reduced atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
 
Project name: Planning for Climate Change: Integration of Ecosystem Functions and Services into Land Use Planning and Decision Making 
AEI funding amount: $150,000 (2-year project)
Recipient: Nature New Brunswick
Location: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
Project description: This project will develop a methodology and communication tools to integrate ecosystem stressors in land use planning and climate change adaptation decision-making. 
 
Project name: Assessment of plant/pollinator interactions and development of beneficial management plans to increase abundance and diversity of native pollinators 
AEI funding amount: $180,000 (3-year project)
Recipient: Dalhousie University
Location: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
Project description: This project will look at the decline of native pollinators such as bumblebees and solitary bees in the three Maritime Provinces and help create best management practices within the agricultural industry to benefit pollinators and the plants that depend on them.
 
Project name: Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of forested wetlands across Atlantic Canada 
AEI funding amount: $250,000 (3-year project)
Recipient: Dalhousie University
Location: Atlantic provinces
Project description: This project will study a number of forested wetlands throughout the various Atlantic ecoregions.
 
Project name: Development and field testing of remote methods for identification of rare biodiversity hotspots associated with calcareous soils
AEI funding amount: $249,900 (3-year project)
Recipient: Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre
Location: Atlantic Canada
Project description: This project will identify priority conservation locations based on soil type and the flora and fauna associated with calcareous soils. 
 
Project name: Clean Water, Healthy Food: Ecosystem Monitoring by Mi'kmaw Communities in Heavily Agricultural Watersheds in Mi'kma'ki (Atlantic Region)  
AEI funding amount: $166,666 (2-year project)
Recipient: The Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq
Location: Atlantic Region
Project description: This project will study how agricultural land use impacts surface water quality, habitat quality, and contamination of riparian and freshwater organisms, and examine Mi’kmaw traditions and practices. 
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