Harper Government Invests in Great Lakes Clean-Up

NIAGARA FALLS, ON, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister, announced a major investment under the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund to support 57 clean-up projects in officially designated Great Lakes Areas of Concern.

"Today, as we mark United Nations World Water Day and this year's theme of water cooperation, we reflect on the importance of our water resources globally, and how to protect them," said Minister Kent. "Our Government is working with many partners to protect the Great Lakes for generations to come. This investment will help us continue to work towards our goal of restoring water quality in all Canadian Great Lakes Areas of Concern."

"Government of Canada programs are tackling the complex issues facing the Great Lakes ecosystem. Since 2006, $538 million has been invested in wastewater infrastructure in the watershed, including $379 million for wastewater treatment projects. We have also announced $16 million to address the re-occurrence of toxic and nuisance algae, and $17 million has been invested in a program to protect Canada's Great Lakes against the threat of Asian carp," said the Hon. Rob Nicholson, Canada's Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls.

Since 1989, the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund has supported more than 900 partnered projects to help clean up areas where the environment and water quality are severely degraded. Funded projects typically focus on restoring fish and wildlife habitat and populations, cleaning up contaminated sediment, and controlling pollution from municipal wastewater, urban storm water and rural run-off.

One of the environmental hotspots that will benefit from this $3,370,500  investment is the Niagara River Area of Concern where more than $350,000 to support four local projects was provided. This includes $245,000 for a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority water quality and habitat improvement program. This project's activities focus on installing fencing to keep livestock out of creeks, restoring wetland and woodland habitats, and working with partners to coordinate extensive water quality monitoring to help identify nutrient sources, amounts and management strategies.

"With its unique resources, nestled between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and transversed by the Niagara Escarpment, the Niagara Peninsula has truly unique climatic and biotic zones that are unlike anywhere else in North America," stated Bruce Timms, Chairman of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Board.  "We are proud of our partnership with the Government of Canada, which has allowed us make significant strides in improving water quality in the Niagara River Area of Concern."

For more information on the Government of Canada's efforts to protect our Great Lakes, including the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund administered by Environment Canada, please visit www.ec.gc.ca/greatlakes.

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/.

SOURCE: Environment Canada

For further information:

For more information, please contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Director of Media Relations
Office of the Minister of the Environment

Media Relations
Environment Canada

Environment Canada's Twitter Page: http://twitter.com/environmentca

Environment Canada's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/environmentcan

(Également offert en français)


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