The Alberta government has announced an additional $31 million in funding for the Alberta Community Resilience Program (ACRP) and $14 million for the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP).
The flood and drought resiliency grant programs proved to have high demand. To date, more than $100 million has been invested in community-level flood resiliency projects through the ACRP. Money has gone toward flood barriers, erosion control, storm-water management, safeguards for critical municipal water management infrastructure, and other high-priority flood mitigation projects across the province.
“Flood and drought events can be devastating to Alberta families and our economy. Our additional investment in flood and drought resiliency will help our communities adapt to a changing climate where severe weather will be more common,” said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks.
Through three rounds of funding, WRRP grants will fund the restoration, enhancement and creation of more than 600 hectares of wetlands and 40 kilometres of riparian areas, the lush strips of land adjacent to lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. Additionally, the program funds projects focused on education, outreach and the implementation of best management practices.
Barry Bishop, Alberta Head of Conservation Programs, Ducks Unlimited Canada, said, “We commend the Government of Alberta for its leadership, foresight, and continued commitment to green infrastructure supporting watershed resilience. In relation to restored wetlands, the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program will provide sustained benefits from Alberta’s natural environment.”
The original funding allocation for the Alberta Community Resilience Program was $500 million over 10 years. The WRRP was a three-year, $21-million program.
Additional funding for both programs will begin in the 2017-18 budget year. Eligible organizations are encouraged to submit their application to the WRRP on or before February 17, 2017. The next application deadline for the Alberta Community Resilience Program is September 30, 2017.