November 12, 2020 – West Vancouver, British Columbia
Having access to clean water is critically important to our health, economy, environment, and overall well-being. Across the country, Canadians are working to protect and maintain this network of fresh water. The Government of Canada is pleased to support these efforts as we work collaboratively to ensure that the needs of Canadians and their natural ecosystems are met during this challenging time.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and the Member of Parliament for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country, Patrick Weiler, announced approximately $4 million to support 53 new projects under the EcoAction Community Funding Program.
All 53 projects focus on protecting the health and quality of water. Some projects tackle chemicals in the water; others restore damaged wetlands; the remainder boost our ecosystems so that they have additional capacity to handle floods that are more frequently occurring due to the impacts of climate change. 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. Project leader Dr. Michelle Evelyn joined the virtual event 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.
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.