Government of Canada makes a significant investment in the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq through the Oceans Protection Plan

News release

February 28, 2019

Halifax, Nova Scotia - Making our oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier for all Canadians and future generations is a top priority for the Government of Canada.

The Member of Parliament for Cumberland — Colchester, Bill Casey, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced today that the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq will receive nearly $1.2 million over four years to restore coastal habitats along the Northumberland Strait and the Bay of Fundy thanks to funding under the Oceans Protection Plan.

Tidally-influenced rivers in the Bay of Fundy and the estuaries that they drain to are important habitats for a variety of species, including the Atlantic salmon during all stages of their life cycle. Similarly, the Northumberland Strait supports a wide range of fish species and marine mammals that are dependent upon healthy coastal ecosystems.

The investment announced today will help to restore or enhance these coastal landscapes and to be able to plan, implement and monitor restoration activities. It will help build capacity within Mi’kmaq communities and create up to 13 new jobs over the course of the project. The work in the Northumberland Strait will involve the deployment of artificial reefs, which provide shelter and protection for a wide range of fish species, including lobster and crabs, and enable the growth of seaweeds and other marine plants. The Bay of Fundy watershed work will involve tidal barrier assessments and planning activities that will lead to the restoration of natural tidal exchange, fish passage and access to important habitats that support such species as Atlantic salmon and American eel.

Throughout this project, the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq project coordinators will work with Mi’kmaq communities to gather ecologically or culturally important information.

In May 2017, the Government of Canada announced the $75 million Coastal Restoration Fund, under the Oceans Protection Plan, 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 involve a broad number of partners, including Indigenous organizations.

Launched in November 2016, the five-year, $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. Over the past two years, the Government of Canada has invested in hundreds of projects that are making our marine safety system stronger, and protecting our coastal environments and marine species more than ever before. Based on the latest science and technology, Indigenous partnerships and collaboration, those projects bring us closer to healthier, cleaner and safer oceans.

Quotes

“Our government is committed to protecting our coasts – that’s why we’re implementing our Oceans Protection Plan, which allows us to work together to make our oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier. The $75 million Coastal Restoration Fund provides an opportunity to address threats to our ocean and coastal areas. I am pleased that our collaboration with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq will ensure healthy, thriving coastal habitats in Nova Scotia for future generations.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard 

“We are committed to working with our Indigenous peoples and coastal communities to ensure strong and sustainable fisheries for future generations. Our investment in the Coastal Restoration Fund, particularly here in Nova Scotia is a critical part of our Oceans Protection Plan. I’m proud to work with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and my colleague the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Jonathan Wilkinson on such a project.”

Bill Casey, Member of Parliament, Cumberland — Colchester

“DFO  will help the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq focus on building coastal restoration capacity within our Mi’kmaq communities and will enable us to restore integral coastal landscapes along the Northumberland Strait and the Bay of Fundy watershed. This opportunity would not be possible without the support of DFO and their efforts to understand the importance of incorporating the concepts of “Two Eyed Seeing” and “Netukulimk” into our proposed activities and overarching objectives. The main restoration activities will include artificial reef installations in the Northumberland Strait to enhance and/or restore impacted marine and estuarine habitats and tidal barrier restoration planning and work along the Bay of Fundy shoreline to restore salt marshes in the region. All of this work will be completed through use of both the traditional lens and the western science lens bringing both knowledge sets into one collaborative effort to restore our lands and resources”.

Angie Gillis, Senior Director, the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq

Quick facts

  • Year one of the project will be focused around planning and information gathering.

  • Years two and three will include restoration and enhancement activities including tidal barrier restoration plans, activities and assessments.

  • Year four will revolve around monitoring, evaluation and review of all activities completed throughout the program.

Associated links

Contacts

Jocelyn Lubczuk
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-548-7863
Jocelyn.lubczuk@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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

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