Ontario Protecting the Great Lakes
Province investing more than $2.8 million to improve fish health and habitat and restore historically degraded areas
TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing more than $2.8 million in 24 projects to protect the health of the Great Lakes as part of its commitment in the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health, signed in the spring.
These projects focus on improving fish and wildlife health and habitats and rehabilitate historically degraded areas in the world’s largest freshwater lake system by studying and restoring streams, wetlands and aquatic habitats and completing environmental clean up efforts to return these areas to their former health.
“Our government is proud to be delivering on our commitment to protect, conserve and restore the Great Lakes,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “These 24 initiatives will not only have a positive impact on the water quality and ecosystem of the Great Lakes, but also on the well-being of the communities that rely on them now and for generations to come.”
Some of these projects include:
- $400,000 for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to continue ongoing collaborative work to improve water quality, the health of aquatic organisms that live in the river and lakebed sediment, fish and aquatic habitats and groundwater to restore the Toronto and Region Area of Concern.
- $111,250 for the University of Guelph to see if rapid fish tests can be used to predict the effects of municipal effluent on fish reproduction as part of protecting fish health.
- $45,572 for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne to gather data on fish contaminants and help Akwesasronon in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities to fish.
- $75,000 to Niagara Parks Commission to conduct coastal wetland restoration projects to help restore fish habitat in a historically degraded area of the Niagara River.
“Nothing is more important than the health of our Great Lakes, and I am thankful that I have incredibly talented and committed partners who work alongside my ministry to protect them,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “Through strategic partnerships like these, we are able to make real progress on restoring species and their critical habitats while combatting the spread of invasive species living in the Great Lakes basin.”
Funding is part of the Ontario government’s $10.9 million multi-year investment to support projects run by conservation authorities, environmental not-for-profits, universities and Indigenous organizations across the province that are working to address commitments in the Canada-Ontario Great Lakes Agreement.
- Twenty per cent of the world’s surface fresh water is found in the Great Lakes, making it the largest freshwater lake system in the world.
- The ninth Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health is a five-year agreement that sets out specific actions that the federal and provincial governments will take, together with Great Lakes partners, to restore, protect and conserve the water quality and ecosystem health of the Great Lakes.
- Ontario invests approximately $14 million per year in actions to protect and restore the Great Lakes, including projects that support commitments in the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health and Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy.
- The province recently invested $1.9 million through the Great Lakes Local Action Fund in projects led by community-based organizations, municipalities, conservation authorities and Indigenous communities to protect and restore coastal, shoreline and nearshore areas of the Great Lakes.
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