Manitoba Government Announces Additional Supports for Healthy Watersheds
December 4, 2023
Watershed Districts Program Helps Protect Lake Winnipeg, Safeguard Health of Waterways: Schmidt
The Manitoba government is investing an additional $294,000 to expand the Watershed Districts Program, Environment and Climate Change Minister Tracy Schmidt announced today in advance of the Manitoba Association of Watersheds conference.
“Improving watershed health is such an important part of building a resilient environment and fighting climate change,” said Schmidt. “Watershed districts help Manitobans connect what is happening in their backyard with what is happening across the province. I look forward to continuing our partnership with the Manitoba Association of Watersheds and working together to protect Manitoba’s environment.”
The Watershed Districts Program is a provincial-municipal partnership program made up of 14 watershed districts. Currently, 113 municipalities participate in the voluntary program and the Manitoba government is actively working with additional municipalities interested in and committed to joining. In total, the watershed districts and planning assistance grant is just over $7 million.
“As the representative organization of Manitoba’s 14 watershed districts, we are grateful for the Manitoba government’s acknowledgement and support of the Watershed District Program, and we look forward to continued collaboration and partnership,” said Garry Wasylowski, board chair, Manitoba Association of Watersheds. “Provincial investments like these help to ensure that watershed districts are able to continue to support Manitoba’s agricultural producers, rural municipalities and First Nations partners in their land and water stewardship.”
In addition to expanding the Watershed Districts Program to new municipal areas, the Manitoba government has also made available an additional $300,000 for watershed districts with responsibility for waterway infrastructure, the minister noted.
“We appreciate the increase in provincial funding for infrastructure maintenance and we look forward to continued co-operation on drainage issues,” said Gerond Davidson, chair, Whitemud Watershed District. “It is pleasing to see that the Manitoba government recognizes and supports the important work we do.”
The Watershed Districts Program enhances the health and sustainability of watersheds, promotes climate resilience and builds on decades of successful conservation work through this provincial program in partnership with municipalities, landowners, Indigenous Peoples and conservation stakeholders, noted the minister. The work of the Watershed Districts Program also contributes to the Manitoba government’s key commitment to work with experts and scientists to protect Lake Winnipeg and safeguard the health of all waterways, the minister said.
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