Proposals are being accepted beginning December 1 for a new round of funding through the Shuswap Watershed Council’s Water Quality Grant Program.
“One of our objectives as a watershed council is to protect and maintain the water quality in Shuswap and Mara Lakes,” explains Erin Vieira, program manager for the SWC. “In particular, we’re focussed on reducing nutrient inputs to rivers and lakes. We are looking to partner with and support Shuswap-area farms introduce new or improved methods of nutrient management.”
Since the Water Quality Grant Program began in 2020, the SWC has awarded nine grants worth a total of $144,233.
The two latest projects, announced in June, received $52,010 for riverbank restoration and wetland enlargement.
Ranchers Werner and Jody Stump of Malakwa received funding to mitigate erosion and limit cattle access to the Eagle River. The Gardom Lake Stewardship Society received funds to enlarge a constructed wetland along the creek that flows into Gardom Lake near Grindrod. The wetland will improve the quality of water flowing into Gardom Lake.
The grant program provides up to 50% financial assistance for projects and land management practices that keep nutrients on the land and in the soil, being used by crops and vegetation rather than washing into watercourses through rain, snowmelt or flooding. The funding combines with other sources of funding and in-kind support to facilitate projects with a much larger financial and environmental worth.
The two projects announced in June, for example, were worth $176,915.
Up to $55,000 is available in the current intake. Funding will be distributed to successful applicants in early 2023.
Vieira says that farms situated along the Salmon and Shuswap rivers will be prioritized for funding, but all applications are welcome.