Ottawa reports on Great Lakes clean-upMonday, March 07, 2011 by: Rick McGeeNEWS RELEASE
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
Government of Canada invests in Great Lakes clean-up
BURLINGTON, ON (March 7) - Canada's Environment Minister Peter Kent today highlighted the Government of Canada's efforts to help clean-up the Great Lakes as part of Canada's Great Lakes Action Plan.
In total, the government is contributing $2,899,500 from its Great Lakes Sustainability Fund to support 43 projects to advance remediation and clean-up of Canadian Great Lakes Areas of Concern.
"The Great Lakes are the largest system of fresh surface water on Earth and a crucial resource to Canadians," said Minister Kent. "With this investment, the Government of Canada is working in partnership with communities and other levels of government to protect and restore water quality in the Great Lakes."
"The Great Lakes Sustainability Fund is a concrete example of the real action taking place to support initiatives and projects that will ensure that our natural environment is healthy, protected and safe. The clean-up of Hamilton Harbour is a milestone that once achieved, brings us closer to a healthier ecosystem, not just locally, but for the benefit of all Canadians," said the Member of Parliament for Burlington, Mike Wallace.
"Hamilton Harbour is a cornerstone for the local community, and a significant contributor to the Great Lakes ecosystem. With this funding, we are able to partner closely with the Government of Canada and other partners towards achievements and outcomes essential for determining progress towards Hamilton Harbour's delisting targets," said Tÿs Theÿsmeÿer, head of natural lands with the Royal Botanical Gardens.
The Royal Botanical Gardens' (RBG) Grindstone Creek and Cootes Paradise Rehabilitation Project is one of the six projects to receive funding for remediation and clean-up of the Hamilton Harbour Area of Concern.
Through this project, essential fish and wildlife habitat and water quality in RBG sanctuaries will continue to improve as a result of activities such as the elimination of damaging effects of carp, the reconnection of isolated habitats and improvement of inflowing water.
Among many achievements, RBG hopes to plant approximately 6,500 native plants in project areas; monitor water quality at 14 sites throughout the field season; and coordinate public workshops.
This year, funding has been provided for work in 11 of the remaining 14 Areas of Concern, including Hamilton Harbour.
The Hamilton Harbour Area of Concern is a 2,150-hectare embayment located at the western tip of Lake Ontario and includes several urban centres such as Burlington and Hamilton.
It was identified as a "degraded geographic area" because of water quality resulting in undesirable algae and beach closings, sediment contamination, impairments to fish and wildlife populations and their habitat and restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption.
The Great Lakes Sustainability Fund (GLSF), which is administered by Environment Canada, works in partnership with other agencies and local community stakeholders to advance Remedial Action Plans that have been developed for each of Canada's remaining Areas of Concern within the Great Lakes Basin.
Funding is provided to initiatives that meet specific criteria and that serve to restore the environment.
Such projects include fish and wildlife habitat restoration, contaminated sediment remediation, landowner stewardship, and control of pollution from municipal wastewaters and rural runoff.
More information about the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund is available here.
For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Environment Canada website.
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