A Malakwa farm is making use of grant funding available to help protect and improve water quality in the Shuswap.
The farm’s owners, Werner and Jody Stump, are using funds available through the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) to restore a 600-metre section of riverbank on the Eagle River.
The restoration will mitigate erosion from the riverbank and limit access to the river by cattle, according to the SWC.
Another grant recipient, the Gardom Lake Stewardship Society, is using the funds to enlarge a constructed wetland along the creek that flows into Gardom Lake. The wetland will improve water quality in the creek before it flows into Gardom Lake.
“Protecting and enhancing our water quality is an important objective…,” said SWC chair Jay Simpson. “We know our water quality here is pretty good, and we want to keep it that way. However, there are also risk factors and we’re working to mitigate those.”
The SWC’s Water Quality Grant Program offers funds to assist farms, landowners and stewardship groups with projects that protect and improve water quality, with a particular focus on mitigating the risks associated with nutrient loading from land into surface waters.
“Nutrients – especially phosphorus – are an important factor of water quality and soil health,” explained SWC program manager Erin Vieira. “Phosphorus is one of the factors contributing to algal blooms – when more phosphorus and other nutrients flow into the lake, the likelihood of water quality issues and algal blooms can increase.
“Our goal with the grant program is to help farmers and other land stewards keep nutrients on the land and in the soil, not running off or leaching into nearby creeks and rivers where it could contribute to water quality concerns.”
The total value of the grants being awarded is $52,010. Since the grant program began in 2020, the SWC has awarded nine grants worth a total of $144,233. The next round of intakes for the grant program will open in November.
The Shuswap Watershed Council is a watershed-based partnership organization that works on water quality and safe recreation in the Shuswap.
For more information, contact Erin Vieira c/o the Fraser Basin Council in Kamloops at 250 314-9660 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit shuswapwater.ca.
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