An inventory of the province’s wetlands is one project receiving support

The University of Manitoba’s Watershed Systems Research Centre is receiving $50,000 to launch a water management pilot project aimed at storing run-off water on agricultural land as part of a new suite of programs aimed at improving water quality.

Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh announced last week it is tripling funding for the Lake Friendly campaign and funding eight other initiatives to $600,000 to help restore the health of Lake Winnipeg including new wetlands research and support for international co-operation on nutrient management.

The minister announced funding of more than $75,000 for the ongoing work of the Lake Friendly initiative. The program is run by a partnership of nine municipalities along the south basin of Lake Winnipeg. The funds will support the Do What Matters project, the first program in the country that works to educate people on the impact everyday choices have on waterways.

Noting the Red River contributes about 70 per cent of the phosphorus that enters Lake Winnipeg, the minister also announced $100,000 for an ongoing grant to support the work of the Red River Basin Commission including its efforts to improve cross-border nutrient management. The Red River Basin Commission is a key partner in work being led by the International Joint Commission, Manitoba, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota to develop a nutrient management strategy for the international Red River watershed.

The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, a Crown corporation mandated with conserving and restoring fish and wildlife habitat, received $130,000 to undertake an inventory of the province’s wetlands, which will assist in gauging progress on the protection of these wetlands. The minister announced earlier this year the corporation would be sharpening its focus on the protection of Lake Winnipeg.

The minister noted five additional projects will also receive funding including:

  •  The Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium — $150,000 to assist in operation of the MV Namao to conduct monitoring and research on Lake Winnipeg;
  •  The Manitoba Environmental Industries Association — $15,000 to support a Clean Water Technology Leaders Initiative;
  •  The University of Manitoba’s Watershed Systems Research Centre — $24,000 to develop assessment criteria to identify priority areas for wetland conservation and restoration;
  •  Researchers at the universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba — $25,000 to examine the timing and amounts of phosphorus release from Manitoba soils during floods; and
  •  Researchers at the universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba — $10,000 to help determine the human and ecological threat of algal toxins to water and fish in Lake Winnipeg.

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