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Habitat Stewardship Program for Aquatic Species at Risk Program Overview and Objectives

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Overview

As part of Canada's National Strategy for the Protection of Species at Risk, the Government of Canada established the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) for Species at RiskFootnote 1 in 2000. The goal of the HSP is to contribute to the recovery of endangered, threatened, and other species at risk by engaging Canadians from all walks of life in conservation actions to benefit wildlife.

Note:

The following information and all supporting reference documents and forms are applicable only to the HSP for Aquatic Species at Risk.

The HSP provides funding for projects submitted by Canadians that contribute directly to the recovery of aquatic species at risk. To ensure that the HSP for Aquatic Species at Risk is able to achieve its mandate to "contribute to the recovery of endangered, threatened, and other species at risk by engaging Canadians from all walks of life in conservation actions to benefit wildlife”, DFO routinely reviews the Program to best address emerging priorities related to aquatic species at risk across Canada.

Project activities proposed to the HSP must take place in freshwater and marine areas across Canada, but they may also take place on private lands, provincial Crown lands, or Indigenous lands, provided the proposed activities have a direct benefit to aquatic species at risk and are eligible activities (e.g., HSP for Aquatic Species at Risk does not support the acquisition of land). The program also fosters partnerships among organizations interested in the recovery of species at risk as well as resource-use practices that enhance the survival and recovery of aquatic species at risk by stopping, removing and/or mitigating threats, enhancing existing conservation activities, and encouraging new ones.

In sum, the HSP for Aquatic Species at Risk is committed to supporting Canadians in their efforts to help protect and recover aquatic species at risk; it is intended to not only remove human threats to the habitats of aquatic species at risk but also to support their recovery and protect them in the future, so that the benefits of these efforts will be sustained for generations to come.

What is stewardship?

"Stewardship" refers to the wide range of actions that Canadians take to care for the environment, ranging from conserving wild species and their habitats directly, to improving the quality of habitat by removing, stopping or mitigating human impacts. Stewardship activities such as those that protect important habitats are essential to the recovery of species at risk. They may also be instrumental in preventing other aquatic species from becoming species at risk.

Collaboration is also key to making stewardship a successful conservation tool in Canada. Federal and provincial governments encourage action by providing scientific information, technical assistance and economic incentives. Non-governmental organizations help resource users and concerned citizens identify and implement effective stewardship activities. Many other groups are also involved, including Indigenous organizations, educational institutions and community organizations.

Program objective and expected results

The objective of the HSP for Aquatic Species at Risk is to support and promote the conservation and recovery of aquatic species at risk and their habitats by engaging Canadians in projects that will result in tangible and measurable conservation benefits.

The expected results of the Program are:

In addition to the above expected program results, for non-Indigenous groups and organizations, a minimum of 1:1 matching contributions (from non-federal sources) is required ($1 cash or in-kind non-federal match for $1 federal support). For Indigenous groups and organizations, a minimum of twenty percent (20%) matching contributions (from non-federal sources) is required ($0.20 cash or in-kind non-federal match for $1.00 federal support). This leveraging can take the form of either financial or in-kind resources (equipment loans, donations of building materials and volunteer labour). Partner funding and other support broaden the scope of projects, improve on-the-ground results, and strengthen the public and private collaboration that is essential to involving all Canadians in stewardship activities for all species.

Reference documents and forms

Please refer to the following downloadable documents for important and detailed information to determine if you or your organization and the scope of your project are eligible for HSP for Aquatic Species at Risk funding. Application deadlines are also included in the following.

If you want to receive feedback before you submit your proposal, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via email to the appropriate HSP Regional Coordinator.

Please note:

An EOI is not mandatory; however, all proponents are strongly encouraged to submit one.

Your completed application must be submitted to the appropriate HSP Regional Coordinator via email.

Program contacts

Regional contacts for the general administration of projects and technical support are listed below.

HSP Regional Coordinators

Arctic

Patricia Klotz
Email: DFO.HSP-OPR_PIH-ROP.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Gulf

Josette Maillet
Telephone: 506-851-2237
Email: DFO.HSP-GLF_PIH-GLF.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Maritimes

Lisa Paon
Telephone: 902-483-5495
Email: DFO.HSP-MAR_PIH-MAR.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Newfoundland and Labrador

Lynette Mulley
Telephone: 709-330-7993
Email: DFO.HSP-NFL_PIH-NFL.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Ontario and Prairie

Patricia Klotz
Email: DFO.HSP-OPR_PIH-ROP.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Pacific

Jennalee Domke
Telephone: 604-389-8427
Email: DFO.HSP-PYR_PIH-RPY.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Quebec

Jocelyne Ouellet
Telephone: 418-775-0582
Email: DFO.HSP-QC_PIH-QC.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Questions and Answers

What is the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) for Species at Risk?

The Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk is a Government of Canada program, established in 2000, to support the recovery of endangered, threatened, and other species at risk and their habitats by engaging Canadians from all walks of life in conservation actions to benefit wildlife.

What are the selection criteria for projects under the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP)?

HSP supports projects that focus on results in three main areas:

What is the evaluation process and how are fund amounts determined for eligible projects?

Each proposal undergoes a thorough evaluation by regional and national DFO staff that consists of, first, verifying eligibility requirements and then prioritizing projects for funding based on technical merit and alignment with program priorities and expected results as well as capacity and past performance of the proponent to execute stewardship projects.

The HSP for Aquatic Species at Risk has an approximate annual national budget of $4M. Funding is variable and dependent on project activities. In an effort to promote collaboration and multi-year projects, the suggested minimum funding request to HSP is $25,000 (this amount may be spread over one or up to three years of a project). The Program does not have a maximum funding limit. However, typical HSP contributions can range from $25,000 to $100,000. For non-Indigenous groups and organizations, a minimum of 1:1 matching contributions (from non-federal sources) is required ($1 cash or in-kind non-federal match for $1 federal support). For Indigenous groups and organizations, a minimum of twenty percent (20%) matching contributions (from non-federal sources) is required ($0.20 cash or in-kind non-federal match for $1.00 federal support).

When will I receive notification that I have been approved for funding?

DFO is aiming to send notification of funding decisions by April, 2022.

I have an idea for a project, can you tell me if I should consider applying to HSP or not?

If you are interested in applying to HSP, please contact the relevant HSP Regional Coordinator to discuss your proposal in more detail.

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