May 7, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is investing almost $296,000 through the Environmental Trust Fund (ETF) to support a series of environment-related projects at the University of New Brunswick. Environment Minister Roland Haché made the announcement today in Fredericton.
"The ETF plays a vital role in achieving our goal of being a self-sufficient province by 2026," Haché said. "Through these projects, New Brunswick will foster environmental sustainability and ensure that communities around the province continue to be healthy places to live, be attractive to residents and be drivers of economic growth."
Ten projects, developed by specific organizations in partnership with UNB, received the following support under the ETF:
Climate change adaptation, mitigation and preparation in New Brunswick ($50,000). The Environment and Sustainable Research Centre will build upon past activities to: model the effects of floods and droughts in the province; develop mechanisms by which the policy barriers to improved design in New Brunswick's changing climate may be overcome; and examine the effects of competing water demand in the St. John River system.
Trends in climatic data under changing climatic conditions ($59,500). The Environment and Sustainable Research Centre will undertake work intended to help predict the effects of climate change on the hydrologic behaviour of watersheds within New Brunswick.
Assessment of Canadian regional climate model scenarios for New Brunswick ($30,000). The Environment and Sustainable Research Centre will assess the performance of the latest dynamical downscale model in simulating past climatic conditions on an annual, seasonal and regional basis.
Migration of environmental data into a spatially referenced database ($50,000). The New Brunswick Aquatic Data Warehouse, which is part of the Canadian Rivers Institute, will improve its services to community-based watershed groups by streamlining data procedures and providing better Internet access to information.
Aboriginal environmental monitor training program ($15,000). The Canadian Rivers Institute and the Maliseet Nation Conservation Council will deliver a program to train Aboriginal people to participate in environmental monitoring activities that incorporate a traditional knowledge base.
State of the environment report for the St. John River ($25,000). The Canadian Rivers Institute will econsolidate current information to a State of the Environment Report for the St. John River. It will identify problem areas and examine the links between river health and human activities.
Assessment of mercury in brook trout from lakes in New Brunswick ($6,000). The Canadian Rivers Institute will continue to examine the factors affecting mercury concentrations in brook trout in New Brunswick lakes.
Tools for land use planning and management in a changing climate: modeling temperatures in New Brunswick rivers ($20,000). The Canadian Rivers Institute will predict how land use activities may alter river temperatures and then apply models of global climate change to predict areas of concern for New Brunswick watersheds. This information may be used to develop sustainable land-use plans.
Measuring ecological processes and biodiversity in New Brunswick headwater lakes ($25,000). The Canadian Rivers Institute will identify and measure the sources of energy (carbon and nitrogen) that maintain the food web structure and productivity in headwater lakes.
Geophysical methods for assessing groundwater flow paths and vulnerability in agricultural areas of New Brunswick ($15,000). The Department of Geology at UNB will develop a New Brunswick-focused approach to the geophysical characterization of aquifers that are vital sources of drinking water in rural areas. These methods will help improve understanding of groundwater flow systems.
Each year, the ETF provides significant support to community-based initiatives to restore, improve, preserve and protect air, land and water resources in New Brunswick.
The minister announced in April that almost $4 million from the ETF would be invested in 167 environmental projects throughout New Brunswick in 2009-10.
"I am pleased that the ETF was able to support these projects," Haché said. "Engaging New Brunswickers, particularly university students and faculties, to address climate change will be effective in helping our province reach the goals of the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan and achieve environmental sustainability."
The provincial government launched the five-year action plan in June 2007. As a result of the New Brunswick-led initiatives in the plan, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced in the province by 5.5 megatonnes annually in 2012. With the addition of federal initiatives, the plan will result in a reduction of New Brunswick's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels in 2012. The achievement of these reductions will position New Brunswick to realize further reductions of 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
More information on the ETF and the action plan is available online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Graham, public affairs, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700.