Prairie wetlands, wild rivers and salmon streams to benefit from 2018 Loblaw Water Fund

Toroto, Ontario, CANADA

TORONTO, April 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- By sinking old Christmas trees to improve habitat in Ontario, restoring passages for endangered Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon and working with farmers to reclaim agricultural wetlands in Saskatchewan, water-conservation groups across the country are improving Canada’s freshwater future with support from the Loblaw Water Fund.

The 2018 Loblaw Water Fund, managed by WWF-Canada, has awarded $250,000 to 11 community projects to improve freshwater health in ecosystems across Canada. During the last four years, Loblaw Water Fund projects have engaged more than 9,000 volunteers and 50 organizations to restore more than 200 hectares of habitat for freshwater species, plant 21,000 trees and wetland plants and collect more than 1,000 water samples.
Elizabeth Hendriks, WWF-Canada’s vice-president of freshwater conservation, says: 
“The Loblaw Water Fund provides essential financial support to help local conservation and community groups take action to right the course of Canada’s freshwater future for people and wildlife. The projects WWF selected will help address threats identified in WWF’s Watershed Reports and contribute to a better understanding of the health of our waters where data isn’t available. Ensuring healthy waters across Canada is an enormous task, but one we can accomplish together.”

Bob Chant, Loblaw senior vice-president, corporate affairs, says: 
“We are proud to support this year’s recipients and commend them on the important work they’re doing to preserve and protect Canada’s freshwater. Through the Loblaw Water Fund, and our partnership with WWF, we are finding more opportunities to engage Canadians across the country in environmental protection and the Fund ensures greater support for those working to conserve our natural environment.”

The 2018 Loblaw Water Fund grant recipient projects are:

  • Abbotsford B.C. (Fraser-Lower Mainland watershed): The Fraser Valley Conservancy will work to restore Gordon’s brook to vital marsh habitat and reclaim fallow hay fields for wildlife while offering educational opportunities for students to learn about wetland restoration and take part in native plantings. (Project name: Gordon's Brook Shallow Marsh Restoration)
  • Coquitlam, B.C. (Fraser-Lower Mainland watershed): Watershed Watch Salmon Society is working to protect the Lower Fraser for the wild salmon that swim there by engaging volunteers, landowners, government and Katzie Nation to plant native trees and shrubs, organize cleanups, monitor water quality and improve fish passages. (Project name: Restoring the Katzie Slough)
  • Fort Nelson, B.C. (Lower Mackenzie watershed): Using a mix of traditional and scientific knowledge, Fort Nelson First Nation Lands and Resource Department will develop a community-based monitoring initiative to detect changes in the water quality of rivers downstream from major industrial sites in the Fort Nelson sub-watershed. (Project name: Monitoring contamination in key watersheds in the Lower Mackenzie)
  • Yorkton, Sask. (Assiniboine-Red watershed): The ALUS Saskatchewan Assiniboine Project will work with farmers to help conserve prairie wetlands in the Assiniboine Watershed, which is highly impacted by intense agricultural cultivation, by providing incentives to restore and protect natural habitat. (Project name: Turning Marginal Cropland into Prime Ecosystem Services Land: Partners in Wetland Preservation)
  • Alton, Ont. (Great Lakes watershed): Credit Valley Conservation is working with volunteers to restore brook trout habitat in the Upper Credit Conservation Area by planting native trees and shrubs and sinking old Christmas trees to reduce water temperature and create new spawning habitat. (Project name: Bringing back brookies in the Credit River Watershed)
  • Spring Bay, Ont. (Great Lakes watershed): The Manitoulin Streams Improvement Association will rehabilitate the Grimesthorpe Creek, an important cold-water creek for spawning salmon and trout that flows through crop and pasturelands. The project will install livestock fencing, plant native trees and shrubs and create a low water crossing for livestock and equipment, as well as help assess the health of Manitoulin Island freshwater ecosystems. (Project name: Grimesthrope Creek Rehabilitation Project)
  • Utopia, Ont. (Great Lakes watershed): Nottawasaga Conservation Authority will engage more than 200 volunteers to restore riparian forests and wetland habitat, including planting 20,000 trees, for many of the 41 species at risk found in the Nottawasaga Valley Watershed (Project name: 2020 Vision: Healthy waters & community stewardship for the Nottawasaga Valley)
  • Cornwall, Ont. (St. Lawrence watershed): The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences will engage community partners, volunteers and students to help monitor water quality and study distributions of fish and invertebrate species to fill in data gaps and contribute to a better understanding of the health of the Upper St. Lawrence River Watershed. (Project name: Monitoring Ecosystem Health Indicators in the Upper St. Lawrence River)
  • Quebec City (North Shore-Gaspé and Ottawa watersheds): Groupe d'éducation et d'écosurveillance de l'eau will bring together high schools, youth and environmental organizations to monitor benthic invertebrates in 13 bodies of water to document the impact of climate change on these ecosystems. (Project name: River monitoring for tomorrow – Phase II)
  • Fredericton (Saint John - St. Croix watershed): The Nashwaak Watershed Association is using GIS and citizen-science reporting to map and assess the Nashwaak River’s more than 985 stream crossings and, using this data, improve passages for endangered Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon and other wildlife in this highly fragmented watershed. (Project: Reducing Habitat Fragmentation and Building Resiliency in the Nashwaak Watershed)
  • Moncton, N.B. (Maritime Coastal watershed): The Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance will monitor water quality, conduct benthic invertebrate and temperature sampling and culvert assessments in the urban Petitcodiac Watershed. The project will also deliver hands-on opportunities for the community such as cleanups and rain-garden construction. (Project: Urban watershed revitalization)


About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, the nation's largest retailer, and the majority unit holder of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, banking, and wireless mobile products and services. With more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and Associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its franchisees, and Associate-owners employ approximately 200,000 full- and part-time employees, making it one of Canada's largest private sector employers. Loblaw's purpose – Live Life Well – puts first the needs and well-being of Canadians who make one billion transactions annually in the companies' stores. 


About World Wildlife Fund Canada

WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more information, visit


Atlantic salmon moving upstream to spawn © / Mike Potts / WWF

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