WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government has announced funding for 20 projects to help preserve the province’s watersheds.

Premier Brian Pallister made the announcement Wednesday morning outside of the Manitoba Legislative Building, announcing $5.6 million towards the projects.

“I am very excited about these,” Pallister told reporters. “There are wetland and grassland restoration projects that are going on, enhancement conservation projects, riparian-area management on lakes and rivers, soil health improvement, (and) shelterbelt development.”

The funding comes from the Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Trust and the Conservation Trust. Some of the projects receiving funding include:

  • $750,000 to the Seine-Rat Roseau Watershed District in southeast Manitoba to help with projects to reduce peak flows during floods, retain water during dry periods, and capture nutrients in identified ‘hotspot’ areas that would otherwise end up in Lake Winnipeg;
  • $440,000 for the Souris River Watershed District projects to reduce peak water flows, conserve at-risk shallow wetlands, and improve soil health;
  • $500,000 for the Inter-Mountain Watershed District, located east of the Riding and Duck Mountains, to help address flooding and severe water erosion; and
  • $250,000 to the East Interlake Watershed District, on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, to focus on wetland and riparian-area enhancement projects.

Jodi Goerzen, manager of the Seine-Rat River Conservation District, was at the announcement. She said the GROW Trust will have an impact on the organization’s work.

“We’re now able to triple the work we’re doing on the ground, reducing the impacts of flooding, increasing water quality on farms downstream to the Red River, and ultimately, towards a healthier Lake Winnipeg,” Goerzen said.

GROW was established in 2019 by the provincial government. The GROW Trust is managed by The Winnipeg Foundation.

-With files from CTV's Kayla Rosen