Plan 2014 a win for the wildlife and communities of Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River

Adoption of binational water-level and flow-management plan is a giant step forward to improve water health

TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - WWF-Canada celebrates the announcement today that the International Joint Commission of the Canadian and United States governments has approved Plan 2014, the water-level and flow-management plan for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Implementation will result in the biggest natural aquatic ecosystem restoration project in Canada, and WWF-Canada is pleased to have helped shape and build consensus for the plan.

David Miller, WWF-Canada president and CEO, says:
"Plan 2014 is a historic step to improve the health of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The plan has the potential to be the biggest natural aquatic ecosystem restoration project in Canada, restoring more than 260 sq. km of wetlands, boosting hydropower production, and increasing the resilience of hundreds of kilometres of shoreline in Canada and the Unites States. By adjusting water levels to follow a more natural flow, Plan 2014 will protect and enhance wetlands and riverbank areas for the species and communities that depend on them."

Elizabeth Hendriks, WWF-Canada vice-president of freshwater conservation, says: 
"WWF-Canada has been a strong supporter of Plan 2014 for years. We encourage its immediate implementation, as both Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are at risk. WWF-Canada's recent watershed reports highlight the significant threats facing these ecosystems. In Lake Ontario, the threats include alteration of flows, overuse of water, habitat fragmentation, pollution and invasive species. In the St. Lawrence, the threats are pollution and habitat fragmentation.

"Healthy freshwater ecosystems are foundations for healthy communities, healthy people and healthy sustainable economies. Plan 2014 is a balanced approach to restoring a long-degraded environment while accounting for the needs of the people and industries that use it. The adoption of Plan 2014 is a win-win for communities and nature, now and for future generations."

WWF-Canada's involvement:

  • Testified to IJC commissioners.
  • Repeatedly met with bureaucrats and politicians in Ottawa to discuss intricacies of Plan 2014.
  • After learning of downstream concerns, WWF-Canada convened a multi-stakeholder dialogue in Quebec to work through diverse perspectives and develop a common understanding.
  • Engaged our supporters and the general public, raising awareness about Plan 2014.
  • Worked with binational partners to ensure evidence-based information was being shared with the public and politicians.

About World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more information, visit


For further information: Philippe Devos, communications director,, +1 416-453-0092


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