01/27/2014 06:28 EST | Updated 03/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Alberta Flood Relief For Historic Sites, Museums, Fossil Rescue

EDMONTON - The Alberta government says it is putting up $12 million to help preserve historic and archeological sites damaged by last spring's floods.

Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk says the bulk of the money is going to heritage groups and owners of historical buildings in southern Alberta and the Fort McMurray area.

The rest is intended to pay for collecting and protecting fossils and bones unearthed by high water.

The province said $4.5 million will go towards supporting owners of protected, designated heritage properties for flood related conservation work not covered by the Disaster Recovery Program or insurance, while $6 million is earmarked to support the conservation of artifacts and archival materials at museums and archives affected by flooding.

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“Museums, archives as well as historic buildings are significant to preserving the irreplaceable evidence of Alberta’s past and are part of the unique character and identity of the community," said Alberta Minister of Culture Heather Klimchuk.

"Today we are committing funding that not only helps us build Alberta, but also ensures these historic treasures and the remarkable history they represent will be preserved and passed on to future generations.”

- Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture

The remaining $1.5 million will go towards the collection of fossils and artifacts, as well as establish protective measures for archeological and palaeontological sites affected by flooding.

Rising and rushing waters during the 2013 flood forced many fossils to the surface, artifacts that were found after the flood waters receded.

The power of the waters was such that several heavy munitions were also forced to the surface, in what used to be the Sarcee weapons range in Calgary's Weaselhead area.