Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced $1.06 million in funding over three years for 10 projects associated with protecting and restoring the water quality and ecosystem health of the Great Lakes. The funding is part of the additional investment of $44.84 million for the Great Lakes Protection Initiative announced in Budget 2017.
Projects funded this year include addressing the toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, blooms that are spreading faster and further as a result of climate change. Another project will create and restore aquatic habitat in the bays and coastal wetlands of Toronto’s Tommy Thompson Park by installing underwater reefs and managing invasive grasses. John MacKenzie, the CEO of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, which is managing the latter project, accompanied Minister McKenna at the announcement.
“Restoring water quality in the Great Lakes benefits both our environment and our economy. By investing in projects led by knowledgeable local partners, we can ensure the Great Lakes continue to offer generations of Canadians safe drinking water, clean beaches, and vibrant ecosystems […],” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
The Government of Canada recognizes the important role that our partners, including Indigenous peoples, play in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has contributed over $18 million to support 123 conservation and restoration projects led by organizations and communities in the Great Lakes Basin.
Minster McKenna also participated in a roundtable discussion with Great Lakes advocates representing a diverse range of perspectives. The discussion centred on Great Lakes priorities, challenges, and opportunities.