TORONTO — The Ontario government is helping communities and local organizations take action where they live to protect, conserve and restore the Great Lakes by investing an additional $1.8 million in the Great Lakes Local Action Fund.

“Protecting the world’s largest freshwater lake system takes collective action. That’s why our government is proud to continue supporting local projects through this investment in the Great Lakes Local Action Fund,” said Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “By helping communities and organizations make a difference in their own backyards, we’re ensuring the Great Lakes and their watersheds will be healthy and beautiful for generations to come.”

From protecting native species to cleaning up shorelines and establishing community-based water monitoring initiatives, this program has funded many projects that have helped improve the health of the Great Lakes watershed. Recent funding recipients included:

  • Credit Valley Conservation Foundation, whose project helped reconnect brook trout populations by removing barriers in the Credit River Watershed by increasing the available habitat and creating four new fish spawning grounds.
  • Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, who engaged over 1,500 volunteers to pick up 1,200 kg (2,645 lbs) which is the equivalent weight of two small cars worth of litter along the shorelines in Lake Huron municipalities to protect wildlife, improve human health and enhance shoreline aesthetics.
  • Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, who established a community-based water monitoring initiative and engaged Indigenous community members, Elders, academia and partners in collecting, sharing and refining water quality information to inform and help mobilize future action throughout Biigtigong Nishnaabeg in the Lake Superior watershed.

To be eligible for funding as part of the 2024-2025 program, community-based organizations, municipalities, conservation authorities and Indigenous communities must propose projects that help increase climate change resiliency and protect or improve water quality in the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Examples of the types of eligible projects include:

  • planting native species (e.g., trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers)
  • preventing shoreline erosion and silt build up in natural creeks, streams or rivers (e.g., shoreline protection using natural solutions, re-vegetating buffer strips, mulching and seeding)
  • managing invasive species
  • reducing the use of road salt and its impacts on waterbodies
  • preventing plastic pollution from entering waterbodies and removing plastic from waterbodies (e.g., shoreline cleanups)
  • reducing household pollution from entering waterbodies

The deadline to apply for project funding is 2 p.m. on September 26, 2024.


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