Climate Challenge Fund Projects

The Climate Challenge Fund program has provided support for projects by organizations from across the province, including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and academic research institutions. Projects funded range from work to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and planting trees to sequester carbon, to helping homeowners adapt to increased flood risk and the Island’s technology sector to develop zero emission transportation.

Which organizations received funding from the Climate Challenge Fund in 2021-22?

Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association - $19,800 for Summerside Rainwater Harvesting Campaign.

This project is a community-based approach to stormwater management that aims to raise awareness of the City of Summerside stormwater problems. Engaging the municipal community, through workshops, information sessions, demonstrations and one-on-one property consultations, to encourage individuals and groups on the ground actions to mitigate stormwater problems. This project workplan will implement two intricate strategies: 

  1. Rain Smart Campaign (Education and Outreach) - develop a program to promote citizen awareness and encourage flood-proofing measures. Based on the premise that everyone in the community can help reduce urban floods. 
  2. Initiation of action projects (residential) – development of a stormwater harvesting pilot program for community (homeowners, businesses) that provide action-based opportunities to improve and protect water quality and manage stormwater runoff at its source through the incorporation of Rain barrel pilot program. This pilot will be a two-year initiative to provide rain barrels to city residents to reduce the reduce the amount of water pouring into the city’s storm and wastewater system during heavy rain events.

Island Nature Trust in partnership with the Sustainable Forest Alliance - $100,000 for restoring and measuring resilience of carbon rich Island lands through nature-based strategies.

Island Nature Trust (INT) and The Sustainable Forest Alliance Inc. (SFA) are seeking to demonstrate the efficacy of nature-based solutions in building carbon stores and other ecosystem services in privately owned forests, coastal bluffs, forested peatlands, and riparian zones across PEI. This project focuses on restoring the integrity of Island ecosystems altered by historic land use, to build back greater resiliency against climate change. Demonstration sites will be used for public events to explain complex concepts in an immersive way, allowing Islanders to learn and explore the value of ecosystem services and nature-based solutions for municipalities, communities, and economic sectors. Restoration activities will be strategically planned and completed on a variety of property types (e.g. coastal bluff, wetland, old field white spruce forests, plantations) and include activities such as targeted silviculture work to diversify single species forest stands, invasive species management, re-establishment of native flora communities, recovery of natural stream hydrology and removal of hardscaping/infrastructure.

Lennox Island First Nation - $80,190 for Netukulimk Education Program (Learning to take only what we need).

The goal of the proposed project is to implement a community-based approach to education resource design in renewable energy, and to promote careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics among Lnu youth. Using a multifaceted approach, the project will engage communities and youth in STEM education employing three distinct activities: retreats, camps, and mentorship. The education modules will use a two-eyed seeing approach, which balances both Lnu and western science knowledge systems to allow participants an opportunity to consider local climate solutions from often divergent approaches. The project will increase public education and discourse about the impacts of climate change in Epekwitk with a focus on solutions. The project is premised on: 

  1. solutions to local problems built on local knowledge; 
  2. youth educated in science and critical thinking which are foundational to future success; and, 
  3. creating space for youth action which will lead to greater awareness and action in the future. 

Maritime Electric Company - $56,845 for climate risk assessment and adaptation plan for transmission and distribution assets. 

The project consists of engaging an engineering consultant to help Maritime Electric assess climate change risk to its transmission and distribution infrastructures; determine opportunities to mitigate these risks to improve resiliency; and identify areas for further study (as required). The scope of the study includes assessing climate change risks to overhead transmission, overhead distribution and underground distribution infrastructures. Infrastructures includes poles, conductors, transformers, substations, underground vaults and other overhead infrastructures across PEI. The purpose of the project is to improve the reliability of the company’s transmission and distribution systems by incorporating climate change risks and effects to system design. The project is aligned with Maritime Electric’s mandate of providing safe and reliable electricity to its customers in a sustainable manner.

