The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC) Board of Directors recently approved $7.5 million in grants to 13 local watershed districts to support critical watershed conservation projects delivered under Manitoba’s Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) program.

“This funding will help Manitoba’s watershed districts achieve local watershed management objectives, like reducing flooding and improving water quality. These projects will also benefit soil and wildlife conservation,” said Brent Pooles, chair of the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC).

The revenue for these watershed investments is generated from Manitoba’s $204 million in contributions made to The Winnipeg Foundation between 2018 and 2020.

“We are pleased that provincial investments in the Trusts, a key part of the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, are once again generating new dollars for GROW to build climate resilience in our watersheds,” said Environment, Climate and Parks Minister Jeff Wharton.

Establishment of the Conservation Trust, the GROW Trust and the Wetlands GROW Trusts created permanent revenue sources for new conservation activities. MHHC manages granting programs that are funded by this annual investment revenue. The Trusts focus on restoring natural areas to help address floods and droughts, water quality, wildlife habitat and biological diversity, carbon sequestration and connecting people to nature.

“Manitoba’s locally-driven watershed districts are especially well positioned to deliver watershed-based programming, like GROW,” said Wharton. “Through local decision-making of these grass-roots organizations, GROW provides funding to restore or conserve natural areas with farmers that provide environmental benefits for all Manitobans.”

This funding will support watershed districts as the delivery agents of GROW, Manitoba’s approach to ecological goods and services programming. The program provides incentive payments to farmers to develop projects that maintain or improve watershed health while also working to limit impacts on their operations.

Grants to watershed districts include:

- $1,602,000 to the Assiniboine West Watershed District for GROW conservation projects in the upper Assiniboine River watershed
- $1,014,000 to the Souris River Watershed District for GROW projects in the Souris River basin
- $427,000 to the Redboine Watershed District for GROW projects in the Red River basin
- $295,000 to the East Interlake Watershed District for GROW projects on the east side of Lake Winnipeg

This is the second of two funding announcements from the Trusts in 2022.

Since the first projects received funding in 2019, a total of $28.36 million has been committed to 152 conservation projects delivered by 47 Manitoba-based groups.