BBEMA awarded international funding

Colin MacLean
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Grade 8 students learn how to measure stream flow during an Adopt a River field trip. Submitted photo

SUMMERSIDE – One of the Island’s most active environmental management organizations announced today that it’s getting a big international grant.

The Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association (BBEMA) was informed earlier this week that it’s application for funding from the North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA).

It means an additional $86, 322 (U.S.) in funding, which is about $96,000 Canadian, for the organization’s Adopt a River project.

Receiving this money was a prestigious coup for such a small organization, said Tracy Brown, BBEMA executive director.

“It feels nice to get international recognition,” said Brown.

“You’re talking North America – that’s a large landmass and there are only, at the most, 40 organizations that got funding. So it’s kind of neat to have a project of that quality,” she said. 

She added during subsiquant email that there were actually only 18 projects funded, out of more than 500. 

The money will be spent specifically on including more young people in the Adopt a River program. They’ll hire a coordinator and then bring in youth to help monitor and protect local rivers.

The funding should last at least two seasons and will hopefully give them a base to continue the expanded Adopt a River program into the future, said Brown.  

“Youth are starting to become disconnected with the outdoors and nature. We want to get them back into learning about wildlife, the importance of water and streams on P.E.I. and what they can do as individuals, family members and community members to protect it.”

The North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action is an initiative of the The Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. The council is made up of environment ministers from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico and is funded by all three nations.

In a press release, Irasema Coronado, executive director of the council, said projects like that of BBEMA will continue to pay dividends well into the future.

“Protecting the environment is everyone’s responsibility, and we are proud to support organizations across North America who are working closely with communities to improve human health and environmental quality. Each of these NAPECA projects serves as a model example of how an innovative idea can be put into action, so stay tuned over the next two years as we share the impact of these grants with the public,” said Coronado.

To learn more about the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, go to www.cec.org.

To find out more about BBEMA, go online to www.bbema.ca.  

Organizations: Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association, North American Partnership, Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Geographic location: U.S., North America, P.E.I. Canada Mexico

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