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B.C. announces climate change project funding

B.C. announces climate change project funding
PROVINCE OF B.C. — An aerial photo shows B.C. during historic floods in 2021.

VICTORIA — First Nations and local governments in B.C. have a new tool to help them prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Communities can now apply for funding for projects under the new Green Infrastructure Adaptation, Resilience and Disaster Mitigation (ARDM) program.

Officials say the program will help communities protect people, homes and infrastructure from floods and flood-related hazards, while adapting to climate-related flooding effects.

“Last year’s atmospheric river events were a stark reminder that flooding can happen anywhere in B.C., at any time,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, in a statement. “With this new program, we’re supporting First Nations and local governments to not only prepare their communities for flooding events, but to help prevent them from happening in the first place.”

Up to $81.8 million in provincial and federal funding will go toward projects that build, modify or reinforce infrastructure, including natural infrastructure.

Projects could include:

  • installing structural flood-protection works or upgrades or retrofits to existing structural flood-protection works, such as dikes, flood walls, pump stations, seawalls, bulkheads, jetties and dam flood risk reduction;
  • opening buried watercourses, such as streams, and restoring to more natural conditions with demonstrated flood risk-reduction benefits;
  • restoring wetlands; and
  • restoring natural shoreline protection buffers through wetlands, kelp forests, clam beds and marsh and beach nourishment to create soft-edge natural shorelines designed to protect against sea level rise and storm surges.

“Climate change has created many challenges for our province, including devastating floods,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of forests. “Last year’s catastrophic atmospheric river affected many in our province, and we must work together to prevent and mitigate the damage of these events. By creating more access to funds for flood prevention, our families and communities will have a safer future.”

B.C. is now accepting applications. The deadline is Oct. 7.

First Nations and local governments may submit one application for as much as $10 million. Regional districts may submit a joint proposal for communities in their area for as much as $20 million.

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