WINNIPEG -- The province announced on Thursday it has awarded 19 different conservation organizations in the first round of the Conservation Trust projects for the year.

More than $1.8 million in funding will go towards 23 projects in the province, with an additional $5.4 million being matched, bringing the total investment to more than $7 million.

“The conservation work being done throughout the province is building a legacy of work that will benefit all Manitobans and ensure Manitoba remains Canada’s cleanest, greenest, most climate-resilient province," said Blaine Pedersen, Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development, in a news release.

The province said activities that are funded by this trust range from conserving biodiversity and mitigating floods and droughts, to improving soil health and preserving waterways.

“Due to the innovative approach and the permanent endowment we have created, the Conservation Trust’s revenues ensure we are able to invest in worthy projects year after year, no matter the financial pressures Manitoba faces,” Pedersen said.

The first round of projects include:

• The Inter-Mountain Watershed District's Streambank Stabilization Project on Turtle River;

• Fort Whyte Alive's Open Spaces Enhancement Project;

• Opasquia Trails Incorporated's Grace Lake Boardwalk and Boreal Forest Trail;

• Delta Waterfowl's Conservation and Enhancement of Wetlands in Manitoba Project;

• Association of Manitoba Community Pastures' Grassland Study and Biodiversity Enhancement Project; and

• Three projects of Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association.

Pedersen said the trust is designed to support and inspire conservation projects for generations and that the fund is expected to generate $5 million a year.

The province said the second round of Conservation Trust grants will be announced later this year.