Potential Applicants

Blue heron in flight over watershed with tall grass and waterliliesThank you for your interest in the Environmental Damages Fund. Before you begin the application process please ensure you have completed the following steps:

Step 1 - Determine the availability of funds in your region and the application deadline by visiting our available funds page.

Step 2 - Confirm funding information, the eligibility of your group and project idea or submit a draft project proposal for feedback by contacting your Environment Canada regional office.

Begin the application process by selecting one of the following links:

  1. How to apply and eligibility criteria - Applicant's Guide and Application Form
  2. What groups are eligible or ineligible to apply?
  3. How Environment Canada solicits new project proposals
  4. What types of projects are eligible for funding?
  5. How to track project results using performance indicators
  6. What projects and activities may not be funded?


1. How to apply and eligibility criteria – Applicant’s Guide and Application Form

Our Applicant's Guide provides details on program criteria and how to apply for funding.

2. What groups are eligible or ineligible to apply?

Both large and small groups are eligible to apply for funding through the EDF program. Eligible groups include:

  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Universities and academic institutions
  • Aboriginal groups
  • Provincial, territorial and municipal governments

Ineligible groups are encouraged to partner with eligible groups to apply for funding. Ineligible groups include:

  • Individuals
  • Businesses
  • Federal governments and agencies

Offenders are not eligible to apply directly, or to partner with eligible groups, for fines or monetary payments they have made that were directed to the EDF.

3. How Environment Canada solicits new project proposals

Environment Canada regional offices actively seek project proposals from eligible groups requesting financial support for projects that meet the EDF program criteria. Available funds are posted on the available funds page along with any use restrictions and the funding application deadline.

4. What types of projects are eligible for funding?

To be eligible projects must address one or more of the following categories:

1.Restoration

Natural environments affected by environmental damage are restored, for example:

  • Restore same type of natural resources lost, of the same quality and value in the locale in which the incident occurred.
  • Restore same type of natural resources lost, of the same quality and value in another locale.
  • Restore same type of natural resource, but of different quality in the locale where the incident occurred.


2. Environmental Quality Improvement

Environmental quality is improved in areas where environmental damage or harm to wildlife has occurred, for example:

  • Improve or enhance different natural resources in the locale in which the incident occurred.
  • Improve or enhance different natural resources in a different locale.
  • Improve or enhance environments previously degraded by pollutant discharges or other human induced alterations (e.g. tidal barriers, dike lands).


3. Research and Development

Knowledge of long-term and/or cumulative impacts of environmental damage or harm to wildlife is increased, for example:

  • Undertake the assessment or research of environmental damage in support of restoration planning including the long-term effects and cumulative impacts of pollutant discharges or for increased understanding of limiting factors for migratory birds populations.
  • Develop environmental damage assessment and restoration methods including techniques for the valuation of damage; restoration alternatives (e.g. environmental management plans).

4. Education and Awareness

Awareness and understanding related to environmental damage restoration or compliance with environmental regulations is increased, for example:

  • Promote education related to environmental damage restoration including training for the assessment and restoration of damage, or for increased awareness and compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Promote community capacity building and environmental stewardship in support of environmental damage restoration.

Funding priority is given to projects that will help to restore the natural environment and conserve wildlife in the geographic region (local area, region or province) most affected by the original incident.

In instances where fines are directed to the EDF when no environmental damage or harm to wildlife has occurred consideration will be given to all types of projects under the four project categories (research and development or education and awareness projects related to environmental restoration and compliance with regulations).

5. How to track project results using performance indicators

Your project must include one or more key indicators listed in the table below.

EDF Performance Indicators

INDICATORS – Restoration
Performance IndicatorDescriptionTargetUnits
Number of hectares where restoration activities have been implemented.

Total Area (in hectares) of natural environment where restoration of natural resources of similar ecological function to those affected has been implemented. 

Convert linear kilometres to area by capturing the depth of work and not just the shoreline.

 # of hectares
INDICATORS – Environmental Quality Improvement
Performance IndicatorDescriptionTargetUnits
Number of hectares where environmental quality activities have been implemented.

