Members of the Federation of Agriculture and the PEI Watershed Alliance met in late fall 2018 to discuss their mutual interest in eliminating on-farm environmental issues, particularly fish kills. Both groups had been in separate discussions with both Ministers of Agriculture and Environment related to these issues, and both felt there was a need to work in partnership to achieve this shared goal.
In March of 2019, the Minister of Environment invited representatives from both organizations, the Agriculture and Environment departments, to discuss establishing a project to support these common goals. All agreed this project was beneficial and decided to establish a steering committee to oversee its completion.
In April, 2019 the Steering Committee was established to oversee the AgriWatershed Partnership Project. The Province provided a sum of $300,000 to fund the project, with a further $200,000 made available in the 2019/20 budget. The Steering Committee’s broad mandate was to build on existing work to identify and address on-farm environmental issues.
Compile a set of Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) for Agricultural Production near watercourses
Identify barriers to implementation of BMPs and develop recommendations to Government to address those barriers
Develop criteria for identifying on-farm high-risk environmental areas, particularly in light of extreme weather events and a changing climate
Develop educational and communications materials on BMPs
Develop a program to provide financial assistance to farmers willing to demonstrate Beneficial Management Practices on sites near watercourses identified as high priority for runoff control