The Government of Canada is committed to protecting nature and preserving it for generations of Canadians to come. Protecting and restoring valuable water resources such as the Saint John River watershed, the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence watershed, and the Gulf of Maine help us ensure we are passing cleaner waters on to the next generation.
Today, the Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal, Alaina Lockhart, announced on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, a federal investment of more than $1.19 million to eight multi-year projects aiming to protect and restore valuable freshwater resources in Atlantic Canada. These projects will give us a better picture of the health of Atlantic ecosystems and will support clean and sustainable communities and long-term economic growth.
Through the Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives Funding Program, a total of $1.09 million was awarded to seven projects that focus on improving water quality. In addition, actions taken by community organizations and Indigenous Peoples will have a concrete impact on the Atlantic ecosystems. These projects will restore and enhance degraded shore areas, develop tools for sharing knowledge to improve water quality, educate the population, and study the impact of microplastic pollution. The Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives Funding Program supports an ecosystem-based approach to improve the health, productivity, and long-term sustainability of ecosystems in Atlantic Canada.
Another project in the region will receive $105,488 as part of the Gulf of Maine Initiative funding program. This program supports projects that aim to maintain a healthy ecosystem that supports long-term sustainability and economic growth. The funding will help reduce water pollution and conserve habitat in the Gulf of Maine, by reducing nutrient loading from agricultural sources and by coordinating and implementing stewardship and education activities.
Through strong partnerships and collaborative action, these projects will lead to positive environmental results. These initiatives conserve our natural environment and improve our water quality. They also create active community and partner engagement and meaningful employment opportunities.
“The Government of Canada is making historic investments in protecting nature, including freshwater resources such as the Saint John River watershed, the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence watershed, and the Gulf of Maine. Partnerships with non-government organizations, Indigenous governments and organizations, industry, and academia, in Atlantic Canada, are essential in the fight against climate change. We all need to work together to protect Canada’s environment and create a sustainable economy for our kids and grandkids.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Funding projects through programs like the Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives and the Gulf of Maine Initiative help us see real, tangible efforts being made to protect and conserve the Saint John River watershed and the Gulf of Maine watershed that will have a lasting impact on our communities. Through the combined on-the-ground efforts of community groups, Indigenous groups, and all levels of government, these watersheds stand a much greater chance of remaining healthy, diverse, and productive for generations to come.”
– Alaina Lockhart, Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal
- From 2018 to 2019, the Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives Funding Program will be focused on two priority ecosystems of concern: the Saint John River watershed and the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence watershed.
- The Saint John River is an international and interprovincial waterway that flows 673 kilometres through Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec, with the watershed covering 55,000 square kilometres. The watershed falls within the traditional territory of the Maliseet people, and it was designated a “Canadian Heritage Rivers System” in 2013.
- The Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence watershed region is an important ecological, economic, and sociocultural region of North America. Communities along the coast depend on its resources for income and their quality of life. The Gulf region supports key ecosystems such as salt marshes, beaches, estuaries, and forests.
- The Gulf of Maine is a large watershed spanning much of the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, which border its coast. It is a highly productive ecosystem that is environmentally significant and economically important to Canada. Over 3,000 marine species and birds are found in the Gulf of Maine, as well as more than 30 species at risk.
- Federal investment for eight new multi-year projects, as part of the Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives and the Gulf of Maine Initiative funding programs