The Province of Ontario announced on February 18 that it will introduce new legislation to help protect the Great Lakes and recognize their importance to the environment, economy, and health of Ontario residents.

“Today we celebrate the Great Lakes that are vitally important to the people of Ontario for our drinking water, quality of life, and prosperity,” said Environment Minister Glen Murray. “We need to restore them now to continue to enjoy their benefits for this and future generations.”

If passed, the new Great Lakes Protection Act would aim to fight climate change, reduce harmful algal blooms, and protect wetlands and other coastal areas; monitor and report on water quality and the health of the lakes; aim to bring people together to take action on priority issues; and build on the provinces’ Great Lakes Strategy and partnerships with the federal government of both Canada and the United States, and with Great Lakes states and provinces.

The Great Lakes are vitally important for Ontario. Upwards of 80 per cent of the province’s drinking water comes from the lakes, and more than 95 per cent of its agricultural land is located in the Great Lakes basin.

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