Photo courtesy of the Essex Region Conservation Authority.

ERCA makes climate change the centre-piece of budget

The Essex Region Conservation Authority has introduced its draft budget for 2019, and the regional impact of climate change plays a significant role in it.

The budget for next year totals more than $7.7-million. That includes $3.2-million the authority gets from municipalities in Essex County, working out to about $10 per capita. Fee for service, donations, and grants from the provincial and federal government make up the balance.

The budget includes more resources for customer service and human resources. There’s also a significant increase in capacity to respond to requests for permits.

Windsor residents deal with widespread flooding in the city, August 29, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Dora Amelia Belanger)

Windsor residents deal with widespread flooding in the city,
August 29, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Dora Amelia Belanger)

Regional collaboration to address the region’s vulnerabilities to climate change is also a top priority in this budget.

“Building on our recent climate change workshop, we will research regional vulnerabilities, impacts and best practices, and lead the development of a Regional Climate Change Plan with municipalities,” said General Manager, Richard Wyma.

“Our goal is a sustainable future which improves our local environment and helps create an enhanced community identity we can be proud of,” he continued. “A more vibrant economy that can set this region ahead of others — one where people will want to live, work, and invest in.”

ERCA works in partnership with stakeholders including residents, governments, and international agencies to increase tree planting and habitat restoration, improve water quality, understand the environment, and protect people and property from flooding and erosion.