Grant Name: Atlantic Ecosystems Initiative


Active – February 9 to March 16, 2022



The deadline for submitting a project is 4:00 pm Atlantic Standard Time (AST) on the date indicated.


The Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives (AEI) provides funding for projects that improve the health, productivity, and long-term sustainability of freshwater ecosystems in Atlantic Canada, resulting in collaborative action and positive environmental impacts.

Any proposal submitted to other ECCC funding programs must be for activities that are different from those submitted under the AEI based on the “best fit” for the project.

Projects must improve the assessment, monitoring, modeling and/or mitigation of multiple stressors and their cumulative effects on freshwater quality in at least one of the priority ecosystems as identified by the AEI. Projects are required to focus on specific stressors:

  • nutrients, and/or
  • bacteria and/or
  • plastics


Funding will be provided for projects that:

  • enhance integrated ecosystem planning and decision-making
  • increase ecosystem knowledge and science
  • undertake actions to conserve, restore and enhance the health of priority freshwater ecosystems in Atlantic Canada.
Planning and decision-making

Projects will address complex water quality issues through integrated planning and collaborative decision-making that will lead to action and measurable environmental results. Eligible activities include:

  • expansion of existing and/or the development of new integrated strategies, plans, frameworks and action plans
  • adaptation planning
  • integration of data/information
Knowledge and science

Projects will increase knowledge to better understand and address issues that affect the health of Atlantic Canada’s priority freshwater ecosystems. Projects will involve the collection, interpretation, analysis and sharing of information to support informed decisions and action. Eligible activities include:

  • GIS mapping
  • vulnerability, risk, stressor, and/or threat assessments
  • measurement, analysis or modelling of ecosystem changes or trends
  • measurement, assessment, monitoring or modeling of multiple stressors and their cumulative effects
  • assessment of baseline environmental conditions
  • development of scientific tools, techniques, indicators and approaches

Projects will involve water quality conservation, restoration and enhancement as part of an overall strategic plan. Projects must demonstrate an ecosystem-based approach and show how the work is part of an overall strategic plan for the watershed.

Eligible activities include:
  • best management practices to improve water quality (such as riparian enhancement or erosion control)
  • reducing water quality stressors or impacts
Eligible applicants

Only Atlantic Canadian-based organizations are eligible to apply and include:

  • Indigenous governments and organizations
  • non-governmental organizations
  • coalitions and networks of organizations
  • research and academic institutions

Although business/industry, federal, provincial, and municipal governments are not eligible funding recipients, they are encouraged to partner with applicants on projects.

Eligible project costs
  • human resource costs, including salaries and benefits
  • contract and professional services (e.g., accounting, liability insurance costs, legal or other professional fees)
  • travel and field costs
  • material and supplies
  • printing, production, communication, distribution
  • equipment purchases or rental
  • vehicle rental and operation
  • translation
  • a reasonable share of overhead and/or administration costs directly attributed to the project (no more than 15% of ECCC funding)
Ineligible projects

The following types of projects will not be considered for funding:

  • monitoring and data collection as stand-alone projects (these projects must be part of an overall trend analysis, or integrated planning process).
  • projects that have a single issue ‘action’ focus such as stream clean-ups, attending conferences, training, workshops and meetings.
  • projects which extend beyond the coastal zone in priority ecosystems; ocean-based and fish-based ecosystem projects are not eligible; and
  • infrastructure projects are not eligible.

Funding Amount

The current request for proposals is for projects that will begin on or after April 1, 2022, and completed no later than March 31, 2025. Projects are eligible for funding up to a maximum of $200,000 per project and must be completed within 3 years. Funding for the project must be spent within Atlantic Canada. At least 30% of the total project funding must come from sources other than the Government of Canada, in the form of cash or in-kind contributions or a combination of both.

In-kind support may include donations of:

  • equipment, materials and/or office space
  • volunteer time for project activities, coordination or professional services
  • expertise from consultants, elders or academics
  • any other donated goods or services that contribute to covering the costs of the project

Employment support programs within Employment and Social Development Canada and programs for Indigenous peoples within Indigenous Services Canada are exempt from this requirement.

Contact Information

Funding Programs: Atlantic and Quebec Region
Environment and Climate Change Canada


Processing Fee





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