Ontario puts CA$50M into Great Lakes cleanup

The Government of Ontario in Canada is investing CA$50 million to clean up the Great Lakes and protect the province’s coastal environment, Environment Minister Elizabeth Witmer has said.

“This investment recognizes the need to continue tackling the most pressing issues, such as the clean up of Ontario’s Areas of Concern, the reduction of harmful pollutants and habitat rehabilitation,” said Natural Resources Minister John Snobelen, is reported as saying in WaterTechOnline.

Ontario’s five-year CA$50-million commitment to cleaning up the Great Lakes is partly funded by the government’s SuperBuild initiative. As part of the investment, a grant of over $2.7 million will be provided to the Ontario Great Lakes Renewal Foundation to help kick off local partnerships in Areas of Concern, as well as other projects that will help implement future actions under the forthcoming 2002 Canada-Ontario Agreement, officials said.

The investment program includes increasing the monitoring and reporting of water and sediment quality, as well as the health of fish and wildlife in and around the Great Lakes; reducing the amount of harmful pollutants, such as mercury, that find their way into the Great Lakes; and integrating information from government and stakeholders to ensure better decisions are made and appropriate actions taken.

The governments of Canada and Ontario have been working together to finalize the new Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem. A finalized agreement is expected in the near future, officials said. The new Canada-Ontario Agreement will outline how the two governments will cooperate and coordinate their efforts to restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem.

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