Celebrate World Water Day with new Loblaw Water Fund projects

WWF-Canada announces 15 Loblaw Water Fund grant recipients from coast-to-coast-to-coast

TORONTO, March 22, 2016 /CNW/ - WWF–Canada celebrates World Water Day today by announcing 15 new Loblaw Water Fund grant recipients for 2016. In total, $250,000 in grants will be given to make Canada's waters healthier for future generations.

Fifteen winning projects were selected from more than 115 applications. The projects span from Dartmouth, N.S. to Pitt Meadows, B.C. and for the first time a grant was awarded in Nunavut. The projects restore, protect or monitor the health of freshwater ecosystems. These projects help WWF achieve our goal to see all waters in good condition by 2025.

"On World Water Day it's fitting to celebrate these new Loblaw Water Fund grant recipients for 2016," said David Miller, president and CEO of WWF-Canada. "These are people ready to start projects that restore our water systems and have a positive impact on the health of freshwater and communities in Canada."

The funding program is supported by Loblaw Companies Limited with grants made possible through partial proceeds from Loblaw's plastic shopping-bag program, which removed more than 8 billion plastic bags nationally since 2007.

All projects contribute to WWF's Watershed Reports, either by helping to improve watersheds in poor health or facing high threats, or by contributing watershed data in areas where such info is insufficient. Priority regions were selected based upon health and threat assessments conducted for WWF's Watershed Reports.

Here are this year's recipients:

Trout Lake hazardous waste clean up project
Ecology North to provide community members with hands-on training and capacity development for hazardous waste management and monitoring of Trout Lake, N.W.T.

The Atlantic Canadian culvert assessment toolkit
Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance to create a toolkit of resources for Atlantic Canada for groups wishing to assess culverts in their local area, including creating a standardized culvert-assessment protocol that can be applied anywhere.

Upper Athabasca basin long-term community-based water, sediment and benthic invertebrate monitoring
Keepers of the Athabasca to build capacity for community-based monitoring throughout the upper Athabasca River Basin in Alberta, expanding on previous successes in filling data gaps and raising awareness and monitoring capacity in communities of the watershed.

"Blue Canoe" lake management plan implementation project 
Kawartha Conservation to use the Blue Canoe team to reach landowners by traveling dock-to-dock via canoe, attending community events, and through social media to sustain the health and ecological integrity of the Kawartha watershed in Ontario.

2016 Dartmouth watershed restoration and monitoring
Clean Foundation's watershed restoration team will restore and monitor streams in the Dartmouth, N.S., area that have become degraded due to development, urbanization, and severe weather.

Brook trout habitat enhancement and channel form restoration of Bauman Creek
The Rare Charitable Research Reserve to work to restore the Blair Flats-Bauman Creek floodplain system by expanding and improving the habitat available to brook trout in Bauman Creek, Cambridge, Ont.

Connecting the data dots: Building community-based monitoring capacity in the Red and Assiniboine Watersheds
Lake Winnipeg Foundation to foster and support a collaborative community-based network for Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba by engaging existing and new groups committed to water health.

Centralizing community-based water quality data across Canada
Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Network (CBEMN) to build off the momentum and success of CURA H2O in Atlantic Canada to expand the water-quality dataset westward.

Restoring the Katzie Slough
Watershed Watch Salmon Society to restore good overwintering habitat for salmonids in Katzie Slough, B.C., while improving water quality and instream and riparian habitat.

Three Little Watersheds: Monitoring and mitigating threats in the Saint John and Southern Bay of Fundy sub-watershed
Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) Saint John will monitor water quality and fish in three local watersheds that feed into the lower St. John River, N.B., carry out a stream-restoration project within each local watershed, and engage with local youth through selected area schools that neighbour the project sites.

Protecting the Outoauais' last truly wild river
CPAWS Ottawa Valley to engage local youth to develop a baseline of the state of the Dumoine River and its wetlands to increase our knowledge of the area in order to better protect it.

Water quality and fish safety monitoring in the Keewatin Watershed of Arviat, Nunavut
ARCTIConnection
 will employ both Inuit knowledge and community-based science to establish a baseline for water quality and fish health near Arviat, Nunavut.

Tłı̨chǫ aquatic ecosystem monitoring program
Wek'èezhìı Renewable Resources Board (WRRB) will continue a successful community-based monitoring program meeting the needs of the Tłı̨chǫ people in the Northwest Territories to determine whether fish, water and sediment quality are changing over time.

Water watch at Riverwood: A youth and community engagement in water-quality monitoring and protection
The Riverwood Conservancy's Water Watch at Riverwood program will protect and improve the health of the Credit River as well as vulnerable tributary creeks and wetlands in the heart of Mississauga, Ont., by engaging community volunteers in monitoring and stewardship activities. 

Lake Ontario microplastics monitoring program
Ontario Streams will engage volunteers in a large-scale microplastics monitoring program in three urban watersheds and near shore open water in Lake Ontario. Collaborating with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and the University of Toronto, this work will contribute to long-term microplastics monitoring and will get students involved in real-world water sampling from freshwater systems.

About World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that wildlife, nature and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more info visit wwf.ca

About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, the nation's largest retailer, and the majority unit holder of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, banking, and wireless mobile products and services. With more than 2,300 corporate, franchised and Associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its franchisees, and Associate-owners employ approximately 192,000 full and part-time employees, making it one of Canada's largest private sector employers.

Loblaw's purpose – Live Life Well – puts first the needs and well-being of Canadians who make one billion transactions annually in the companies' stores. Loblaw is positioned to meet and exceed those needs in many ways: convenient locations; more than 1,050 grocery stores that span the value spectrum from discount to specialty; full-service pharmacies at more than 1,250 Shoppers Drug Mart® and Pharmaprix® locations and more than 500 Loblaw locations; PC Financial® no-fee banking; affordable Joe Fresh® fashion and family apparel; and three of Canada's top consumer brands in Life Brand®, no name® and President's Choice®. Through the PC Plus® and Shoppers Optimum® loyalty programs, more than one in every three Canadians are rewarded for shopping with the companies.

SOURCE WWF-Canada

For further information: Rowena Calpito, communications specialist, WWF-Canada, 416-489-4527, rcalpito@wwfcanada.orgmailto:rcalpito@wwfcanada.org

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