Environmental Damages Fund


The Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) is a specified purpose account, administered by Environment Canada, to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit our natural environment. The Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) follows the Polluter Pays Principle to help ensure that those who cause environmental damage or harm to wildlife take responsibility for their actions.

Funding date

Effective start date: 2018-11-15
Effective end date: full proposition deadline

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The purpose of any contribution to the EDF is to restore the environment and conserve wildlife and habitats in a scientifically sound, cost-effective and technically feasible way.  

Expected results

Monetary awards are used to fund projects that focus on environmental restoration, environmental quality improvement, research and development, and education and awareness.

Eligible applicants

Eligible groups include:

  • non-governmental organizations
  • universities and academic institutions
  • Indigenous organizations
  • provincial, territorial and municipal governments

Ineligible groups are encouraged to partner with eligible groups to apply for funding. Ineligible groups include:

  • individuals
  • businesses
  • federal governments and agencies

Offenders are not eligible to apply directly, or to partner with eligible groups, for fines or monetary payments they have made that were directed to the EDF.

Geographic location

Projects must be undertaken within Canadian Provinces and Territories. Specific areas and provinces could be targeted based on funding use restrictions. Please see available funds use restrictions. For examples of previous funding, view our EDF project map.

Eligible projects

Projects that are considered a priority for funding are those that restore the natural environment and conserve wildlife, in the same geographic area where the incident occurred. Other types of projects that may be considered for funding include environmental quality improvement initiatives, research and development on environmental damage assessment and restoration, and education on pollution prevention and the restoration of natural resources. In addition, your project must include at least one of the performance indicators of the Environmental Damages Fund (please see EDF Applicant’s Guide for a complete list and explanation of indicators).

EDF Funding is available for projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Address one or more of EDF’s priority areas of Restoration, Environmental Quality Improvement, Research & Development, and Education & Awareness;
  • Satisfy all restrictions specified by the courts (if any);
  • Are scientifically sound and technically feasible;
  • Are cost-effective in achieving goals, objectives and results;
  • Can measure results using EDF performance indicators;
  • Show that the environment will benefit from the project; and
  • Demonstrate that the applicant possesses or has access to necessary partnership, experience, knowledge and skills required to undertake the project.

Ineligible projects and activities include:

  • activities required by law and/or mandated by other levels of government
  • containment and clean-up of environmental spills
  • restoration of contaminated sites
  • infrastructure, particularly related to municipal, provincial, and federal government program areas
  • lobbying or advocacy activities
  • recreation and tourism projects or beautification initiatives
  • preparation of formal curriculum materials
  • core organization functions and activities such as meetings, maintenance, and administration (however, project specific administrative support is eligible)
  • annual or regular organization events/campaigns
  • expenses to attend general conferences and workshops
  • projects and activities underway
  • continuation of projects previously funded by the EDF
  • projects outside of Canada

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list.  If you are unsure about any of the examples listed above or the eligibility of your project and activities, please contact your regional office.

Range of funding

Available funds vary according to the number of court awards and voluntary contributions being sent to the EDF, and in which province or territory. For details on funding in your region, visit the Environmental Damages Fund: available funds page.

Frequently asked questions

  • What funding is available?

    EDF funding is available to cover up to 100% of eligible project costs. Applicants are encouraged to seek additional sources of funding for the project (other funding partners in kind or cash).

  • What is the maximum duration of a project?

    There is no maximum project duration.  The average length of a project is around two years.

  • When are the application deadlines?

    Funding deadlines take place at least twice annually. Please verify with your regional office to confirm upcoming deadline dates for available funds in your region.

    The deadline for submitting a project is midnight, on the dated indicated.

  • What are the EDF performance indicators?

    Please see EDF Applicant’s Guide for a complete list and explanation of indicators.Proposals submitted without performance indicators will be considered ineligible.

  • What level of detail is required for a project proposal?

    The level of detail required should be consistent with the funding requested and the complexity of your project. For example, a project proposal requesting $10,000 may require less detail than a complex project proposal requesting $500,000.   If you have any questions about the level of detail required, please contact your regional office.

  • What project costs are eligible?

