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NS Celebrates successes’ of Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund recipients

By Evan Taylor Nov 24, 2023 | 11:35 AM

Mahone Bay, NS – November 23 – Environment and Climate Change Minister Timothy Halman announced over $2.4 million in funding from the Nova Scotia Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund to support seven community-led initiatives aimed at enhancing climate resilience. The projects, spanning various regions, address critical issues such as coastal flooding, building protection, carbon storage research, and energy efficiency in community infrastructure.

One of the notable recipients is the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation, which secured $770,604 to advance its living shoreline project in Mahone Bay. Living shorelines utilize natural elements like vegetation, wetlands, and rocks to safeguard communities from coastal flooding, erosion, and storms, while also stabilizing shorelines and preserving coastal ecosystems.

Minister Halman underscored the urgency of collaborative efforts in the wake of this summer’s impactful reminder of climate change’s destructive force. He emphasized the need for Nova Scotians to work together to shield homes, communities, and natural areas from the escalating threats posed by climate change.

Other recipients of the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund include:

  • Friends of the DesBrisay Museum in Bridgewater, receiving $349,980 to enhance the museum’s energy efficiency and fortify it against flooding.
  • Bonny Lea Farm in Chester, granted $348,810 for Phase 1 of a project installing heat pumps, set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 162 tonnes annually.
  • Waterfront Baddeck, securing $301,162 for the design and construction of a living shoreline.
  • Kingsburg Coastal Conservancy Association in Lunenburg County, awarded $267,400 for research on the carbon storage capacity of the Shaubac wetlands and other wetland assessments.
  • TransCoastal Adaptations at Saint Mary’s University, obtaining $238,098 to train homeowners in Pictou, West Hants, and Barrington on nature-based solutions for shoreline protection.
  • The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq Aquatic Resources and Fisheries Management, receiving $181,722 for research on conserving and enhancing cold-water habitats.

The Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities CEO, Juanita Spencer, highlighted the significance of these initiatives in building resilience against climate change impacts, extreme weather events, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Spencer emphasized the power of locally led action in tackling climate change and shaping a more sustainable future for all Nova Scotians.

Jordan Veinot, Climate Change Team Lead at the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation, expressed gratitude for the support, emphasizing the project’s role in enhancing Mahone Bay’s adaptation capacity and regional resilience.

An overhead look at Coastal Action’s living shoreline in Mahone Bay, NS. Photo: Coastal Action.

Rhonda Kay, representing the Waterfront Baddeck Committee, shared excitement about the living shoreline project’s contribution to Kidston Island and the boardwalk’s resilience against climate change impacts in Cape Breton.

Janet Peace, Chair of the Kingsburg Coastal Conservancy Association, recognized the departure from traditional land protection methods with the Shaubac Wetlands Carbon Assessment Project, expressing commitment to mitigating climate change through the preservation of vital ecological lands.

David Mitchell, Mayor of Bridgewater, conveyed absolute thrill over the funding partnership with the Friends of the DesBrisay Museum Society. The grant will facilitate the museum’s retrofit, ensuring its longevity and alignment with community needs amidst the challenges posed by climate change.

An Announcement was made in Mahone Bay on Thursday, November 23, 2023 regarding funding for various projects aimed at curtailing Climate Change.
John Langley, Mayor David Mitchell, Minister Timothy Halman, Jordan Veinot, Danielle Barkhouse, Janet Peace, Minister Becky Druhan, Madison Marshall, Brooke Nodding, Minister Susan Corkum-Greek and Kelly Umlah.

Minister Halman concluded the announcement by encouraging eligible applicants to apply for additional funding, emphasizing the importance of community-led solutions in building a resilient Nova Scotia in the face of climate change.