Total Area (in hectares) of natural environment where the environmental quality of different natural resources than those affected is improved. 

Convert linear kilometres to area by capturing the depth of work and not just the shoreline.

 # of hectares
Number of kilograms of toxic or harmful substances diverted or reduced.

Measured by weight (in kilograms) of material sent to hazardous waste collection, items not used, and/or items properly disposed of.

A substance is toxic if it is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that:

1.     have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity;

2.     constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or

3.     constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.

 # of kilograms
Number of tonnes reduced of greenhouse gas emissions.

Calculated per year in CO2equivalent using department approved GHG/Air Pollutant calculator.

Includes: Carbon Dioxide (CO2); Methane (CH4); Nitrous Oxide (N2O); HFCs, PFCs and SF6.

 # tonnes
Number of tonnes reduced of emissions of Air Pollutants.

Calculated per year using department approved GHG/Air Pollutant calculator.

Includes: Sulphur Oxides (SOx); Nitrogen Oxides (NOx); Particulate Matter (PM); Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC); Carbon Monoxide (CO); and, Ammonia (NH3).

 # tonnes
 INDICATORS – Research and Development
Performance IndicatorDescriptionTargetUnits
Number of methods, tools, and/or techniques developed to restore environmental damage.Total number of methods, tools, and/or techniques developed that restore environmental damage. # methods/tools/techniques
Number of methods, tools, and/or techniques developed to assess environmental damage.Total number of methods, tools, and/or techniques developed that can be used to assess environmental damage. # methods/tools/techniques
Number of methods, tools, and/or techniques applied to restore environmental damage.Total number of methods, tools, and/or techniques applied to restore environmental damage. # methods/tools/techniques
Number of methods, tools, and/or techniques applied to assess environmental damage.Total number of methods, tools, and/or techniques applied to assess environmental damage. # methods/tools/techniques
Area of habitat where monitoring/assessments/studies have been undertaken.

Total Area (in hectares) of natural environment where monitoring/assessments/studies have been undertaken.

Convert linear kilometres to area by capturing the depth of work and not just the shoreline.

 # hectares
Number of studies/reports/plans/publications  developed and distributed.Studies, reports, management plans or publications must be related to the development of methods or improved techniques for the assessment and measurement of environmental damage and the means to restore it. # of studies/reports/plans/publications
Number of recommendations from studies, reports or management plans implemented.

Studies, reports or management plans must relate to the use of methods or improved techniques for the assessment and measurement of environmental damage and means to restore it.

Proponents must provide a copy of the study/report/plan and report on what is being implemented.  

 # of recommendations implemented
Number of partners engaged.Includes partnerships with various levels of government, individual researchers, non-profits, academia and industry to build capacity for restoration and improved environmental quality. # partners
 INDICATORS – Education and Awareness
Performance IndicatorDescriptionTargetUnits
Percentage of target audience that confirmed modification in behavior as a result of project activities.

Target audience’s awareness and understanding related to preventing or restoring environmental damage is increased as a result of project activities.   

Pre and post surveys or other acceptable measurement methodologies are included as part of the project.

 % of target audience
Number of participants attending project activity(ies).Total number of individuals reached via project activities, including people attending the workshops, training sessions and other events organized. # of people

6. What projects and activities may not be funded?

Ineligible projects and activities include:

  • Activities required by law and/or mandated by other levels of government;
  • Containment and clean-up of environmental spills;
  • Restoration of contaminated sites;
  • Infrastructure, particularly related to municipal, provincial, and federal government program areas;
  • Lobbying or advocacy activities;
  • Recreation and tourism projects or beautification initiatives;
  • Preparation of formal curriculum materials;
  • Core organization functions and activities such as meetings, maintenance, and administration (however, project specific administrative support is eligible);
  • Annual or regular organization events/campaigns;
  • Expenses to attend general conferences and workshops;
  • Projects outside of Canada.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list.  If you are unsure about any of the examples listed above or the eligibility of your project and activities, please contact your regional office.

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