Community Stewardship Efforts Making a Difference for Canada's Sixth-largest Lake
WINNIPEG, Feb. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Members of Parliament James Bezan and Joyce Bateman, joined by Senator Janis Johnson and Member of Parliament Joy Smith, were in Winnipeg today to reaffirm the Government of Canada's commitment and actions in support of Lake Winnipeg on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council.
Today's announcement highlighted more than $5 million in previous funding for 59 community stewardship projects that have helped to restore the health of the lake.
This funding is part of the Government of Canada's Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative (LWBI), which supports community stewardship projects, scientific research and monitoring, and transboundary management efforts to improve water quality in Lake Winnipeg.
Economic Action Plan 2014 announced investments in measures to protect and preserve Canada's rich natural heritage by encouraging additional donations under Canada's Ecological Gifts Program, investing in Canada's national parks, conserving recreational fisheries, expanding recreational trails, supporting family-orientated conservation, and expanding tax support for clean energy generation.
- The LWBI was launched in 2007, and has provided $36 million in funding towards the health of Lake Winnipeg.
- The $5 million and 59 projects highlighted today were funded through the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund, as part of the LWBI.
- Lake Winnipeg Stewardship Fund recipients have included communities, conservation districts, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions.
- Types of funded projects include wetland restoration, innovative wastewater treatment, new agricultural practices, and cutting-edge scientific research.
"Our Government is committed to protecting and restoring Lake Winnipeg to ensure that Manitoba residents have access to a watershed they rely on. This stewardship funding is part of the $36 million we have invested into the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative, which promotes the lake's long-term sustainability and reduces nutrient levels that lead to harmful algal blooms."
- The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Minister for the Arctic Council
"Since 2007, our government has been taking action to protect and restore the ecological well-being of Lake Winnipeg. The projects and activities delivered through the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund show the difference we can make when we act together at the local level to improve our environment."
- Joyce Bateman, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg-South-Centre
"Lake Winnipeg is the heart of many communities in the Interlake and a way of life for many people. It is encouraging to see how the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund has encouraged communities across the Lake Winnipeg watershed to share in the responsibility to find solutions to restore the health of the lake and ensure it is here for us in generations to come."
- James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk—Interlake
"Today we are here to celebrate local communities and partners that have come together over the past six years to make a difference for the health of Lake Winnipeg through the efforts of the Government of Canada's Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund. Through the support of this fund, communities and organizations across the lake's vast watershed are creating solutions to help improve Lake Winnipeg's water quality"
- Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan—St. Paul
"The Federal Government is proud to partner with all communities and organizations - such as those here today -- that are part of the solution to conserve our lake. I encourage communities and partners across the watershed to get involved with programs like the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund, which enable us all to play a part in creating a healthier Lake Winnipeg."
- Senator Janis Johnson (Senator for Manitoba)
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/.
- Fact Sheet - Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative
- Fact Sheet - Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund
- Cleaning Up Lake Winnipeg
- Environment Canada's Comprehensive Approach to Clean Water
SOURCE: Environment Canada
For further information:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of the Environment
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