    Costs related to the following types of expenses are eligible to EDF:

    • Human resources involved for the project realization, including employees’ salaries and benefits who are dedicated to the project (biologists, technicians, bookkeeper accounting, etc.);
    • Contract and professional services, including accounting, auditing (if EDF funding is more than $100,000), contractors or other professional fees;
    • Travel and fieldwork, required for the achievement of fieldwork;
    • Materials and supplies, required for the achievement of fieldwork;
    • Printing and production, for example project awareness tools;
    • Communications and distribution linked to the communication of project activities;
    • Equipment rentals and purchases, including research equipment, laboratories or a vehicle rental;
    • Translation required to enable the participation of people in a linguistic minority;
    • A reasonable share of overhead and/or administrative expenditures directly attributed to carrying out the project, for example rentals and operating offices, liability insurance costs that are directly attributed to carrying out the project.


    Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and you can contact your regional office for any matter relating to this list or the eligibility of your project and activities.

  • What will happen after you submit an Expression of Interest?

    The EDF call for proposals process is done in two stages.

    Your Expression of Interest (EOI) is reviewed by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) staff  to  assess itseligibility,and ensure the proposal addresses one or more of EDF’s priorities.

    You will then be advised of the eligibility, or ineligibility of your project .  If you receive an invitation to submit a full project proposal in response to your EOI, you will be given a code. This code will allow you to access the detailed online funding application.

    Any questions or comments may be directed to your regional office.  Good luck!

  • What will happen after you submit a detailed project application?

    Your detailed project application is reviewed by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) staff. Next a technical review team, which is made up of experts from ECCC and other government departments, evaluates your application for its scientific and technical merit.  The EDF will finalize the overall analysis of each of the projects received based on common indicators for all types of projects.

    Based on the final ranking of eligible and analyzed projects the EDF’s evaluation team recommends funding for projects with higher scores.

    You will be informed if your project is funded within 10 to 12 weeks from the closing date.

    If your project is approved, you will be contacted about negotiating a funding agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the funding.  If your application is not approved, you will be informed of this decision in writing.

    Any questions or comments may be directed to your regional office.  Good luck!

  • How do court restrictions affect the use of the funds?

    When authorized by law, a court may use their discretionary power to direct a specific contribution to the EDF. When directing a specific contribution, the court has the authority to include restrictions regarding how the funding is applied to eligible EDF projects. In these instances, the court may choose to identify the recipient, location, and scope of an EDF project.

    Where a court has recommended a particular recipient to undertake a project, priority will be given to direct EDF funds to that recipient provided they are eligible to receive funding by the EDF, capable of undertaking a project that will generate positive environmental results, and will meet all program reporting requirements.

Points to consider

  1. Please refer to the EDF Applicant’s Guide for complete instructions, and explanations. If you have further questions, please contact your regional office.

Application instructions

When you're ready to apply, visit the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS) application instructions page.

Contact information

For more information about available funds in your province or territory, to get feedback on a project intent or other need, please contact your Environment Canada regional office.
General inquires may be forwarded to EDF National

Atlantic & Québec Region
New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
45 Alderney Drive
16th Floor, Queen Square
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 2N6

Phone: 1-800-663-5755 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdenational-edfnational.ec@canada.ca

801-1550, avenue D'Estimauville
Québec, Québec G1J 0C3

Phone: 1-800-663-5755 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdenational-edfnational.ec@canada.ca

Ontario Region
4905 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario M3H 5T4

Phone: 416-739-4734
or 1-800-661-7785 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdeon-edfon.ec@canada.ca

West & North Region
Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and Nunavut
123 Main Street, Suite 150
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 4W2

Phone: 204-984-5952 / 1-800-567-1570 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdeouestnord-edfwestnorth.ec@canada.ca

British Columbia and Yukon
#201-401 Burrard Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3S5
Phone: 1-800-567-1570 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdeouestnord-edfwestnorth.ec@canada.ca

EDF National
45 Alderney Drive
16th Floor, Queen Square
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 2N6

Phone: 1-800-663-5755 (toll-free)
E-mail: ec.fdenational-edfnational.ec@canada.ca

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