VANCOUVER, BC, Sept. 2, 2022 /CNW/ - A clean freshwater supply is essential to the well-being of Canadians, the health and sustainability of the environment, and the economy. Fresh water from lakes, rivers, and groundwater is critical for the survival of all living organisms.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, alongside a number of environmental organizations at John Hendry Park in Vancouver announced over $1 million in funding to support twelve new projects in British Columbia over the next four years under the EcoAction Community Funding Program.
These twelve projects will have measurable and positive impacts on the environment and engage communities across the province. They are all focused on improving freshwater quality, reducing harmful substances in fresh water, and restoring and protecting freshwater ecosystem health.
Among the recipients:
Wildcoast Ecological Society in Burnaby, British Columbia, will receive over $96,000 to address the water quality and surrounding wetland and riverbank (riparian) zones of three tributaries in the Brunette River Watershed.
The British Columbia Wildlife Federation will receive $100,000 to restore and conserve wetlands on Quadra Island, in Hope, and in the Columbia Basin and empower community members and wetland practitioners to steward, conserve, and restore wetlands through the delivery of workshops and training sessions.
The Galiano Conservancy Association will receive $100,000 to restore wetland, riparian, and forested ecosystems; improve the watershed's ability to retain and infiltrate fresh water and sequester carbon; and remove invasive species in the southern section of Chrystal Creek watershed on Galiano Island, British Columbia.
The Stanley Park Ecology Society will receive $100,000 to improve water quality and habitat by installing floating islands and logs for wildlife and restoring native wetland habitats around the Lost Lagoon and in Ceperley Meadow in Vancouver's Stanley Park.
This funding is part of a total of $3.3 million that the EcoAction program is providing to forty‑one non-profit and non-governmental organizations across Canada for local projects that achieve results that will improve water quality and contribute to the protection of Canada's fresh water.
The announcement comes as we prepare to welcome the world for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Montréal, Quebec, from December 7 to 19. This major landmark conference is a chance for Canada to show its leadership along with international partners in taking action to conserve nature and halt biological diversity loss around the world, done in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. UNESCO-designated biosphere reserves in the region, such as the Átl'ka7tsem / Howe Sound Biosphere Region, are vital contributions to these actions.
"Protecting fresh water in Canada requires dedicated local organizations to be empowered with the resources and support they need. The EcoAction program is part of a broader effort by our government to protect more nature in collaboration with environmental groups across the country. We all remember the days when freshwater protections were being removed instead of improved. Our government is committed to protecting fresh water for Canadians, and local environmental groups are on the front lines of that change."
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
"To address freshwater challenges, we need to start locally and work together to support community-based projects. EcoAction encourages collaboration and engagement with youth, Indigenous Peoples and small businesses, and the investment in these projects will have measurable and positive impacts on the environment here in British Columbia."
– Taleeb Noormohamed, Member of Parliament, Vancouver Granville
Canada has the third largest renewable supply of fresh water in the world—about 7 percent of the global renewable supply.
The EcoAction Community Funding Program leverages contributions for environmental action and requires at least half of the total project value to be funded from sources other than the Government of Canada.
Partner contributions for the forty-one projects are valued at over $6.5 million, provided in the form of financial or in-kind resources.
These EcoAction-funded projects are expected to:
The forty-one EcoAction-funded projects combined are expected to engage more than 550,682 people.
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
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