Funding Helps Communities Become Resilient to Climate Change
November 23, 2023
Several organizations are receiving funding to help protect communities, residents and natural areas from the impacts of climate change.
More than $2.4 million from the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund will support seven community-led projects that will create living shorelines; help protect buildings and communities from flooding; support research on carbon storage in wetlands; protect cold-water habitats that fish and other species depend on; and make community buildings energy efficient.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Timothy Halman announced the funding today, November 23, in Mahone Bay, including $770,604 for the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation to support its work to build a living shoreline in the community. Living shorelines use vegetation, wetlands, rocks and other natural materials to protect communities, homes and people from coastal flooding, erosion and storms and to stabilize shorelines and protect coastal ecosystems.
“This summer was a heartbreaking reminder of the destruction and loss that climate change is causing,” said Minister Halman. “It was also a reminder that all Nova Scotians must work together to protect each other, our homes, communities and natural areas from climate change. These projects – many of which involve best practices in using nature-based solutions – show exactly the kind of community-led, all-hands-on-deck action that is needed to make our communities and ecosystems more resilient to climate change and to protect all that we hold dear.”
Funding was also announced for:
- Friends of the DesBrisay Museum in Bridgewater – $349,980 to make the museum more energy efficient and better protect it from flooding
- Bonny Lea Farm in Chester – $348,810 for Phase 1 of a multi-phased project to install heat pumps, which will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 162 tonnes per year; the heat pumps will also mean energy cost savings, which the organization plans to invest in more services and programming for clients
- Waterfront Baddeck – $301,162 to design and build a living shoreline
- Kingsburg Coastal Conservancy Association in Kingsburg, Lunenburg County – $267,400 for research on the carbon storage capacity of the Shaubac wetlands and assessing the carbon storage capacity of other wetlands
- TransCoastal Adaptations: Centre for Nature-Based Solutions at Saint Mary’s University – $238,098 for training homeowners in the Town of Pictou and the municipalities of West Hants and Barrington on how to use nature-based solutions to protect their shorelines
- the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq Aquatic Resources and Fisheries Management – $181,722 for research on conserving and enhancing cold-water habitats for fish and other species.
The Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund is available to municipalities, non-profit and community organizations, post-secondary institutions and Mi’kmaw communities to help them respond to and prepare for climate change impacts, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Communities across the province continue to experience the effects of climate change, such as extreme weather events. These projects will build resilience in communities and natural habitats, make community infrastructure energy efficient, give us carbon storage research and demonstrate the power and effectiveness of locally led action on tackling climate change. We are pleased to support these homegrown solutions which will play a role in shaping a more sustainable future for all.
Juanita Spencer, CEO, Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities
Our living shoreline project is a nature-based solution to help us adapt to climate change impacts in Mahone Bay. Developed and guided by a cross-sector partnership, and strengthened with education and research, our project will increase community and regional adaptation capacity and resiliency in the face of a changing climate. We are grateful for this support as we move forward with expanding the living shoreline.
Jordan Veinot, Climate Change Team Lead, Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation
This grant will allow us to design and construct a living shoreline as part of our public boardwalk reconstruction project and will help us do more advanced monitoring of the impact of climate change on Kidston Island and the boardwalk. We look forward to creating a community of volunteers and contractors experienced in building living shorelines in Cape Breton.
Rhonda Kay, Waterfront Baddeck Committee
Our Shaubac Wetlands Carbon Assessment Project is a departure from our traditional way of protecting lands on the Kingsburg Peninsula and nearby areas. We appreciate the opportunity provided by the fund to deepen our commitment to protecting precious ecological lands in support of climate change mitigation. We look forward to joining with our local community to ensure that our precious local wetlands will receive needed protection to fulfill their critical role in reducing carbon emissions.
– Janet Peace, Chair, Kingsburg Coastal Conservancy Association
We are absolutely thrilled that through the Town of Bridgewater’s partnership with the Friends of the DesBrisay Museum Society, our community has received this grant to retrofit the museum. This funding is critical, as it will extend the life of the building and help ensure that it will meet both the needs of our community and the challenges presented by climate change as we move forward.
– David Mitchell, Mayor, Town of Bridgewater
The entire community is deeply grateful that the Friends of the DesBrisay Museum Society was awarded a Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund grant by the Province of Nova Scotia. This support contributes to the preservation of our cultural heritage and ensures that the museum can continue to function as a community hub for generations to come. Thank you for recognizing the importance of the DesBrisay Museum and the work that we do.
– Lynette de Montreuil, Culture and Heritage Manager, DesBrisay Museum
Bonny Lea Farm is excited to receive this grant to install heat pumps which will greatly improve the comfort level of our staff and volunteers and the people we help every day. We are committed to becoming stronger earth citizens, reducing our carbon footprint and dependence on oil.
– Elizabeth Finney, Fund Development Director, Bonny Lea Farm
We as Mi’kmaq People have always prided our organizational principles towards Etuaptmumk. This funding that will preserve and enhance cold-water refugia in Nova Scotia watersheds will help conserve native aquatic species and promote the ongoing climate change resiliency with the important guidance and collaboration of our Mi’kmaq communities and our youth. This will foster adaptive capacity within the watershed to buffer impacts of climate change while enhancing aquatic biodiversity. Once again, we are closer to our goal of protecting and conserving our waters for the next seven generations.
– Angeline Gillis, Executive Director, Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq
We are thrilled to help increase our local communities’ coastal resilience through the Green Shores for Homes program, thanks to this funding which will ensure that Green Shores helps more vulnerable communities and trains homeowners with nature-based strategies to protect their shorelines in the face of climate change and sea level rise.
– Kelly Umlah, Education and Outreach Co-ordinator, TransCoastal Adaptations, Saint Mary’s University
- the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund was established on October 27, 2021, as part of the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, government’s legislated commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, respond to climate change, transform how Nova Scotians produce and use energy, make homes more energy efficient and more
- the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities was selected through a request for proposals process to develop and administer the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund on behalf of the government
- the fund launched on November 7, 2022, with $15 million in funding to support projects that help communities adapt to climate change, mitigate its impacts and help Nova Scotia reduce its greenhouse gas emissions
- in September, the fund was topped up by $15.4 million and extended to 2028
- projects announced today were funded under the first round of the program; the second round launched October 17, the call for projects closed November 14 and proponents have until November 28 to submit their complete application
More information on the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund is available at: https://nschallengefund.ca/
News release: More Funding to Help Make Communities Resilient to Climate Change: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20230928001
News release: Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities to Deliver Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20220414003
Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act: https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/environmental%20goals%20and%20climate%20change%20reduction.pdf