The Gulf of Maine Initiative


The Gulf of Maine is a very productive ecosystem that is both environmentally significant and economically important to Canada. Its powerful tides mix the ocean with fresh water from 60 rivers that drain from large watersheds from the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Over 3,000 marine species and birds are found in the Gulf of Maine, as well as more than 30 species at risk.

The goal of the Gulf of Maine Initiative (GMI) is to maintain a healthy ecosystem that supports long-term sustainability and economic growth. Projects funded through the GMI support decision making and/or actions that encourage responsible development by increasing the understanding and monitoring of ecosystem health; identifying and reducing key stressors to ecosystem health; and implementing activities that contribute to a healthy ecosystem.

Canadian organizations are eligible for funding, and include non-profit organizations, Indigenous governments and organizations and academic institutions. Although recipient organizations need not be located there, projects must be focused in the Canadian portion of the Gulf of Maine.

The four projects approved for GMI funding include:

Project name: Linking coastal acidification and primary productivity in the Bay of Fundy
GMI funding amount: $199,650 (3-year project)
Recipient: Eastern Charlotte Waterways Inc.
Project description: The project will assess the vulnerability of estuarine environments of the Bay of Fundy to coastal acidification and engage partners to complete a baseline assessment of pH in these environments.
Project name: Modeling multiple stressors and environmental pressures in the Bay of Fundy
GMI funding amount: $155,028 (3-year project)
Recipient: Association of Canadian Delegates to the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment
Project description: This project will create data, models and methods to help Gulf of Maine stakeholders better understand the relationships between watershed characteristics, freshwater conditions, and down-stream estuarine health.
Project name: Impact of salmon aquaculture on the diversity and health of benthic communities in shallow coastal habitats of the Canadian Gulf of Maine
GMI funding amount: $199,840 (2-year project)
Recipient: University of New Brunswick
Project description: This project will measure the possible effects of salmon aquaculture on the biodiversity and health of shallow coastal ecosystems in the Canadian Gulf of Maine.
Project name: Identifying Priorities for Freshwater Restoration and Conservation in the Gulf of Maine
GMI funding amount: $199,994 (3-year project)
Recipient: Nature Conservancy of Canada
Project description: This project aims to boost knowledge and gather the ecological data needed to determine how best to protect and restore freshwater aquatic resources in the Canadian portion of the Gulf of Maine.

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Hon. Catherine McKenna Environment and Climate Change Canada Nature and Environment

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