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$5.5 million from Trust to support nature-based solution to climate change

 

An eroding gully in the Assiniboine West Watershed District will be re-naturalized thanks to funding from the Trust

Photo Credit Jim Fisher

*Landowner Harvey Wood and Colleen Cuvelier, Assiniboine West Watershed District's Regional Manager - Oak River

June 28, 2021

The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) is announcing $5.5 million in grants to 12 Manitoba Watershed Districts for new land and water conservation projects.
The revenue source for these projects is the Province of Manitoba’s recent $204 million investment in endowments at The Winnipeg Foundation. The Conservation Trust, the GROW Trust and the Wetlands GROW Trust have created new and permanent revenue sources for local conservation projects.
“I am pleased to see Manitoba’s conservation investments continuing to pay off in new projects across the province, “said Agriculture and Resource Development Minister, Blaine Pedersen. “Watershed conservation is key to adapting to the impacts of climate change.”
“Since 2018, $18 million dollars have been granted from the Trusts to 119 conservation projects delivered by 45 Manitoba-based groups, said Tim Sopuck, MHHC chief executive officer. “So far in 2021, $8.3 million has been committed to projects.”
The Assiniboine West Watershed District (AWWD) will receive $1.16 million, which is the largest grant ever awarded to a Watershed District in Manitoba. AWWD works with area farmers under a provincial program called GROW (Growing Outcomes in Watersheds). AWWD will use an incentive-based approach to protect 1,000 acres of vulnerable wetlands and will improve soil health and riparian areas by converting another 1,000 acres to permanent cover. It will also install 20 off-site cattle watering systems and further flood-proof the region with new peak flow runoff storage sites.
“Our watershed conservation project projects have tripled thanks to new funding from the Trusts,” said Ryan Canart, a local cattle producer, and Assiniboine West Watershed’s District manager. “Local landowners are responding well to new conservation incentive opportunities.”
The $5.5 million in Trust funds is matched by $6.2 million in funds and services by project partners, resulting in $11.7 million of conservation activity in Manitoba.
MHHC was established in 1986 as a provincial Crown Corporation to conserve fish and wildlife habitat in the Manitoba. It recently transitioned out of government and is now a not-for-profit charitable organization. Visit www.mhhc.mb.ca.




For more details regarding funded projects see https://www.mhhc.mb.ca/funded-projects/
For more information, contact
TIM SOPUCK, CEO
tsopuck@mhhc.mb.ca
204.793.4107

20 Projects Support Made-in-Manitoba
Climate and Green Plan:  Premier

 

The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation has selected 20 new conservation projects that will receive more than $5.6 million to ensure the health and sustainability of the province’s watersheds for future generations, building on the Manitoba government’s commitment to create a legacy of climate-change adaptation and resilience, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Watershed management is an important part of our Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan,” said Pallister. “Local expertise, the commitment of landowners and the support of our partners will help ensure these projects protect our water quality, sustainably manage our natural resources and leave a sustainable legacy for all Manitobans to enjoy.”

These newly approved projects resulted from a call for proposals released in January, focused on water and watershed management. Funding is being provided through the Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Trust and the Conservation Trust.  

Through GROW, watershed districts in Manitoba will deliver 16 projects that improve resilience to the effects of climate change. Landowners will work with watershed districts and receive capital costs or annual payments to support new conservation projects. These include:
•    $750,000 to the Seine Rat Roseau Watershed District in southeast Manitoba to support projects that reduce peak flows during floods, retain water during dry periods and capture nutrients in identified ‘hotspot’ areas that would otherwise end up in Lake Winnipeg;
•    $440,000 for the Souris River Watershed District projects to reduce peak water flows, conserve at-risk shallow wetlands, improve soil health, conserve wildlife habitat and sequester carbon;
•    $500,000 for the Inter-Mountain Watershed District, located east of the Riding and Duck mountains, to address flooding and severe water erosion that occurs along the edge of this region and the Manitoba escarpment; and
•    $250,000 to the East Interlake Watershed District, on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, to focus on wetland and riparian area enhancement projects that reduce water flow and capture nutrients before they can enter Lake Winnipeg.

The Conservation Trust will also provide funding to four non-profit organizations that submitted watershed-based proposals. Examples of approved projects include:
•    $150,000 for the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources to work within the Collaborative Leadership Initiative, involving Indigenous and municipal leaders to deliver wetland restoration projects and demonstrate water quality trading as a nutrient-reduction tool in the Lake Winnipeg basin; and
•    $50,000 for Ducks Unlimited Canada to improve watershed resilience by restoring wetlands and other natural habitats in the prairie pothole landscape of southwest Manitoba.

“Revenues from the trusts are now supporting new watershed conservation activities that also will help Manitobans adapt to the impacts of climate change,” said Tim Sopuck, chief executive officer, Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation.

These GROW and Conservation Trust projects will also leverage more than $9 million in matching funds, the premier noted.

The Conservation Trust was established in 2018 with a $102 million contribution to The Winnipeg Foundation to generate annual revenues for conservation projects in perpetuity. It is managed by the foundation, with projects approved, tracked and evaluated by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. Earlier this year, 23 projects received $1.8 million in funding through the trust.  For more information, visit www.mhhc.mb.ca/the-conservation-trust/.  

In 2019, a $52-million endowment fund established GROW as a made-in-Manitoba approach to deliver ecological goods and services, with a focus on watershed health, management and resiliency.  In last fall’s speech from the throne, the province also committed to investing another $50 million in a Wetlands GROW Trust to support landowners who wish to conserve temporary wetlands not protected by regulation.

GROW is delivered by Manitoba’s watershed districts through local watershed committees. For more information, visit : Agriculture and Resource Development | Province of Manitoba (gov.mb.ca)

The Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan called for the establishment of a trust to provide long-term and stable support to conservation efforts throughout the province.

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED

 


 

For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-945-4916.