North Shore Fisherman’s Association - $75,150 for climate change impacts to sediment transport at select small craft harbours.

Over 60 Small Craft Harbours (SCH) are located along the PEI coast, and provide critical infrastructure to the $200 million PEI lobster fishery, in addition to several other fisheries. Many fishers have noted an increase in dredging requirements at several SCH locations in PEI, primarily due to channel infilling from sediment transport along the PEI coastline. Climate change is anticipated to potentially impact sediment transport. The NSFA is interested in undertaking a study to better understand sediment transport near a section of SCHs, and explicitly incorporate climate change projections for sea level rise, wave action and currents. It is anticipated that the results of this study will provide better long-term planning of the use and dredging of SCHs and potential risks to access for SCHs in the future.

PEI Federation of Agriculture in partnership with the City of Charlottetown - $47,700 for Charlottetown Food Recovery Network.

Over half of the food produced in Canada goes to the waste at the same time as food insecurity affects 14% of Islanders. This project will work to reduce the amount of food produced and sold on PEI that is wasted by launching a food exchange app that redirects surplus food from producers, wholesalers, and retailers to organizations that can put it to use. Funds will be focused on promoting and marketing this free-to-use app, recruiting potential users and educating them, as well as the general public, on the importance of reducing food waste and its contribution to climate change. By diverting food waste, this project will reduce the wasted resources and greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with the problem, all while providing food to those who need it.

PEI Watershed Alliance in partnership with the Glenaladale Heritage Trust Foundation - $100,000 for supporting climate-resilient ecosystems in PEI.

The overall goal of this project is to develop knowledge, capacity and tools to engage communities and promote actions that address climate change threats, increase carbon capture and enhance biodiversity. The project will focus on strategies designed to create increasingly diverse climate-resilient landscapes and fill a gap in making these resilient species of native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants available to landowners through relationship-building projects with watershed groups. The project team will also work with landowners, community groups and local municipalities to promote and support the development of climate resilient landscapes. Demonstration sites will serve to educate islanders on landscaping options that are climate change resilient and that capture and store carbon from the atmosphere. From these various projects, a social media blitz and a commercial will be created to encourage a variety of islanders, especially newcomers and BIPOC to become active in their communities and with their local watershed group.

RE-FUEL Renewable Fuels Inc. in partnership with Aspin Kemp & Associates - $100,000 for green hydrogen: power to gas with C02 direct air capture.

The project consists of a period of Engineers evaluation of several technologies and applications resulting in detailed drawings to build a commercial model of an Electrolyser capable of producing Hydrogen from Solar Energy (or wind), capturing CO2 Directly from the Air, and producing commercially feasible and sustainable Green Fuels to reduce GHG emissions. The use of fossil fuels in Transportation, Agriculture, Heating and Industry is the largest emitter of CO2. The Goal is ZERO Emissions. The Solutions are multiple: Solar, Wind, Electric Vehicles and Renewable Fuels. RE-FUEL is concentrating on Renewable Fuels as the next frontier of the Global Climate Change Challenge. The funding requested here by RE-FUEL will be used to take a deep dive into Hydrogen Technologies, Carbon Capture technologies and End Use commercial applications in Transportation (Cars & Trucks) ; Agriculture (Tractors) ; Marine (Fuel Cells) ; Industrial & Commercial Heating (Boilers) and Power Generation (On site CHP). 

Saint Mary’s University - $100,000 for PEI shoreline assessment and ecosystem services tool for nature-based climate change adaptation.

