The Government of Canada invests $6.7 million to support 22 environmental projects across Canada
The Environmental Damages Fund is a Government of Canada funding program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. Built on the premise that environmental good must follow harm, the program provides an effective way of responding to environmental damage by directing funds received from fines, court orders, and voluntary payments from environmental violations, to carry out projects that benefit our natural environment.
The Fund supports projects that help to restore natural resources that are similar to those damaged by the original incident, and are located at or near the location where environmental damage occurred.
The most recent round of allocated funding, announced on August 8, 2023, will support 22 projects to be carried out in seven provinces and territories across Canada—five projects in Alberta, one in British Columbia, one in New Brunswick, two in Newfoundland and Labrador, one in Nunavut, five in Ontario, and seven in Quebec.
These projects aim to:
- Provide restoration and management actions for more than 1,029 hectares of habitat.
- Reduce and divert over 30,800 kilograms of toxic or harmful waste.
- Implement environmental quality activities on 772 hectares of habitat.
- Monitor, assess, and direct studies carried out on more than 19 million hectares of habitat.
- Engage over 1,166 participants and 252 partners and provide opportunities for community members, including Indigenous peoples and youth, to increase environmental awareness and capacity.
Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada ($1,575,000)
This project aims to facilitate the restoration and recovery of endangered five-needle Whitebark and Limber Pine trees in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and foothills. A comprehensive restoration plan for five-needle pine trees in numerous locations in Alberta and British Columbia will be developed and implemented. The plan will address the three primary threats to five-needle pine populations: White Pine blister rust disease, Mountain Pine Beetle, and changes to natural wildfire regimes.
Swan River First Nation ($293,000)
The primary goal of this project is to use Western scientific methods and Indigenous knowledge to develop a robust approach to evaluating the cumulative impact of resource development and climate change on migratory birds and their habitat within the Swan River First Nation Traditional Territory.
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative ($350,104)
This project will facilitate the conservation and recovery of the endangered Black Swift by surveying Crown land, national parks, and provincial parks in the Rocky Mountains. The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative will locate nesting colonies and monitor sites to collect data on their habitat and behaviour. The data acquired will address research gaps and act as a foundation to inform responsible management efforts for Black Swift conservation.
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology ($590,700)
This project aims to restore disturbed boreal wetlands near Slave Lake, Alberta, for the direct benefit of migratory bird populations. The project seeks to determine the impact of human activity on migratory bird habitats in boreal wetlands. In addition, the organization intends to fill knowledge gaps in the conservation and restoration of wetlands as bird habitats by disseminating research results and demonstrating restoration techniques.
Governors of the University of Alberta ($630,519)
This project aims to advance habitat restoration, science, and planning for migratory bird populations in landscapes that are experiencing multiple stressors in northeastern Alberta. By developing a conceptual and analytical framework, the organization will assess the success of the restoration strategy and identify the best methods for migratory bird conservation.
BC Wildlife Federation ($315,353)
This project aims to restore and improve fish and wildlife habitat by removing at least 15,000 kilograms of garbage and debris from the shorelines of the lower Fraser River estuary. The BC Wildlife Federation, in partnership with Tsawwassen First Nation, will use specialized flat-bottomed boats to concentrate on hard-to-access areas. They will engage the local community to increase awareness of pollution issues impacting fish and wildlife in the area.
Nashwaak Watershed Association Inc. ($44,874)
The primary goal of this project is to create a species management plan for Bank Swallows along the Nashwaak River in New Brunswick. The Bank Swallow is a migratory bird that is currently listed as threatened in the Species at Risk Act registry. The species management plan can act as a resource for current and future restoration projects to identify, protect, and mitigate damage to Bank Swallow habitats. In addition, this project will support conservation planning, resource management, and species-at-risk planning for this species for years to come.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Gros Morne Healthy Oceans Inc. ($59,333)
The primary objective of this project is to develop and implement a remotely operated vehicle-based monitoring program to identify and assess the health of highly biodiverse eelgrass bed habitats in the Gros Morne region. During this assessment, the organization will identify damage from green crabs or other aquatic invasive species and create a plan to mitigate and reduce continued damage which can be used as a resource for current and future restoration projects.
Birds Canada ($105,826)
The primary goal of this project is to document the distribution, abundance, and status of breeding birds in Newfoundland and Labrador, focusing on the most remote areas of central and southern Newfoundland. This project will produce information needed for decision-making about conservation, management, and policy related to breeding migratory bird populations (including species at risk) at multiple spatial scales.
United Nations Association in Canada ($100,000)
The primary goal of this project is to educate and train youth to improve the health of freshwater ecosystems by engaging volunteers in the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of these ecosystems in the territory. The organization will also provide youth in Nunavut with opportunities to find adaptive solutions related to the heath of freshwater ecosystems.
