The Great Lakes are essential to the health and well-being of millions of Canadians for safe water supply and the sustainability of our ecosystems. Protecting one of the largest surface freshwater systems in the world is vital, which is why the Government of Canada is collaborating with local partners to find the best ways to keep water safe, clean, and well-managed.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, announced that the Government of Canada is investing more than $3.1 million over three years in thirty-two new projects funded under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative. The projects will address priorities to restore water quality and ecosystem health in Areas of Concern, prevent toxic and nuisance algae, and enhance engagement with Indigenous Peoples and the public.
Protecting freshwater demands a collaborative approach. Environment and Climate Change Canada has launched a new call for proposals for project funding under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative for 2022–2023. Applications will be accepted until January 31, 2022.
Newly funded projects include $240,000 over three years to support the Raisin Region Conservation Authority in its efforts to restore and protect the coastal wetland of the Bainsville Bay Marsh, which will sustain fish and wildlife habitat in the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern. The Royal Botanical Gardens’ Wetlands Rehabilitation Program will receive $425,000 over two years to restore wetlands in the Hamilton Harbour Area of Concern. Project funding to support the engagement of Indigenous Peoples in addressing Great Lakes issues includes $150,000 over two years for Wasauksing First Nation to work with local communities along the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Superior to create and promote community-specific fish consumption advisories. The funded projects build on previous and ongoing initiatives that support the government’s commitment to take active steps to protect and clean up the Great Lakes and other large lakes.
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said: “The Great Lakes are immensely important—they are ecologically rich, an economic driver, the source of water for forty million people, and an inspiration for song, storytelling, and exploration. We’re investing in local projects that advance collaborative efforts to restore and protect Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health. By working with regional partners and Indigenous Peoples, we are protecting this important resource for future generations to use and enjoy.”