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Call for Proposals for 2022-2023: Habitat Stewardship Program for Aquatic Species at Risk


The 2022-2023 Call for proposals is now closed.

Call for Proposals for 2022-2023: Habitat Stewardship Program for Aquatic Species at Risk
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Under the Nature Legacy initiative, announced in Budget 2018, the Government of Canada is transforming its approach to species at risk conservation and recovery by shifting to ecosystem-based, multispecies initiatives. This approach includes providing funding towards the protection and recovery of aquatic and terrestrial species at riskFootnote 1. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is responsible for aquatic species at risk and supports recovery of these species through various programs, including the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP).
The HSP, established in 2000, provides funding for projects submitted by Canadians that contribute directly to the recovery of species at risk. To ensure the HSP 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.

HSP has two platforms for funding:

This Call for Proposals applies only to aquatic species at risk projects. For information on funding for terrestrial species at risk, please contact Environment and Climate Change Canada.


Objective, expected results and national priorities

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.
Proposed projects must demonstrate how they align with the objective of the HSP. Further, the proposal must describe through its own objectives, activities and anticipated outcomes, how it will achieve one or more of the expected results:

The national priorities for the 2022-2023 HSP are projects that focus on the implementation of:

Regional priorities

In addition to the national priorities, each region has identified specific priorities that support the national priorities. These include target areas, species and/or threats (Appendix 1). The majority of aquatic funds will go to projects that address at least one of these regional priorities.

For more information

Thank you for your interest in the recovery of species at risk. We wish you the best in your application!

Appendix 1: Regional priorities

Appendix 1: Regional priorities
Region Species Areas Threats
Newfoundland and Labrador Wolffish Species (Northern, Spotted, Atlantic)
SARA-Listed Sea Turtle Species
Large Whale Species (Blue Whale, Fin Whale, North Atlantic Right Whale)
Atlantic Salmon (South Newfoundland population)
American Eel
N/A Fisheries Interactions (i.e. bycatch, entanglements)
Vessel Interactions (i.e. ship strikes, acoustic disturbances)
Pollution and Pathogens
Habitat Alteration
Migration Barriers
Maritimes Atlantic Salmon (Inner Bay of Fundy population)
Atlantic Whitefish
SARA-listed Sea Turtle Species
North Atlantic Right Whale
Lake Utopia Rainbow Smelt
N/A Habitat alteration and degradation
Invasive and introduced species
Fishery interactions (includes entanglement and bycatch)
Interactions with vessels and vehicles
Acoustic disturbance
Gulf Atlantic Salmon
Brook Floater
Wolffish species
Leatherback Sea Turtle
Whale species (North Atlantic Right Whale, Blue Whale, Fin Whale)
N/A Interactions with Vessels and Vehicles
Acoustic Disturbances
Fishery Interactions: Bycatch and Entanglement
Habitat Alteration and Degradation
Invasive and Introduced Species
Quebec Whales endangered in the St. Lawrence (Beluga Whale - St. Lawrence Estuary population, Blue Whale - Atlantic population, and North Atlantic Right Whale)
Eastern Sand Darter (Quebec populations)
Copper Redhorse
Lake Sturgeon (Great Lakes – Upper St. Lawrence populations, and Southern Hudson Bay – James Bay populations)
St. Lawrence hydrographic system (River, Estuary and Gulf, including all tributaries)
Human disturbance associated with commercial shipping, excursion and whale-watching or recreational boating (e.g. approach distance, noise or collision)
Bycatch and fishing pressure (recreational or commercial)
Habitat loss and degradation (e.g. grass-bed destruction s, shoreline artificialization or wave action)
Deterioration of water quality (e.g. sources of sediment, pesticides, fertilizers, sewage, or contaminants)
Aquatic invasive species affecting species at risk
Ontario and Prairie
Redside Dace
Pugnose Shiner
Pugnose Minnow
Black Redhorse
SARA-listed Freshwater Mussels
Lake St. Clair & contributing watersheds
Lake Erie & contributing watersheds
Lake Ontario & contributing watersheds
Lake Huron & contributing watersheds
Lakes & contributing watersheds of Upper (western) St. Lawrence River
Sediment/nutrient, contaminant loading
Habitat destruction/ alteration
Altered flows, water levels, or coastal process
Barriers to fish passage
Recreational impacts on aquatic SAR
Ontario and Prairie(Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta) Bigmouth Buffalo
Lake Sturgeon
Southern Prairie Species (Western Silvery Minnow, Rocky Mountain Sculpin, Plains Sucker, Plains Minnow)
Native Trout (Athabasca Rainbow, Westslope Cutthroat, Bull)
Peace/Slave and Athabasca River Basins
North and South Saskatchewan River basin
Southern Prairie Region (Milk River, St. Mary’s River, Qu’Appelle River)
Winnipeg/Red/Assiniboine River Basin
East Slopes Rocky Mountains
Habitat loss and degradation
Impacts from introduced/non-introduced species
Disease and pathogens
Restrictions/barriers to fish passage
Recreational impacts on aquatic SAR
Arctic (Northwest Territories and Nunavut) Dolly Varden (Western Arctic)
Beluga (Cumberland Sound)
Bowhead Whale (Eastern Arctic/West Greenland)
Beluga (Hudson Bay)
Foxe Basin
Hudson Bay/Hudson Strait
Mackenzie River tributaries/Peel River System
Cumberland Sound
All Nunavut waters
Unsustainable harvest
Unknown effects of predators
Lack of information on isolated Dolly Varden populations
Struck and loss of marine mammals
Effects of anthropogenic noise on movements
Pacific Killer Whales (all populations)
White Sturgeon
Fraser River Salmonids (populations assessed as at risk by COSEWIC)
Northern Abalone
Nooksack Dace
Fraser River watershed
Columbia River watershed
Salish Sea
North Coast
Morrison Creek Watershed
Fisheries interactions (including incidental/bycatch, catch and release fishery impacts, entanglements, illegal harvest, prey availability or unsustainable directed harvest)
Physical and acoustic disturbance
Habitat degradation and fragmentation (aquatic and riparian)
Cumulative effects (including anthropogenic contributions to climate change)
Aquatic invasive and problematic native species

Appendix 2: Regional coordinators


Patricia Klotz
Telephone: 431-338-8647


Josette Maillet
Telephone: 506-851-2237


Lisa Paon
Telephone: 902-483-5495

Newfoundland and Labrador

Lynette Mulley
Telephone: 709-330-7993

Ontario and Prairie

Patricia Klotz
Telephone: 431-338-8647


Michelle Cho
Telephone: 236-330-4291


Jocelyne Ouellet
Telephone: 418-775-0582
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