By Heather Ramsay-Almost $3 million is still up for grabs through the Coast Sustainability Trust, says trustee Eric van Soeren.
The fund was established to offset the results of land use plans in coastal BC, but was set to be terminated at the end of March. The fund has now been rolled over and is still available for projects that stimulate the local economy, Mr. van Soeren said.
He said all the same requirements are in place, but there are a couple of changes to the workings of the fund. There used to be a $100,000 cap on funds for projects, but now the trust is able to consider funding up to $250,000.
The fund requires 50/50 matching funds for many projects, but now smaller projects with budgets under $50,000 can apply for 75/25 matching.
To date islanders have put in 16 applications for the $3.5 million first available. Eleven have been approved and four are still being considered.
Mr. van Soeren encourages more islanders to apply for the funding. He says the Coast Sustainability Trust can help projects that are supported by First Nations or other elected officials (municipalities or regional districts).
Some areas that have been accessing the fund have used all the money allocated to them, but he finds island-based proposals have been slow to come in.
Examples of projects funded in other coastal communities include accommodation facilities, trail development, forestry business plans, watershed database work, community gardens and greenhouses and more. Check their website at www.coastsustainabilitytrust.com for more details.
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