Project Application Criteria and Forms

The  Nova Scotia Salmon  Association's Adopt A Stream program provides financial and technical support to non-profit, community groups in Nova Scotia undertaking projects that improve or restore fish habitat and fish populations. Adopt A Stream will contribute financial support to match the value of the community organizations’ volunteer time, donated services & materials, and other financial support. NSSA Adopt A Stream Project Funding will contribute up to 50% of eligible project costs.


To allow for review and timely  notice of approval of project funding for the coming field season, the deadline is January 15th. Proposals received after that date will be accepted but kept on file and reviewed based on available funding and the potential to complete the project in the current field season. 

 Scroll down page for the application and budget forms.


Fish Habitat Restoration and Improvement Projects: Projects that improve fish habitat for migration, spawning, nursery, rearing, or adult fish by improving water quality and physical features of the aquatic habitats.

Some Examples of Potential Projects:

  • Fish passage to reconnect fragmented habitats including culvert repair, fishways, stream blockage removal, and resting and holding pools.
  • Riparian restoration to stabilize banks, provide shade, filter out contaminants, add organic materials for the food web, and provide large organic debris for future stream structure.
  • Water quality restoration including temperature, clarity, oxygen, and pH.
  • In-stream habitat restoration such as installation of digger logs, deflectors etc. to improve pools, stream thalweg and to clean cobble and gravel substrates.
  • In-stream cover for all life stages of fish.



  • Work required of a project proponent, owner, or occupier by the Fisheries Act or under any order or mitigation requirement issued by DFO, Environment Canada, NS Environment or any other government department.

Note: Projects that build upon required habitat compensation may be considered if it can be demonstrated that sufficient additional habitat is being restored.



All projects must adhere to the general goals and objectives of the  Adopt A Stream Program as laid out in the Nova Scotia Adopt- A-Stream Manual and must meet the following criteria and requirements.

Watershed Context

  • Proponents should demonstrate the project's significance within the larger context of its watershed.
  • Projects should address the physical and/or chemical factors that are limiting sport fish species populations
  • Community support for the project should be demonstrated.
  • Projects should be consistent with accepted fisheries management practices for the watershed.



  • Procedures to be used should be proven and the implementation plan must be technically sound.
  • All required permits and approval are the responsibility of the group undertaking the project.


However, projects that utilize standard habitat restoration techniques may be included under the General Nova Scotia Watercourse Alteration Approval  held by the Nova Scotia Salmon Association for  Adopt A Stream projects. Groups wishing to have their projects included under this approval should indicate so in their application.


Cost effectiveness

  • Project benefits to fish populations and the sport fishery must exceed project-funding request.
  • Quantity and quality of fish habitat to be restored should be proportional to funding requested.



  • Proponents should demonstrate both commitment and capability for long-term maintenance of the project.


Eligible Matching Contributions

In-kind contribution of:

  • Non-professional volunteer time can be credited at a rate of $15/hour e.g. 10 hours volunteer work on project = $150 in-kind (donated) Project management rate is $35/hour
  • Mileage associated with the project can be credited at a rate of $0.50/km
  • Donated professional services, facilities, materials and equipment will be valued at fair market prices.
  • Volunteer time spent on project preparation, proposal writing and project implementation can be counted toward your in-kind contribution. Either at the non-professional rate above or fair market prices for the skills contributed. Bank your volunteer hours



  • Cash donations from individuals, non- governmental organizations, businesses, corporations, and/or municipal, provincial, and federal funding programs are eligible matching funds.


Funding Uses:

Adopt A Stream funding may be used for:

  • Materials, supplies and small equipment
  • Labour costs
  • Project management staffing
  • Travel costs


Funding may not be used for:

  • Large capital expenditures unless pre-approved.
  • Expenditures on permanent access (e.g. road building)



Projects receiving up to $10,000  Adopt A Stream funding

  • Annual funding support may not exceed 50% of total cost in any one year
  • There is no cash requirement from the project applicant. Your group’s contribution can be entirely in-kind.


Projects receiving more than $10,000 from NSSA Adopt A  Stream

  • Annual funding support may not exceed 50% of total cost in anyone year
  • There must be at least 10% cash funding from the applicant

Applications must be sent electronically in Word and Excel formats

Please download both the application and budget forms.  You are not limited to the spaces provided to answer.

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