The Ontario government is investing $6 million to support 30 multi-year projects to help protect, conserve and restore the Great Lakes.
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Funding was announced July 17 by David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, at Kaiser Lake Farms in Greater Napanee. Piccini said in a release the projects will improve water quality, reduce plastic and salt pollution and increase collaboration with farmers, Indigenous organizations and communities to help improve the Great Lakes. Project investments will also help progress the restoration of environmentally degraded areas of the Great Lakes.
The projects are led by community groups, not-for profits, conservation authorities, universities and Indigenous organizations and communities across the province and support commitments in the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health and Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy.
Some of the organizations receiving funding include:
- Lower Trent Region Conservation Authority, which received $65,000 to work with area farmers to reduce excess nutrients from agricultural lands. Kaiser Lake Farms in Greater Napanee is one of the farms taking action on their land to help improve water quality and help restore the Bay of Quinte Area of Concern.
- Quinte Conservation Association, which received $162,791 to reduce nuisance algae and manage phosphorus in the Bay of Quinte Area of Concern. The project will also monitor and maintain the area’s water quality, fish and wildlife habitat while identifying emerging threats such as invasive species and climate change.
- St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences, which received $402,187 for projects that will continue monitoring mercury in fish, sediment and industrial sites to make sure clean-up actions in the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern were effective and support the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne to study the health of Lake Sturgeon and Eel.
- Raisin Region Conservation Authority, which received $140,000 to develop and implement an agricultural land stewardship program and facilitate an outreach and education program to improve water quality within the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern.
- Governing Council of the University of Toronto, which received $610,416 to assess Great Lakes water quality (quantifying nutrients loadings, chlorides, microplastics discharges and tire compounds), evaluate drinking water treatment processes and assess practices that reduce excess nutrients and nutrient runoff from agricultural lands to the Great Lakes.