Funds committed for protecting Great
By Bryan Meadows
The Chronicle-Journal (Canada)
Published January 9th, 2005
The province will beef up its commitment this year to
protect and restore Great Lakes ecosystems.
The Ministry of Natural Resources will spend $7.7 million
in 2004-05 to protect and restore healthy ecosystems within
the Great Lakes and adjoining watersheds.
MNR spokeswoman Barbara Mabee said Friday that the funding
represents “a greater commitment toward improving water
The government invested $6.4-million in projects led
by the MNR last year.
Through the Canada-Ontario Agreement (COA) Respecting
the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, the provincial government
is investing $50 million over five years to conserve and
restore the Great Lakes and protect the province’s unique
It’s one of the Ontario’s largest programs aimed at helping
clean up the Great Lakes for future generations. Eight
federal agencies and three provincial ministries are part
of the agreement.
Some of the projects the ministry is involved in include:
• Protecting biodiversity by protecting species at risk,
increasing public awareness of invasive species, conserving
wetlands and supporting efforts to create a protected
• Restoring fish and wildlife uses by protecting habitat,
restoring native fish populations, and supporting watershed
• Enhancing knowledge about fish and wildlife populations,
impacts of invasive species, aquatic food webs, watershed
science, and indicators of ecosystem health.
A total of $25 million of the five-year allocation has
been earmarked for Ministry of Environment and Agriculture
and Food initiatives.
Under an agreement signed in 2002, Ontario and Canada
have set environmental priorities and are undertaking
specific goals and actions to meet the shared vision of
a healthy, prosperous and sustainable Great Lakes Basin
ecosystem for present and future generations.
COA contributes to Canada’s obligations under the Great
Lakes Water Quality Agreement signed by Canada and the
United States in 1972. The goal is to restore the biological,
physical and chemical integrity of the Great Lakes over
the long term.
Provincially, COA is led by the Ministry of the Environment,
while the Ministry of Natural Resources is a key partner
in implementing many aspects of the agreement.