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Archived - Atlantic Ecosystem Initiatives Funding Program

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One of the ways that the Government of Canada is working to improve the health, productivity, and long term sustainability of the Atlantic Ecosystem is through the Atlantic Ecosystem Initiatives Funding Program. The program seeks to achieve greater environmental impacts by encouraging comprehensive ecosystem-based projects that include partnerships and collaboration among organizations throughout Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic Ecosystem Initiatives Funding Program focuses on water quality, habitat and biodiversity. It funds projects that enhance integrated ecosystem planning and decision-making, increase ecosystem knowledge and science, and undertake actions that reach across Atlantic Canada to conserve, restore and enhance ecosystem health.

Program Requirements

Eligible recipients must be based in Atlantic Canada and include non-profit organizations, coalitions and networks of organizations, research and academic institutions and Aboriginal governments and organizations. Although business/industry, federal, provincial, and municipal governments are not eligible funding recipients, they are encouraged to partner with applicants on projects.

For more information, please visit the Atlantic Ecosystem Initiatives Funding Program Web page.

As a result of a call for proposals issued in September 2014, $1.968 million in funding is being allocated to the following 14 recipients.

Project Name:

Old Forest Conservation in the Acadian Forest

AEI Funding:

$191,000 (over 3 years)

Recipient:

Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute

Location of Recipient:

Kempt, Nova Scotia

Project Description:

This project focuses on habitat and biodiversity by addressing the conservation, protection and better management of the Old Acadian Forest regions in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The project will involve Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of 2000 hectares of Old Acadian forests; research, analysis and the development of a report on government policy and legislation, developing an Atlantic-wide partnership focused on Acadian forest conservation; and engaging in outreach and education to increase stewardship of privately owned old forests. This project will result in project partners and landowners being informed on how to conserve and restore old forests and will have the long term outcome of industrial and private landowners modifying forest harvesting plans, and improving land-use planning, which will benefit the state of the forests and provide habitat for diverse wildlife and reduce the impacts of climate change.

 

Project Name:

Atlantic Bat Monitoring Network

AEI Funding:

$84,422 (1 year)

Recipient:

Atlantic Coastal Action Program Cape Breton

Location of Recipient

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Project Description:

This project will establish a pan-Atlantic bat monitoring network that collects data on bat species in the region by using a standardized acoustic monitoring protocol. The Little Brown Bat was recently listed as protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) due to recent decline from White Nose Syndrome.  The data collected will be important in informing current conservation efforts and longer term development of recovery strategies for the Little Brown Bat.

 

Project Name:

A Standardized Ecological Reference Framework for Acadian Heathlands in Nova Scotia

AEI Funding:

$176,030 (over 3 years)

Recipient:

Saint Mary's University

Location of Recipient

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Project Description:

This project will provide current information on the status of Acadian Heathland species in Nova Scotia, including: diversity, distribution, ecological significance, conservation status and the impacts of climate change. By collecting data on 120,000 hectares of heathland, this project will fill a much needed information gap on how to best conserve heathlands, and will be used in the development of best management practices guidelines that will support and guide a variety of protection, conservation and stewardship activities.

 

Project Name:

Atlantic Canada’s Biological Data for Ecosystem Planning and Decision-making: Opening Access and Increasing Reuse

AEI Funding:

$70,000 (1 year)

Recipient:

Atlantic Coastal Zone Information Steering Committee

Location of Recipient

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Project Description:

This project will establish an Atlantic Biological Data Partnership (ABDP) to increase access to and availability of biological data related to estuaries. Although much data already exists regarding coastal and marine habitats, it is housed in various formats and within different organizations. This project will provide a valuable coordinating function that will increase the availability of data regarding habitat and biodiversity in the coastal zone and ensure the appropriate management through an existing data portal, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) (an international management system for marine/ coastal datasets). This integration of information will strengthen decision-making through better access to information about habitat and biodiversity in Atlantic Canada’s coastal zone.

 

Project Name:

Atlantic Stormwater Initiative: A collaborative approach to integrated sustainable practices that protect water resources and native ecosystems

AEI Funding:

$199,903 (over 2 years)

Recipient:

The Clean Foundation

Location of Recipient

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Project Description:

This project will bring together experts and stakeholders throughout Atlantic Canada to address stormwater-related impacts of climate change through the adoption of Low Impact Development (LID) systems. The goal is to better manage water quantity and flow, while mitigating the associated impacts to water quality and habitat and biodiversity. This project will facilitate the development of a collective vision for the increased implementation of LIDs in order to improve the capacity for communities to mitigate stormwater risks and threats due to climate change, and thereby protect water quality and enhance habitat and biodiversity.

 

Project Name:

The Atlantic Provinces Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) Collaborative

AEI Funding:

$76,719 (over 1 year)

Recipient:

Miramichi River Environmental Assessment Committee

Location of Recipient

Miramichi, New Brunswick

Project Description:

This project will assess water quality by using Environment Canada’s Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) protocol to provide insight into existing stressors and impacts on freshwater systems throughout Atlantic Canada. The results will provide a snapshot of ecosystem health in freshwater systems across the Atlantic Provinces. By establishing baseline conditions and assessing impacts of land uses, this project will increase information on where to focus future water quality and habitat restoration efforts.

