Canadian government announces funding to support protection, recovery of aquatic species at risk

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, recently announced funding for the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk.

In Canada, about 544 species have been identified as being at risk under the Species at Risk Act, and the list is growing, Fisheries and Oceans Canada says. The government is committed to protecting and recovering aquatic species at risk, to benefit Canada’s biodiversity as well as local and Indigenous communities that rely on them.

The government is supporting Canadians and Indigenous peoples in their efforts to help protect and recover aquatic species at risk.  The investments in the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk and Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk will help alleviate human threats to the habitats of aquatic species at risk, as well as support their recovery and protect them for the benefit of generations to come.

“The decline in biodiversity impacts both our natural environment and the economy,” Wilkinson said. “That’s why protecting, enhancing and conserving Canada’s species at risk and their habitats is a priority for our government. This funding will enable our partners, including Indigenous organizations across the country, to improve our country’s biodiversity and the natural resources that Canadians rely on.”

For 2019-2020, the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk has approved funding for 40 new projects totaling over $1.8 million, and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk has approved funding for almost 50 new projects totaling nearly $2.7 million.

The Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk supports the involvement of Indigenous communities in Species at Risk Act implementation by investing in community capacity and encouraging activities that contribute to conservation and recovery of species at risk. The Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk aims to contribute to the recovery of endangered, threatened, and other species at risk by engaging Canadians from all walks of life in conservation actions to benefit wildlife.

Some examples of projects proposed for funding through this investment are:

  1. An agreement with the Langley Environmental Partners Society that will improve the habitat for the at-risk Salish sucker and Nooksack dace in the Bertrand Creek Watershed
  2. An agreement with the Carrier Sekani First Nations Tribal Council that will improve the monitoring regime of spawning white sturgeon on the Nechako River.

The 890-MW Kenney hydroelectric plant is located on the Nechako River in British Columbia.

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