SIMCOE NORTH MPP JILL DUNLOP
The Ontario government is investing $6 million to support 30 multi-year projects that will help protect, conserve and restore the Great Lakes, including Severn Sound with a $145,000 investment to the Severn Sound Environmental Association in Simcoe North.
These investments will help reduce plastic litter, excess nutrients and road salt entering lakes, rivers and streams, advance climate resiliency, and make significant progress on restoring environmentally degraded areas of the Great Lakes.
“Our government is continuing to work with partners to ensure Ontario’s Great Lakes are protected,” said David Piccini, minister of the environment, conservation and parks. “We’re very proud to be supporting projects that will improve water quality, reduce plastic and salt pollution and increase collaboration with farmers, Indigenous organizations and communities to help improve the Great Lakes.”
The projects are led by community groups, not-for-profits, conservation authorities, universities and Indigenous organizations and communities across the province and support commitments in the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health and Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy.
Local Great Lakes restoration projects will include working with the Severn Sound Environmental Association on projects that will monitor and characterize potential impacts from stormwater and wastewater in Severn Sound. The projects will communicate findings from the last 20 years of environmental monitoring in the Severn Sound area after delisting of Severn Sound as an area of concern.
“This investment is crucial in supporting the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) to continue their work as champions in sustaining environmental quality and ensuring its continued protection in our region,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “I commend SSEA for their conscientious efforts in protecting our Great Lakes, closely connected to our province’s health and prosperity.”
Funding for the Great Lakes program is part of the Ontario government’s $14 million in annual investments to further protect, conserve and restore the health of the Great Lakes and support the well-being of communities that rely on them.
- Ontario’s Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River shoreline is the longest freshwater coastline in the world, measuring 10,000 kilometres, which is greater than the length of the Canada-U.S. border and almost equivalent to travelling one-quarter of the way around the world.
- Ninety-nine per cent of Ontarians live in the Great Lakes Basin and 95 per cent of Ontario’s agricultural lands are in the Great Lakes Basin.
- Areas of concern are geographic locations in the Great Lakes identified in the mid-1980s because human activities had severely degraded water quality and ecosystem health in those specific areas.
- Working with the Great Lakes community partners, our government is making progress on actions included in Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy, such as restoring 14 historical areas of concern around the Great Lakes, restoring and enhancing over 74,200 acres of wetlands across Ontario, 330 projects and $20 million in funding under the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program projects, expanding the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail so it now stretches over 3,600 kilometres and connects 155 communities, villages and First Nations communities.
- Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested $66.5 million in 552 projects to safeguard the Great Lakes. During that time, 31 environmental clean-up actions have taken place across 17 areas of concern in the Great Lakes.
- Severn Sound is a group of bays covering an area of approximately 130 square kilometres and is located in southeastern Georgian Bay, Lake Huron.
- The immediate watershed of Severn Sound covers an area of approximately 1,000 square kilometres.
- The Severn Sound Environmental Association is an eight-municipality environmental protection partnership around the Severn Sound watershed.