HAMILTON/BURLINGTON, ON, Aug. 7, 2019 /CNW/ - Clean water is one of the essentials for life, and the Great Lakes are a vitally important environmental, economic and cultural resource for millions of Canadians. More than 40 million people live in the Great Lakes Basin. The Great Lakes Region represents the third-largest economy in the world, if measured as a country. It supports 51 million jobs or nearly 30% of the combined American and Canadian workforce.
One in four Canadians draw their drinking water directly from the Great Lakes. The Government of Canada is committed to protecting and restoring the water quality and ecosystem health of the Great Lakes, so Canadians can benefit from clean water, a healthy environment, and the jobs and economic opportunities they support.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced $1.06 million in funding over three years for 10 projects. The funding is part of the additional investment of $44.84 million for the Great Lakes Protection Initiative announced in Budget 2017.
Projects funded this year include addressing the toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, blooms that are spreading faster and further as a result of climate change. Another project will create and restore aquatic habitat in the bays and coastal wetlands of Toronto's Tommy Thompson Park by installing underwater reefs and managing invasive grasses. John MacKenzie, the CEO of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, which is managing the latter project, accompanied Minister McKenna at today's announcement.
The Government of Canada recognizes the important role that our partners, including Indigenous peoples, play in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has contributed over $18 million to support 123 conservation and restoration projects led by organizations and communities in the Great Lakes Basin.
Minster McKenna also participated in a roundtable discussion today with Great Lakes advocates representing a diverse range of perspectives. The discussion centred on Great Lakes priorities, challenges and opportunities.
"Restoring water quality in the Great Lakes benefits both our environment and our economy. By investing in projects led by knowledgeable local partners, we can ensure the Great Lakes continue to offer generations of Canadians safe drinking water, clean beaches and vibrant ecosystems that support good middle class jobs and diverse economic opportunities."
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- The Great Lakes are one the worlds largest repositories of freshwater—they contain 20% of the world's surface freshwater.
- The Great Lakes contain one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth—sustaining more than 3,500 species of plants and animals.
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
For further information: Sabrina Kim, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-743-7138, [email protected]; Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free), [email protected]