PEI has its own unique coastal considerations and regulatory framework which is important to consider when addressing challenges related to climate change such as increased erosion and flooding. These impacts can be reduced through the restoration of shorelines in suitable areas using nature-based adaptation solutions. The project will develop tools that will assist PEI coastal landowners and developers in assessing their shorelines and developing appropriate climate change adaptation solutions. The project work plan includes: 

  1. conduct a regulatory scan to understand jurisdictional authority and guidance to encourage uptake of the Green Shores (GS) program; 
  2. create a PEI specific Shoreline Assessment tool for use by homeowners and developers; 
  3. adapt the existing GS Triple Bottom Line tool for use in PEI; 
  4. test these tools at four demonstration sites across PEI; 
  5. use the assessment and suitability analysis to design solutions for each site; and 
  6. engage local communities throughout the process including training.

Smart Grocery Store Inc. - $100,000 for Monsieur Vrac plastic reduction.

The main goal of this project is to eliminate an average of 7800kg of plastic per year from entering the landfills. The project will consist the following steps: 

  1. Creating a Video-based educational platforms to empower communities in setting their own goals to reduce plastic and carbon emissions;
  2. Quantifying plastic into carbon to display the percentage of emissions saved by buying bulk with a system that displays the data on customer’s receipt;
  3. Provide a space for local producers to sell their product without packaging;
  4. Launch a delivery service to enable more customers switching to zero waste. 

Monsieur Vrac is the first Zero Waste store on the Island, which makes it unique. The main mission of the store is to inspire and facilitate change in the World one jar at a time, one customer at a time. To build communities around the common goal of a greener and more sustainable future by working together to find zero waste solutions that will simplify, beautify and improve lives.

Southern Kings and Queens Fisherman’s Association - $55,319 for climate change risk assessment of PEI lobster fishery.

While research into the lobster populations has been ongoing by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA), and others for many years, the potential impacts to lobster populations due to climate change has only been studied more recently. Following from a recent DFO publication on climate risk to the lobster fishery for the Maritimes Region, a climate change risk assessment of American Lobster in the gulf region is proposed to better understand the risks climate change poses to the lobster fishery for PEI fishers. The major value of this work to the SKQFA is to better understand the rate at which the habitat range shift is occurring so that conservation, planning, and research activities can be refined in the best interests of the lobster population for PEI.

The River Clyde Pageant - $91,350 for River Clyde Pageant sustainable community initiatives 2021 and 2022.

The River Clyde Pageant (RCP) is a forward-thinking art and community engagement project that is committed to sustainability, inclusivity, and creativity. “We envision a world where encounters between community, art, and ecology spark wonder and lead to social transformation. We design our projects to bring about sustainable futures through creative methods. We do this through seasonal outdoor performances and community-based learning programs that illuminate the land and its people. Many, but not all, of our programs originate in the River Clyde watershed.” In 2021, the River Clyde Pageant partnered with UPEI’s ClimateSense Program and the PEI Watershed Alliance to offer new programs that contribute to mitigating climate change and building an ecologically balanced future, with support from the Climate Challenge Fund these projects will be managed and executed to their fullest potential. 

Town of Stratford - $32,550 for an inventory of Stratford’s urban forest, assessments of natural areas and the creation of a management plan for Stratford’s natural areas.

Forests, shrublands, and wetlands are constantly capturing and accumulating carbon, which helps mitigate the effect of climate change. They intercept and store rain and floodwater and protect against extreme heat and cold. Through inventory, assessment, and planning, the carbon sequestration potential and ability to mitigate the effects of climate change of Stratford’s natural assets can be maximized. This project will involve an inventory of Stratford’s urban forest, assessments of natural areas such as wetlands, grass and shrublands, and the creation of a management plan for Stratford’s natural areas. These actions will inform and advance policies, programs, and bylaws so that Stratford’s natural assets can be fully utilized for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Wheatley River Improvement Group Inc. - $65,855 to increase the resiliency of Wheatley River brook trout by mitigating current inputs of sediment to the river, stabilizing the riverbank, restoring deep-water refuges and improving the canopy cover along the river. 

