The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation has selected the first round of projects approved under the Government of Manitoba’s $102-million Conservation Trust. The announcement was made by Premier Brian Pallister and Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires on April 15, 2019.
“The Conservation Trust is an innovative, forward-thinking approach to invest in local projects that will conserve and enhance natural infrastructure and support the implementation of our best-in-Canada climate and green plan,” Pallister said. “With this long-lasting partnership, we are building a legacy of work that will benefit all Manitobans. Today’s announcement is the first instalment of many years of projects that will ensure Manitoba remains Canada’s cleanest, greenest, most climate-resilient province.”
The first round of initiatives includes 41 projects, with funding totalling over $2.2 million across four distinct program areas: watersheds, habitat and wildlife, connecting people to nature, and innovation and conservation planning. Funding is based on a two-to-one matching formula, with the first group of projects receiving support ranging from $4,000 to $125,000.
Some of the approved projects that have received funding include:
- The Brandon Riverbank Wetland Restoration and Access Improvement project, which will receive $100,000 in funding (the total project value is $250,000). The Riverbank Discovery Centre will restore a wetland damaged by flooding.
- The Wetlands and Waterfowl Conservation project, which will receive $100,000 in funding (the total project value is $385,000). The Delta Waterfowl Foundation will improve waterfowl production with nesting structures on 750 acres of wetlands. The wetlands will be protected by conservation agreements and deliver water storage and water quality improvements to the local watershed.
- The distributed multi-functional water storage project, which will be undertaken by the Whitemud Watershed Conservation District, will receive $100,000 in funding (the total project value is $323,000). The conservation district will develop small water storage projects designed to improve watershed resilience by reducing peak flows during floods, retaining water in dry periods, and providing wetland habitat.
“Funding from the Conservation Trust will help Manitoba conservation organizations tackle these important projects and create added environmental benefits for all Manitobans,” said Tim Sopuck, chief executive officer of the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. “The Conservation Trust offers a lasting approach that will fund conservation and will inspire new ideas and projects that may not have been possible until now.”
The Conservation Trust was announced in Budget 2018 and is now permanently endowed so it can support and inspire important conservation projects for generations to come. The fund is expected to generate about $5 million a year and will be managed by The Winnipeg Foundation. The projects will be administered, tracked, and evaluated by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation.
“The foundation appreciates the confidence the Manitoba government has shown by placing these new endowments under our stewardship,” said Rick Frost, chief executive officer of The Winnipeg Foundation. “We look forward to working with the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation as it advances conservation projects that protect wetlands and support other important environmental initiatives.”