HALIFAX, June 25, 2018 /CNW/ - The protection and restoration of the environment is a top priority of the Government of Canada, which is providing resources through the Oceans Protection Plan that will make our oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier for the benefit of all Canadians and future generations.
Today, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of Treasury Board Canada, M.P. for Kings-Hants on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that four organizations will receive together over $7 million over 5 years for projects to help restore coastal habitats in Nova Scotia and in the Arctic.
The Clean Foundation is receiving $2,408,947 in project funding towards restoring tidal wetlands in the Northumberland Strait area of Nova Scotia and building community capacity to identify, protect, and rehabilitate this habitat. To do this, the Clean Foundation will: 1) identify, restore and monitor tidal wetland sites in the various areas of the Northumberland Strait, and; 2) work with multi-sectoral partners, including Indigenous organizations and communities to engage, educate and build capacity to protect and restore this important habitat.
Saint Mary's University, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies is receiving $1,830,594 in project funding towards restoring tidal wetland habitat through the realignment of dyke infrastructure at several sites bordering the Bay of Fundy. It will include building regional capacity for effective scientific, technical and procedural components of managed realignment and marshland restoration projects that can be applied to future sites throughout Atlantic region.
The Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council is receiving $1,259,304 in project funding towards identifying areas for rehabilitation and developing a restoration plan focused on addressing habitat restoration and impediments to fish passage, such as improving the efficiency of tidal-gate or aboiteaux structures. Four of the five watersheds within the project scope are identified as critical habitat for the endangered inner Bay of Fundy (IBoF) Atlantic Salmon.
Dalhousie University will receive $1,985,500 to determine coastal restoration priorities across Nunavut, and restore three priority sites, including a low flow barrier to fish passage located on the Nilaqtarvik River near the community of Clyde River. The study will address data deficiencies in coastal habitat health, habitat fragmentation, fish health, traditional knowledge and science through community consultation and feasibility studies. Researchers will also work in partnership with the Government of Nunavut, hamlets and Hunter and Trapper organizations in all 25 Nunavut communities to develop coastal restoration plans on a case-by-case basis.
In May 2017, the Government of Canada announced the $75 million Coastal Restoration Fund to help rehabilitate some of our most vulnerable coastlines and protect marine life and ecosystems. The Coastal Restoration Fund, under the responsibility of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, supports projects that contribute to coastal restoration on all of Canada's coasts, with preference given to projects that are multiyear and involve a broad number of partners, including Indigenous groups.
The Coastal Restoration Fund is part of the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan ─ the largest investment ever made to protect Canada's coasts and waterways. In collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities, the Government of Canada is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coasts and waterways for generations to come.
"Our government is committed to protecting our coasts – that's why we announced the Oceans Protection Plan, which will help restore and protect marine ecosystems and habitats. 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 Clean Foundation, Saint Mary's University, Dalhousie University and Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council will ensure healthy, thriving coastal habitats in Nova Scotia and in the Arctic for future generations."
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
"I am proud to support these Coastal Restoration Fund projects that will restore and rehabilitate important coastal habitats in Nova Scotia and Nunavut. Our funding will encourage and build local community capacity to maintain and restore aquatic habitats."
The Honourable Scott Brison, President of Treasury Board Canada
"The Government of Canada's Oceans Protection Plan, Coastal Restoration Fund, helps the Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council undertake a project which will use the talents of a team of dedicated persons, encourage several small rural communities to reclaim ownership of five unique watersheds, provide solutions towards revitalizing four vital river ways for the Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon, and contribute towards restoring a small section of historic Cobequid Bay by identifying restoration works to replace nonfunctioning aboiteaux - barriers to fish passage and erosion sediment traps choking rivers."
Roger J. Hunka, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council
"This support from the federal government is crucial. We will use it to create new salt marsh habitat around the Bay of Fundy and beyond, addressing the impact of climate change on our region and tackling a global problem. Using nature-based strategies and restructuring dyke systems, we will create new vibrant ecosystems for marine life to prosper and new marshes that can absorb rising sea levels and storm surges."
Dr. Danika van Proosdij, Chair, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Saint Mary's University
"The project would not have been possible without this financial contribution from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and its recognition of the importance of protecting Nova Scotia's marine environment. Clean and its project partners, the Mi'kmaw Conservation Group, CB Wetlands and Environmental Specialists, COIN Atlantic, Quirk VR, Nova Scotia Nature Trust, Dalhousie University and Restore America's Estuaries, want to thank the department for its full support in this initiative. Together we can work to improve, conserve, and protect these integral parts of our provincial economy and culture for the benefit of future generations."
Scott Skinner, Executive Director, Clean Foundation
"The importance of getting community insights into how the environment has been changing is critical to the success of this project. Understanding the connection between coastal habitat, climate change, fisheries and coastal communities is key to achieving the project's goals. By working collaboratively with the communities and with support from the Government of Nunavut and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, all of these components come together to ensure the success of our project."
Dr. Lucia Fanning, Principal Investigator, Dalhousie University, Marine Affairs Program.
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maritimes Region
For further information: Media Relations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 613-990-7537, [email protected]; Vincent Hughes, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 613‑992‑3474, [email protected]