Approximately $4 million in federal funding has been announced to support 53 new projects under the EcoAction Community Funding Program. All of the projects focus on protecting the health and quality of our freshwater.
“Our government is pleased to invest in these community-driven projects aimed at protecting water, creating habitat for wildlife, and supporting good local jobs,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change. “Just like we did during this pandemic, Canadians are coming together through EcoAction to safeguard the health of our ecosystems, now and for future generations.”
Some projects tackle chemicals in the water while others restore damaged wetlands. The remainder boost our ecosystems so that they have additional capacity to handle floods that are occurring more frequently. The funds will also support various communications and public-engagement initiatives aimed at ensuring that local communities have the tools they need to protect their water and related ecosystems.
For example, through EcoAction, the British Columbia Conservation Foundation will receive $85,000 to work with Indigenous communities to restore wetlands in West Sechelt that were damaged by forest fires and logging activities.
“Our government is proud to support the work of the British Columbia Conservation Foundation, whose project will employ six community members and work with the shíshálh to restore wetlands in West Sechelt that were destroyed by forest fires and logging activity,” said Patrick Weiler, member of parliament for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country.
“Through EcoAction, we are working together with trusted delivery partners to restore sensitive ecosystems, rehabilitate our environment, and create jobs in our communities during this difficult time,” added Weiler.
Project leader Dr. Michelle Evelyn joined the virtual announcement to highlight how this investment will be used to protect fresh water for British Columbians.
With these funds, including additional matched contributions, the organization will be able to hire a field team including a biologist and an excavator to dig the new wetlands and plant native vegetation like reeds, rushes, willows, and shrubs. This project will have the added benefit of creating new habitat for wildlife.
“We are so grateful for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s support of our project, which takes place on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the shíshálh (Sechelt) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations,” said Dr. Michelle Evelyn, biologist and project leader. “In partnership with EcoAction, we are thrilled to embark on this project to improve freshwater ecosystems on the Sunshine Coast.”
By investing in community projects like these, the Government of Canada is supporting jobs, protecting wildlife, and helping our communities become more resilient in the face of climate change.