Canada announces funding for local projects to protect Great Lakes

From: Environment and Climate Change Canada

Two local Thunder Bay community groups to receive $175,000 to improve water quality in Lake Superior

The Government of Canada’s top priorities are the health and safety of all Canadians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of our efforts to ensure good health and economic well-being, we must take real and sustained action to protect the Great Lakes-a vital resource that continues to face threats from climate change and other stressors.

Today, the Minister of Health, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that the Government of Canada will invest nearly $175,000 over two years for two projects in the Thunder Bay area to improve water quality in Lake Superior.

Pays Plat First Nation will receive $99,431 over two years for its Protecting Gitchigumi project. The project will focus on water, soil, and sediment sampling and continued monitoring of the First Nation’s traditional territory on Lake Superior and surrounding watersheds. It will also involve documenting flora and fauna in the area to help determine if there are any populations of native species at future risk.

Confederation College will receive $75,000 over two years for its Riparian Habitat Rehabilitation project. This project will improve and create 10 hectares of habitat along the McIntyre River, which flows through the college campus, within the Thunder Bay Area of Concern. Planned activities include planting trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials; installing bird boxes, a log pile, and a low-impact trail; establishing permanent no-mowing zones; and creating pollinator gardens.

These are just two of several projects being funded this year through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative. Funded projects will address key Great Lakes priorities including cleaning up areas of concern, preventing toxic and nuisance algae, reducing releases of harmful chemicals, and engaging Indigenous Peoples.

Through investments like this one, the Government of Canada is protecting fresh water across the country.

The Government is also committed to creating the Canada Water Agency, to work together with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists, and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean, and well managed.

Quotes

“We rely on the Great Lakes for our drinking water and food, our transportation, and our traditions. Our region understands the important role Lake Superior plays in our everyday lives. I’m pleased to announce federal funding for these two local projects that are helping to protect this beautiful lake and region for generations to come.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

“Taking care of our shared freshwater resources requires working with local communities, who have a first-hand understanding of the challenges facing the Great Lakes. I’m pleased that the Government of Canada continues to support innovative, results-driven projects that will benefit these iconic lakes and the millions of Canadians who depend on them.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • The 2020-21 Great Lakes Protection Initiative grants and contribution funding is part of the $44.84 million announced for the Initiative in Budget 2017.

  • The Great Lakes are one the world’s largest repositories of freshwater: they contain 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water.

  • The Great Lakes contain one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth-sustaining 4,000 species of plants and animals.

  • The Great Lakes basin provides a source of drinking water for one in four Canadians and one in ten Americans.

  • The Great Lakes region represents the third-largest economy in the world, if measured as a country. It supplies 51 million jobs or nearly 30 percent of the combined American and Canadian workforce.

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