The Canada and Manitoba governments have invested more than $880,000 in environmentally focused projects to improve and protect Manitoba’s landscape in partnership with conservation districts and farmers.

A total of 23 projects will receive funding from Growing Forward 2’s Growing Assurance - Ecological Goods and Services to enhance riparian areas, build water retention structures, protect sensitive lands with perennial cover and establish grassed waterway buffers.

“The Government of Canada is proud to partner with Manitoba Agriculture, conservation districts and farmers to support environmental practices to increase productivity and profitability in the agriculture sector and reduce negative impacts on the environment,” said Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “Investments in initiatives like these not only support long-term prosperity for our farmers, but help improve the health of our ecosystems for future generations.”

Funding is provided to Manitoba’s conservation districts, which then work with local agricultural producers to complete the projects.

“Improving environmental sustainability on farms and in partnership with conservation districts will create long-term benefits for all Manitobans,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “We are creating a legacy for the next generation, by recognizing the important role that conservation districts, farmers and other land managers have related to environmental stewardship. These programs create opportunities to enhance how we protect the land and water, while also reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.”

Manitoba Agriculture estimates every dollar spent on environmental projects creates a $3 economic spinoff through material purchases, use of local contractors, skilled labour and tax revenues.

“Having the support from both the provincial and federal government in this program is the key piece that will ensure the success of these environmental improvement projects being completed in Manitoba,” said Arnold Coutts, chair of the Manitoba Conservation District Association. “We are proud to be the front-line delivery agent for EG&S projects, together with farmers on the landscape. The conservation districts feel the way to successfully manage all things – from soil health to mitigation of floods and droughts – is through the farmland within our province.”

Eichler noted the provincial government’s public consultations on watershed-based environmental programs, drainage, water resource management and the modernization of Manitoba’s conservation districts are ongoing.

Manitobans are invited to submit comments by Oct. 6. on the government's website.