Funding will go towards conservation and restoration of prairie grasslands and wetlands
By Jean-Paul McDonald
An announcement made on Friday by federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, on behalf of the minister of the environment and climate change, Jonathan Wilkinson, highlighted the Canadian government’s commitment to the protection of wetlands and grasslands in Canada’s vast Prairie region.
More than $25 million in funding will be given to organizations to help conserve and restore grassland and wetland habitats across the Prairies, including the restoration of croplands to grasslands. Three organizations selected to receive funding include Ducks Unlimited Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation.
Ducks Unlimited will receive up to $19.28 over three years to be used for projects to conserve and restore Prairie wetland and grassland habitats, which will include restoring former croplands into grasslands. These efforts will work towards capturing and storing carbon, among other ecological benefits.
Nature Conservancy of Canada will receive up to $4.05 million over three years for projects intended to retain and restore carbon stocks through conserving, restoring, and improvements to Prairie grassland and wetland management.
Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation will receive up to $2.4 million over three years for conservation and restoration projects, including enhanced wetland and grassland management, improving water quality and supporting wildlife.
This funding comes from the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund 2021-2022, which also contributes to other initiatives that aim to conserve up to 30,000 hectares, restore up to 6,000 hectares, and enhance management of up to 18,000 hectares of grasslands, wetlands and riparian areas.