Twelve organizations in southern Alberta and other vulnerable communities across the province have been granted a total of almost $1 million through the provincial Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program, to address drought in the province.

The grants will go towards such projects as the restoration of riparian areas, creation of wetlands, installation of rain gardens in urban locations, soil bioengineering, implementation of agricultural best management practices, and the increased use of beaver structures.

Shannon Phillips, the Minister of Environment and Parks said, “Improving natural watersheds is an important part of our plan to help vulnerable communities like Calgary and others across the province adapt to a changing climate. These projects will enhance our natural environment and reduce the impact of both floods and drought.”

A healthy watershed is the first—and arguably best—defense against flood and drought. If appropriately managed, Alberta’s natural watershed systems will help mitigate severe natural events and will provide many other ecological benefits. Sound stewardship, education and conservation will ensure that these areas are maintained and enhanced.

Over the life of the program, Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program grants will fund the restoration of more than 40 kilometres of riparian areas and the creation or enhancement of more than 600 hectares of wetlands. The grants will also support projects focused on education, outreach and the implementation of best management practices.

Over three years, government has granted $18.5 million to 30 organizations to under the program. This is the third and final round of that funding.

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