 

Project Name:

Habitat Conservation Strategies for the Atlantic Provinces: A collaborative approach for terrestrial and aquatic conservation in the face of climate change

AEI Funding:

$109,019 (over 3 years)

Recipient:

Nature Conservancy of Canada

Location of Recipient

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Project Description:

This project will develop Habitat Conservation Strategies (HCS) for Cape Breton Island (NS), and the province of Prince Edward Island (PEI). The HCSs will assess the current health of the ecosystem and species, identify stressors, and propose required conservation actions to address threats within each region to improve or maintain ecosystem health. This project will result in a list of recommended conservation actions that are required to maintain or improve the ecological health of each region over the next 5-10 years.

 

Project Name:

Assessing and responding to estuary health in Atlantic Canada

AEI Funding:

$138,000 (1 year)

Recipient:

Eastern Charlotte Waterways Inc.

Location of Recipient

Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick

Project Description:

This project will complete a health assessment of estuaries in Atlantic Canada that will include the development of a common methodology and report card for assessing and reporting on estuary health. Results from standardized water quality testing will result in a regional snapshot of the health of estuaries in Atlantic Canada and will provide insight on cumulative effects and identify key stressors to be addressed. This baseline data will inform future restoration and mitigation efforts  and will help identify policy needs and best management practices to ensure responsible management of water quality and biodiversity in Atlantic Canada’s estuaries.

 

Project Name:

Increasing Climate Risk Preparedness, Water Quality Management and Flooding Control by Enhancing Planning Use of Intensity/ Duration/ Frequency Extreme Rainfall Data

AEI Funding:

$105,806 (over 3 years)

Recipient:

Association of Canadian Delegates to the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment

Location of Recipient

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Project Description:

This project supports climate change risk preparedness in Atlantic Canada by providing a web-based tool which will improve access to extreme rainfall data. Access to this data will improve the prediction of flooding and other impacts associated with extreme precipitation events and provide planners and decision makers the ability to integrate the data into climate change adaptation planning and better prepare for climate change impacts.

 

Project Name:

Broad ecosystem implications of anthropogenic food subsidies in an avian generalist: the Herring Gull Colonies in Atlantic Canada

AEI Funding:

$69,850 (over 2 years)

Recipient:

Atlantic Lab for Avian Research, University of New Brunswick

Location of Recipient

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Project Description:

This project will examine the relative reliance of a key ecosystem indicator species, Herring Gulls, on anthropogenic (human-induced) food sources at the three largest colonies for this species in Atlantic Canada. By studying foraging habits and food availability, insight will be gained on how various industries are impacting species biodiversity. This project will work directly with wildlife managers and species at risk biologists to integrate this new knowledge toward improvement of best management practice guidelines for practitioners and relevant industries.

 

Project Name:

Atlantic Eelgrass Monitoring Consortium

AEI Funding:

$200,000 (over 2 years)

Recipient:

Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability

Location of Recipient

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Project Description:

This project will implement a cumulative effects monitoring program which will result in the production of a ‘State of Eelgrass in Atlantic Canada’ report. Eelgrass provides a vital, ecological function, as well as and critical habitats which supports species richness and biodiversity.  This work will lead to the development of eelgrass conservation and restoration plans for 20 estuaries in the Atlantic Region.

 

Project Name:

Wetland Mapping in Newfoundland and Labrador Using Optical and Radar Remote Sensing

AEI Funding:

$200,000 (over 3 years)

Recipient:

C-CORE

Location of Recipient

St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Project Description:

This project will develop a framework for wetland mapping and monitoring for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; produce wetland inventory maps of the Avalon Peninsula using remote sensing technologies, and implement the developed framework. This inventory will provide regional information that would allow for an Atlantic-wide approach to land use planning in order to direct development away from valued natural habitats, to define and monitor the impact of stressors on wetlands, and target sites for conservation activities.

 

Project Name:

Risk hotspot identification for colonial seabirds in Atlantic Canada: using science to direct effective conservation strategies

AEI Funding:

$183,578 (over 3 years)

Recipient:

Bird Studies Canada

Location of Recipient

Head Office: Port Rowan, Ontario
Regional Office: Sackville, New Brunswick

Project Description:

This project will assess anthropogenic (human-induced) risks to colonial breeding seabirds across Atlantic Canada, and develop a conservation ‘road map’ to help mitigate top threats. The project aims to preserve breeding seabirds and their sensitive coastal habitats in order to maintain the biodiversity of the ecosystem.

 

Project Name:

Climate Change Impacts on Nutrient Loading in Freshwater Ecosystems in Atlantic Canada

AEI Funding:

$163,923 (over 3 years­)

Recipient:

Dalhousie University

Location of Recipient

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Project Description:

This project focuses on assessing how climate change impacts nutrient loading and organic matter composition in the Little River Watershed located in New Brunswick and the Shubenacadie Headwaters Watershed in Nova Scotia. Combined, these two watersheds offer a diverse range of land use conditions that will be used as inputs to watershed models in order to predict the potential impacts of climate change stressors on water quality and aquatic habitats in these systems, and extrapolated for use in other watersheds in Atlantic Canada. The project will inform best management practices to manage stressors on freshwater based on the outcomes of the climate change models, inform strategies for climate risk preparedness, and support the safe use of municipal water systems.


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