‘We are at a critical moment’
Clean Annapolis River Project aiming for financial sustainability after federal funding loss
The organization that keeps an eye on the Annapolis River and works to mitigate environmental threats to the waterway and surrounding habitat is facing struggles of its own.
Clean Annapolis River Project’s federal core funding has been unavailable for the past two years and despite creating a contingency fund in better times, finances have become a concern.
“Leaner days are here, our reserves have dwindled, and we are at a critical moment despite careful management and reorganization,” said CARP’S executive director Levi Cliché in a media release. “We have been planning for this, and have made strides in our fundraising efforts.”
But Cliche said there is still work to do to shape the organization to sustain itself in the absence of core funding. He said CARP is reaching out to its members, supporters, and the wider community to help it get there.
For the past 26 years, Clean Annapolis River Project has been striving to protect and enhance the natural values of the Annapolis River and surrounding landscape, Cliche said.
“Working closely with community volunteers and partners, we have collaborated to improve fish and wildlife habitat, eliminate and reduce sources of water pollution, make strides to combat climate change, and create opportunities for residents and visitors of all ages to experience and learn about the natural wonders of the Annapolis River watershed,” Cliche said.
“We are proud of our record of creating local jobs in science that provide opportunities for residents and attract new talent to the area,” he said, noting that these jobs are often career building opportunities for local youth.
He said CARP also attracts young, talented, and highly engaged professionals to live in and contribute to local communities in many ways beyond their work with CARP.
“Our projects and programs contribute between $400,000 and $600,000 each year to the local economy, all of which goes toward making our communities greener, healthier, and more liveable,” Cliche said.
Cliche said CARP has been fortunate for the hard work and dedication of the people in the local communities because what the organization strives for takes a great deal of community and volunteer support.
“The quality and the level of impact that we collectively have, however, would be impossible to achieve without a core staff to plan, develop, fundraise, manage, and deliver our programs and projects – or a space from which our operations can be based.”
Despite the uncertainty, Cliche said CARP is looking forward to a long and shared future of sustained environmental stewardship and is hoping with public help it can continue to learn about, enhance and protect the natural environment.
Cliche said he welcomes and encourages people to contact CARP with any suggestions, concerns or questions about the organization, its mission and work, and its future.
Reach CARP by email at carp@ annapolisriver.ca, by phone at 902-532-7533, or in person at 314 St. George St., Annapolis Royal.
For the past two summers Clean Annapolis River Project has hosted Annapolis River Festival, an event at Jubilee Park in Bridgetown that appears to be growing in popularity. It’s also a major fundraiser for the organization that has been surviving without federal core funding for the past two years.