Ten conservation projects on P.E.I. will receive almost $500,000
© Guardian photo
Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, left, here with Central Queens Wildlife Federation watershed co-ordinator Megan Harris, was in Bonshaw Monday to announce almost $500,000 in funding for recreational fisheries projects in P.E.I.
Some Island fish will soon be getting a helping hand thanks to almost $500,000 in federal funding destined for 10 P.E.I. conservation projects.
Megan Harris, the watershed co-ordinator for the Central Queens Wildlife Federation's work on the West River, said the money means her group, which is getting $60,000 this year, can work on capital-intensive projects, such as replacing culverts with bridges on private road crossings.
"Those are the sorts of projects we could never hope to fund before because they're quite expensive and this will allow us to do that," she said.
The funding is part of the federal government's $10-million recreational fisheries conservation partnerships program that was created in June to support projects across the country over the next two years.
This year, the government will spend $6.5 million on 104 projects, including the 10 on the Island.
In P.E.I., $490,000 will go to projects that include a fish population survey, improving fish passage and restoring and enhancing habitats.
For the Central Queens Wildlife Federation, it was working on a 20-year watershed management plan, but the funding will help speed that along and give the group the chance to work on some bigger projects.
Thanks to the funding, Harris said her group will also be able to try new techniques and technology it might have avoided before because of uncertainty over whether or not they would be cost effective.
"Now we can experiment a little bit more," she said.
Fisheries Minister Gail Shea made the announcement and said the funding program came about because the recreational fishery is a big part of the economy.
"The partnership overall is good because these groups volunteer countless hours for the good of their community, for the good of this industry because they love it," she said.
The next round of applications for funding starts this fall with money flowing to projects next year.