Our provincial government recently made an exciting announcement regarding funding to Winnipeg and the surrounding areas. Through the Disaster Prevention and Climate Resiliency Program, 12 projects have been selected to receive a total of $15 million to build up local infrastructure that will better prepare municipalities to withstand the impacts of natural disasters and extreme weather events.
The Prairie Grove Drain, which spans both the Dawson Trail and Springfield-Ritchot ridings, will be receiving $261,000 for culvert upgrades. This will improve surface water management in the watershed and will reduce flooding and road washouts due to severe rain events and spring runoff in the area. The goal of the Disaster Prevention and Climate Resiliency Program is to help municipalities with projects that prevent damage from a future disaster year after year, rather than simply help them recover from any single incident. It is another step forward in making Manitoba the cleanest, greenest, most climate-resilient province in the country.
Another exciting announcement that was recently made by our provincial government is the funding of 20 new conservation projects through the GRowing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Trust and Conservation Trust. GROW is a new initiative to recognize and reward agricultural producers for the environmental goods and services produced on their farms. These projects were selected by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation and will receive a total of $5.6 million to ensure the health and sustainability of the province’s watersheds.
Through the GROW Trust, the Seine Rat Roseau Watershed District (SRRWD) will receive $500,000 and Northeast Red Watershed District (NRWD) $250,000 for two local projects. The NRWD will receive an additional $20,000 through the Conservation Trust for an additional project.
The SRRWD project will involve farmers, ranchers and community members working together to identify environmental solutions to improve water quality, build resiliency to climate change and reduce erosion of marginal or environmentally targeted soils across 690 acres in the watershed. “With the help of the GROW Trust, we are now able to triple the work that we are doing on the ground, reducing the impacts of flooding, increasing water quality on farms downstream to the Red River, and ultimately a healthier Lake Winnipeg,” stated SRRWD manager, Jodi Goerzen.
One of the NRWD projects will use seeding to stabilize 200 acres of stream bank within the watershed to prevent further stream bank erosion and provide habitat for a variety of species. The NRWD will also work with local landowners to provide ecological goods and services to the watershed and aims to restore and enhance 200 acres of wetlands and riparian areas in the next two years.
With these announcements, our government continues to show our support for our rural communities and our environment.