Last week RBC announced the last wave of its 2010 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grant recipients. Seven organizations from Canada, the United States and Trinidad & Tobago will share over $1.2 million.

RBC’s funding will support a range of projects from wetland and shoreline restoration to water quality monitoring and sharing of sustainable water management practices in agricultural regions. The four Canadian grant recipients are:

Wildsight: A grant of $150,000 will enable Wildsight and the Lake Winnipeg Foundation to launch the Living Lakes Network Canada, a national network whose mission is to enhance the protection, restoration and rehabilitation of lakes, wetlands, rivers, and other water bodies of Canada. This NGO based network is developed in partnership with Living Lakes International and Global Nature Fund.

Manitoba Museum: A grant of $200,000 will support the creation of a Lake Winnipeg Basin Ecosystem Challenge—the first Canadian virtual simulator that will allow users to manipulate different real-life variables that impact long-term sustainable development of the Lake Winnipeg Basin. By balancing issues such as economic development, environmental protection, water quality and biodiversity, people will experience how their personal choices affect the health of one of North America’s largest ecosystems. The Museum has partnered with the International Institute of Sustainable Development, another RBC Blue Water Project grant recipient on this initiative.

Mid-Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society: A grant of $70,000 will help this organization protect the Englishman River watershed and its rich ecosystem by funding an assessment of the interaction of ground and surface water. The findings will be communicated to the public, as well as to provincial, regional and municipal water managers so they can make more informed planning decisions.

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Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW): FLOW, a project of Tides Canada Initiatives, is an independent group of water leaders and experts from across Canada that promotes solutions to protect Canada’s freshwater resources. RBC’s funding of $300,000 will be used to work with Assembly of First Nations in scoping a First Nations Water Commission. The Water Commission will enhance First Nations’ capacity to improve their drinking water systems as well as become more involved in broader, national water management discussions and decision-making. RBC will also support a water expert forum in the Northwest Territories (NWT) to assist in the exchange of water information and expertise between the North and South. The forum will help NWT water managers access world-class knowledge to implement the new territorial water strategy, while sharing innovative ideas applied by the Northwest Territories broadly across Canada.

Wildlands League: A grant of $200,000 will help Wildlands League develop an integrated watershed plan with the Shibogama Tribal Council, whose five main communities live in the Severn and Winisk watersheds in the far north of Ontario. These rare, ecologically significant watersheds remain undammed and unregulated, and Wildlands League will map them using the best available data on current and proposed uses. The organization will also work with the tribal council to develop “first principles” for watershed stewardship using indigenous knowledge.

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