Manitoulin Streams Improvement Association ($100,000)
This stream restoration project will restore fisheries and wildlife habitats within the Kagawong River in Ontario. This project will enable natural infrastructure bio-engineering techniques to be applied to prevent erosion. Boulder clusters and pool and riffle areas will be installed to improve in-stream habitat, while native trees and grasses, shrubs, and milkweed plants will be planted to restore the riparian zone. This work will also reduce sedimentation that threatens prime spawning habitats, and mitigate the effects of fluctuating water levels and rising water temperatures over the long term.
Watersheds Canada ($114,100)
This project will restore fish habitat in four key locations across eastern Ontario, all of which are characterized by a loss of native fish and declining environmental quality for species such as the Brook Trout, Walleye, Northern Pike, and Bass. Through this project, community groups, students, and shoreline property owners will have hands-on opportunities to deliver initiatives that improve fish habitat.
Kawartha Region Conservation Authority ($119,295)
This project will restore wildlife habitat within a hydro corridor in Ontario’s Durham East Cross Conservation Area. In total, 11 hectares of diverse ecological habitat types will be created to improve the biodiversity of the corridor and the overall conservation area by 25 percent. In partnership with the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, this project will invite traditional landscape knowledge, stewardship practices, and community involvement to restore biodiverse wildlife habitats.
St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Science ($166,666)
This project will research and address the sharp decline in the at-risk American Eel in the St. Lawrence River. Recovery areas in the river directly below the hydroelectric dam will be created to increase the eels’ chance of surviving turbine injuries. The research and restoration conducted by this project will result in rehabilitation zones for eels to recover and gain strength before their outmigration to the Sargasso Sea and will educate the community about the species and healthy habitats.
Credit Valley Conservation Foundation ($285,375)
This project will remove and mitigate barriers to fish passage in three headwater sections of the Credit River watershed in Ontario to restore fish and wildlife habitat. The restoration will include decommissioning and removing the water control structure, constructing a wildlife crossing, and creating a natural stream channel through the berm that currently blocks fish passage.
Ciel et Terre (formerly known as le Centre d’information sur l’environnement de Longueuil) ($100,000)
The purpose of this project is to improve the ecological functions of riparian buffers and water quality in Massé Stream in Quebec, conserve wild flora and fauna (including the Western Chorus Frog) and educate and raise community awareness of natural biodiversity issues. To achieve these objectives, the organization will identify areas of prime concern, conduct shoreline cleanups, plant riparian buffers, remove alien invasive species, and conduct educational and awareness campaigns.
Association de gestion halieutique Mi’gmaq et Malécite (AGHAMM) ($110,571)
This project aims to clear abandoned ropes, buoys, and fishing gear from the seabed of the 138.9 hectare former mariculture site located off Paspébiac in Gaspésie; restore the local environment; and protect marine mammals, crops, and seaway users. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the Mi'gmaq of Quebec and the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation.
Organisme des Bassins Versants du Nord-Est du Bas-Saint-Laurent ($258,500)
The purpose of this project is to investigate the impact of various sources of contamination in the Rimouski River in Quebec and the risks they pose to salmon. The project also aims to identify/describe various potential sources of contamination in the Rimouski River, with a focus on the potential impacts on aquatic biodiversity.
Conseil des bassins versants des Mille-Îles (COBAMIL) ($281,500)
The purpose of this project is to control the alien invasive water chestnut (Trapa natans), restore damage to wetlands and aquatic ecosystems in Baie de Carillon, and protect various bays in Lac des Deux-Montagnes. To achieve these objectives, the organization will hand-pull and mow water-chestnut plants to reduce the size of water chestnut colonies and remove hundreds of tonnes of biomass.
Comité écologique du Grand Montréal ($360,000)
The purpose of this project is to restore ecosystem damage caused by Emerald Ash Borer infestation. This will be done by mass planting 3,000 native trees and 4,000 native shrubs in areas where Ash trees have been killed and/or impacted by the infestation. A diversified forest succession will also be prepared in areas where this species is dominant, in order to recreate the forest canopy within 20 to 30 years. The project will also protect and enhance local biodiversity.
Institut national de la recherche scientifique - Centre Eau Terre Environnement ($386,451)
The primary goal of this project is to develop a detailed portrait of fish habitat quality in Rivière du Cap Rouge, Rivière Saint-Charles and Rivière Beauport, and their major tributaries (Rivière Lorette and Rivière du Berger). The project will identify priority areas and actions to be taken in order to restore fish habitat, and will provide decision-makers with the information necessary to enhance and restore these urban and agricultural stream habitats.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada ($371,331)
The purpose of this project is to restore forest ecosystems on properties protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada to increase the resilience of habitats against growing disturbances. This project will help to protect and conserve threatened or vulnerable plant species and contribute to the recovery of diversified forest cover that is representative of primary forests in the target region.
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