This project aims to increase the resilience of brook trout to the impacts of climate change through habitat enhancement and sediment mitigation. Some of the relevant local climate change projections are an increase in frequency of extreme precipitation events; a decrease in summer surface water volume in rivers; and an increase in water temperature. These projected changes will negatively affect PEI brook trout by: 

  1. reducing spawning habitat, hatching success, and prey availability through legacy sediment resuspension and bank erosion; 
  2. increasing habitat fragmentation and decreasing important deep-water refuges; and 
  3. causing additional thermal stress and increasing interspecific competition with the more tolerant, invasive, rainbow trout species. 

This project will increase the resiliency of Wheatley River brook trout by mitigating current inputs of sediment to the river, stabilizing the riverbank, restoring high priority deep-water refuges, and improving the canopy cover along the river.

Which organizations received funding from the Climate Challenge Fund in 2020-21?

BIPOC USHR – $100,000 to actively address inequities and discrimination that are generated or augmented by climate change and work to ensure discrimination is considered when addressing climate change. 

Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering, University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) – $99,400 to explore sustainable agriculture practices to improve crop productivity and mitigate climate change.

The City of Charlottetown - $87,150 to support resilient homes, parks and people to adapt to increasing flooding and storm surges. 

All EV PEI – $99,382 to provide an education, outreach, and experiential program province-wide to residents and businesses on the climate and ownership benefits of electric vehicles. 

Indigenous Art of North America - $15,000 to create a carbon accounting platform for small businesses to provide product and service carbon weight data that can be shared publicly. The assumption is that, by being transparent in reporting; Indigenous Art of North America can create a competitive advantage by improving consumer knowledge of climate change.

The PEI Aquaculture Alliance - $19,652 to measure the carbon offsets of Prince Edward Island Mussel and Oyster Aquaculture.

The Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group - $16,047 to create of a multi- tier living shoreline demo site. Living shorelines are a soft engineering approach used to stabilize shorelines and slow down the effects of erosion by creating a shoreline that can better withstand wave energy and storms.

P.E.I Grass Fed Farms - $58,000 to further develop a hydroponic fodder system that produces reliable food source year round for cattle while also decreasing impacts during drought and winter seasons; protecting land from being cleared; and reducing emissions relating to traditional processes which involve tilling, seeding, chopping and bailing. 

Upcycle Green Technology - $100,000 to support its Electric Converted Remanufactured Vehicle (ECRV) project. The project intends to reduce CO2 emission by replacing the combustion engine drivetrain of a used vehicle with an all-electric one.

The Town of Stratford - $28,700 to support a town-wide street tree planting program. It will bring much-needed trees to Stratford’s communities and would contribute to residents’ understanding and appreciation for the urban forest.  

Rural Municipality of Wellington - $32,925 to install a Lift Station power generator on Mont-Carmel Road to allow for continued sewage collection service during long power interruptions due to severe climate events.

Wind Energy Institute of Canada - $100,000 to work with UPEI’s Climate Research Laboratory to create a climate monitoring facility, including a meteorological tower just north of WEICan’s existing electrical substation. This tower will provide the infrastructure for long-term climate change observations and experiments.

Redrock Power Systems - $80,967 to obtain approval in principal for the design of a new zero emission, hydrogen-fueled power system that could be used in marine, trucking or aerospace industries. Called HyCmax, this zero- emission, hydrogen-fueled power system combines leading edge fuel cell and battery technology. 

The Department of Psychology at UPEI - $24,965 to develop of a tool to assess climate change anxiety.

The School of Climate Change and Adaptation at UPEI - $100,000 to develop 1km x 1km high-resolution regional climate scenarios for Prince Edward Island. Developing reliable and high-resolution climate projections for PEI will help local stakeholders and resource managers can make scientifically-sound decisions. 

Where can I find more information about the Climate Challenge Fund?

Visit Apply to the Climate Challenge Fund for more information about application requirements and to apply to the fund. 

Published date: 
November 15, 2021
Environment, Energy and Climate Action

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