Hamilton, ON – Protecting fresh water is critically important to Canada’s environmental, social, and economic well-being. One of the largest surface freshwater systems in the world, the Great Lakes help drive the local economy and provide drinking water for millions of Canadians.

Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, has announced an investment of more than $3.9 million over three years in thirty-nine new projects in Ontario through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative, part of the Government of Canada’s Freshwater Action Plan.

The announcement includes $98,000 over two years to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority to conduct an assessment and provide options to manage contaminated sediment at Lyons Creek East in the Niagara River Area of Concern. The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne will receive $154,000 over two years to participate in the assessment and remediation of the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern, including decision-making on fish consumption restrictions, beach access, and challenges impacting fish and wildlife populations.

The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority will receive $175,000 over three years to engage non-governmental organizations, municipalities, and the public to develop and implement community-scale solutions to improve water quality in tributaries and nearshore water, enhance natural coastal protection, and restore degraded habitat.

These thirty-nine projects support Canada’s commitments under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health.

“As we celebrate fifty years of collaboration under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, it is important that we continue to advance Great Lakes priorities, including Canada’s commitment to clean up Canadian Areas of Concern. By working together with regional partners and Indigenous Peoples, we are finding practical solutions to protect our important natural resources. Our investment in local projects is engaging and empowering communities to take action and contribute toward our collective efforts to restore and protect the water quality and ecosystem health of our beloved Great Lakes.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • The Great Lakes account for almost 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water.
  • The Great Lakes Protection Initiative supports action by others to:
    • Restore the water quality and ecosystem health of Areas of Concern;
    • Prevent toxic and nuisance algae;
    • Reduce releases of harmful chemicals;
    • Engage Indigenous Peoples in addressing Great Lakes issues; and
    • Increase public engagement through citizen science.
  • Since 1989, Environment and Climate Change Canada has funded more than 1,275 restoration projects to address Areas of Concern, completed in collaboration with community partners.


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