ALUS projects are helping the Francis family to produce cleaner water, a valuable ecosystem service for the people of Prince Edward Island.
For over a decade, ALUS has helped Prince Edward Island’s farmers produce ecosystem services for the community.
Originally implemented in 2008, the P.E.I. ALUS program is co-managed by the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the P.E.I. Department of Communities, Land and Environment as part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) suite of programs. Prince Edward Island is the only province in Canada with a province-wide program.
While the Government of Prince Edward Island manages the P.E.I. ALUS program, it also has an external advisory committee that provides advice and direction and works closely with ALUS Canada, who started to help fund ALUS activities in P.E.I. in 2018.
“Through the ALUS program, Prince Edward Island farmers have demonstrated their commitment to help protect and enhance the environment,” said then-Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Robert Henderson.
The P.E.I. ALUS program has four primary goals:
- Reduce soil erosion and siltation of watercourses and wetlands;
- Improve water quality;
- Improve and increase wildlife habitat;
- Reduce the impacts of climate change.
It was recognized early on in P.E.I. that the regulatory approach achieves only a minimum standard of environmental conservation outcomes, and that ALUS encourages farmers to go above and beyond legislative measures.
For example, the Province already mandates 15 metre buffer zones around watercourses and wetlands, and restricts row crops on land with a slope greater than nine percent. Through ALUS, P.E.I. farmers can expand these buffer zones, protect watercourses and wetlands with livestock fencing, reduce soil erosion with soil-conservation structures, boost grassland bird biodiversity through a delayed hay-cut, and enhance other types of ecologically sensitive lands.
“Our farmers have shown why Prince Edward Island is leading the way by working together with the ALUS program and government on an initiative that will benefit the natural environment of our entire province,” said Richard Brown, then-Minister of Communities, Land and Environment.
ALUS continues to build a strong base of support within P.E.I.’s agricultural and conservation communities, having grown to more than 425 clients, with on-the-ground projects covering more than 10,500 acres now enrolled in the ALUS program (as of October 2018).
For more information on the PEI ALUS program, visit the Government of PEI website.
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