Launching the Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Fund

The Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Fund (AERF) supports projects that conserve and restore marine ecosystems. Projects will cover all of Canada’s coasts and further inland to create opportunities for freshwater and oceans sectors, and coastal and upstream inland communities.

The Government of Canada supports efforts to address threats within aquatic ecosystems to protect aquatic species and promote sustainable aquatic environments. This work will also help ensure continued economic prosperity for coastal and inland communities across the country.

During the next phase of the Oceans Protection Plan, Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Fund projects will address impacts on Canadian aquatic environments on all coasts. These will include coastal and upstream inland aquatic restoration with a focus on addressing root causes of disturbances. The new initiative will help conserve and restore aquatic life and habitats, and will engage Indigenous groups and local communities in restoration activities.

The Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Fund replaces the Coastal Restoration Fund which was launched in 2017 as part of the Oceans Protection Plan to preserve and restore marine ecosystems. This initiative provided funding for over 60 projects on all coasts which are expected to restore approximately 650 million square metres of aquatic habitat and contribute to the survival and recovery of threatened or endangered species.

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