Ontario Community Environment Fund accepting applications

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Author: Sustain Ontario

Posted: May 7, 2021

Categories: Funding Opportunities / GoodFoodBites

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) is currently accepting applications for the Ontario Community Environment Fund (OCEF).

The fund invests money collected from environmental penalties back into community-based environmental projects in the region where a violation or environmental impact happened. This year, close to $900,000 is available for projects in four of the five regions identified by the MECP:

Northern Region: $475,009.52
Southwest Region: $306,151.65
Eastern Region: $62,864.40
West-Central Region: $43,298.00
Central Region: No funding available this round because the value of penalties collected did not meet the minimum funding threshold of $5,000.

The fund is open to:

  • First Nation and Métis communities and organizations
  • schools, colleges and universities
  • conservation authorities and conservation foundations
  • municipalities
  • incorporated not-for-profit organizations
  • incorporated community-based groups

Eligible Projects

Funding is available for two different kinds of environmental improvement projects. These include projects that focus on:

  1. Increasing environmental restoration and remediation activities which repair environmental harm. For example:
    – planting trees, shrubs or plants to help mitigate and adapt to climate change
    – rebuilding fish habitat and creating fish spawning beds
    – stabilizing stream banks and creating buffer strips to reduce nutrient run-off
    – restoring streams to improve habitat and water quality
  2. Resilient communities and local solutions to environmental issues. For example:
    – improving the resilience of natural ecosystems by restoring wetlands and preserving areas of significant environmental and ecological importance
    – installing rain gardens to reduce the risk of flooding and help communities adapt to climate change

The minimum funding request is $5,000. The deadline to submit an application through the Transfer Payment Ontario portal is June 23rd, 2021, at 5 p.m. Successful applicants will be notified by summer 2021 and projects may begin in fall 2021.

For more information, including eligibility and a program application guide, visit the Ontario Community Environment Fund webpage.