GOVERNMENT OF CANADA INVESTS IN LAKE SIMCOE RESTORATION PROJECTS

KESWICK, ON, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - On behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Canada's International Trade Minister and Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe, and Patrick Brown, Member of Parliament for Barrie, today announced that 19 projects will receive funding under round six of the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund.

Initiatives funded by the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund are designed to preserve and protect the environment of Lake Simcoe.

"Since 2008, the Harper Government's five-year Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund has provided more than $15 million to 165 local projects undertaken to preserve and improve this important water body. Today, we highlight the continued support of Lake Simcoe clean-up efforts by investing $4.1 million in 19 new restoration projects," said Minister Van Loan.

"Our Government has taken a clear, comprehensive approach to ensuring clean water for Canadians. Lake Simcoe is an important natural resource, and by providing funding to these projects, we are not only investing in the health of the lake, but also in the future of the region," said said M.P. Brown.

As part of this investment, the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) will receive $940,000 towards their Lake Simcoe Farm Stewardship Program. The purpose of this project is to increase the take-up of on-the-ground Best Management Practices by farmers in the Lake Simcoe watershed. This will help reduce the amount of phosphorus that gets into the lake and increase the overall protection and enhancement of the lake.

"The agricultural lands of the watershed are capable of producing high quality crops, and the OSCIA knows that great care must be taken to sustain both the lands and water for future generations. This project strategically builds on the established success of the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan, and supports farm businesses that are acting to protect the Lake," said Barry Hill, President of the OSCIA.

Richard Simpson, the chair of Protect and Preserve the Environment of Lake Simcoe (PROPEL), the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund's Advisory Committee, added that "the Committee is pleased to be an integral part in the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund Process. Since Round 1, project applications have greatly increased in numbers which shows the viability and importance of Fund to the community."

This investment to clean up Lake Simcoe is part of the Government of Canada's Action Plan for Clean Water, which includes projects like the Health of the Oceans initiative to protect Canada's three oceans, the clean-up of contaminated sediment in Great Lakes Areas of Concern, and action on pollution in Lake Winnipeg.

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.

(Également offert en français)                                                

SOURCE Environment Canada

For further information:

Veronica Petrò
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of the Environment
819-997-1441
    Media Relations
Environment Canada
819-934-8008
1-888-908-8008
Environment Canada's Twitter page:
http://twitter.com/environmentca
    Environment Canada's Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/environmentcan


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