AWN Awarded Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives Funding
Environment and Climate Change Canada has been a long time funder, supporter and partner in Atlantic Water Network’s work. AWN has grown a lot since it was founded in 2004 and much of the growth is due to the support received both financially and in-kind from ECCC.
On April 21, Member of Parliament for Halifax, Andy Fillmore, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, announced $554,745 in funding from Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives, for three new projects to address water-quality issues in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Wolastoq/Saint John River watersheds.
Atlantic Water Network received a generous contribution of $195,595 from ECCC to provide direct support to community-based water monitoring groups with monitoring program design, data collection methods, and water quality assessments.
“This project was designed to directly address the needs outlined by AWN’s community partners. There are hundreds of watershed groups and community organizations doing amazing work to monitor and protect rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands across Atlantic Canada,” said Director of Atlantic Water Network Emma Wattie.
Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives targets improving sustainability, productivity and health of priority ecosystems in Atlantic Canada.
“Our mandate is to support this great work by making water monitoring more accessible so communities are empowered with the information they need to meet the challenges facing their watersheds,” she said.
Specifically, with funding from the Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives program, Atlantic Water Network will work to achieve two key goals:
- In places where there are concerns around water quality, AWN wants to make it as easy as possible for communities to establish and strengthen monitoring programs. Creating monitoring plans can be onerous and watershed groups are often operating on a shoe-string budget. AWN aims to reduce barriers to monitoring for groups of all sizes and capacities by creating a centralized online knowledge hub where practitioners can access the high-quality tools and training that’s needed & ensure that their monitoring programs are scientifically sound, and set up for long-term success.
- Once monitoring plans are in place, data collectors need to share their findings within their communities. Instead of sharing spreadsheets full of numbers, it is crucial that communities can digest this information in an accessible and relevant format. AWN plans on creating a tool that water monitoring organizations can use to simply share the health of their watersheds – first within their communities – and as a standard and comparable format across Atlantic Canada.
Atlantic Water Network is committed to working together with community partners to develop useful tools and resources relevant to watersheds across Atlantic Canada.