Prince Edward Island environmental group receives $30,000 to help restore Trout River
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE, Oct. 11, 2016 /CNW/ - Trout River, Prince Edward Island, is well known for its sport fishing and beautiful nature trails. Unfortunately, it has also been the site of some major fish kills, often as a result of run-off of agricultural pesticide from nearby farming operations. Over the years, a number of environmental organizations have been working to improve the conditions of Trout River to ensure that it continues to be healthy and thriving.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Catherine McKenna, today announced that the Prince County Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada has received $30,000 through the federal Environmental Damages Fund. The money will support an $80,850 project, which will restore fish habitat in the Kennedy Road Branch of Trout River. This area is near the site of two significant fish kills in 2011 and 2012, which resulted from agricultural pesticide runoff.
Created in 1995, the Environmental Damages Fund is a Government of Canada program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Fund follows the "Polluter Pays" principle and ensures that court-awarded penalties are used for projects with positive environmental impacts and in the manner intended by the court.
"Canadians place a high value on nature and their outdoor recreational areas and beautiful Trout River, PEI, is a great example of the kind of important resource that needs to be protected and conserved. Investing in this project and supporting Trout Unlimited Canada in its efforts to repair and enhance part of this great river shows the Government of Canada's commitment to work with groups that are working hard to protect our valuable ecosystems across the country."
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- Primarily forested, the Kennedy Road Branch of Trout River provides an essential shelter for Brook Trout and Atlantic Salmon when pesticide runoff and high temperatures affect the Barclay Branch. This project will involve removing major blockages, restoring fish passage as well as improving the flow of the river. The project is expected to start in fall 2016 and will be completed in spring 2018.
- The funding came from an October 2014 $30,000 fine that was directed to the Environmental Damages Fund—a penalty resulting from two violations of the federal Fisheries Act. The violation involved the release of agricultural pesticides, which killed thousands of fish in Trout River and Barclay Brook.
- The Environmental Damages Fund ensures that funds are invested primarily in project activities that relate as closely as possible to the original incident in terms of resources damaged and geographic location. This project will directly support the restoration and enhancement of fish habitat in Prince Edward Island as was recommended by the court.
Further information may be found at the Environmental Damages Fund website.
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
For further information: Caitlin Workman, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-938-9436; Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)