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Habitat enhancement program funds available

The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan’s Habitat Enhancement Program has funding assistance available to help landowners who are interested in protecting, enhancing, or restoring a shoreline.
The program would apply to residents living around the Bay of Quinte wishing to create a retaining wall or other man-made structure with a natural shoreline, create a native plant shoreline, attract wildlife or keep livestock away from a shoreline.
Shoreline areas are a critical and sensitive link between land and water, often called “the ribbon of life”; these delicate areas provide:  shelter and food for wildlife, support spawning beds for fish, enhance water quality, provide erosion control and flood protection, and are visually pleasing.
Many of the species that inhabit the Bay are born, raised, or fed in this area where land and water meet. The shallow water and the first 30 meters of shoreland is essential to the survival of these species.
The Habitat Enhancement Program (HEP) has five funding categories:
• Shoreline Naturalization – this includes creating a more natural shoreline by removing a retaining wall or other man-made structure. The grant amount is 50% funding, to a maximum of $7,500.
• Fencing – this includes the installation of fencing to restrict the access of livestock to a watercourse or wetland. The grant amount is 50% funding, to a maximum of $7,500.
• Planting/Buffer Zone – this includes creating or improving a shoreline buffer zone by using native  plants. The grant amount is 100% funding for plant materials, to a maximum of $1,000. The plant list is provided by the BQRAP.
• Osprey/Bald Eagle Platform installation – the location must meet habitat criteria. The grant will provide 50% funding, to a maximum of $1,000.
• Wood Duck/Bird Boxes – the location must meet habitat criteria. BQRAP will provide the nesting box.
The Bay of Quinte RAP staff will conduct a complimentary site visit to determine project eligibility.
For details on the HEP, contact Mary Gunning, BQRAP Environmental Technician, Quinte Conservation, 613-968-3434 ext 106 or Caroline Zawadzka, Landowner Contact Specialist, Lower Trent Conservation, 613-394-4829 ext 225

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