Environmental Defence sounds alarm as consultations visit Goderich
Toronto – Seventy per cent of the Great Lakes’ wetlands are gone, shorelines are receding and algae blooms are creating big problems. And with Ontario being the fastest-growing of any state or province bordering the Great Lakes, Environmental Defence says there is no time to lose in protecting them.
So it’s timely that public hearings into a proposed piece of provincial legislation—the Great Lakes Protection Act—are coming to Goderich on August 23.
“It’s time to improve water quality, protect our beaches and coastlines and improve biodiversity,” said Claire Malcomson, a Great Lakes expert at Environmental Defence. “Millions of Ontarians depend on the Lakes to drink, work and play but immediate action is required to protect and restore this vital resource.”
She says the proposed law needs work, but shows promise of improving water quality, protecting beaches and coastlines, biodiversity, and recreational opportunities.
But Malcomson also said it needs work: “The severe loss of wetlands is a real problem for Great Lakes health. So we’re hoping the Act can be strengthened, especially in this respect. With population growth so strong around Ontario’s Great Lakes, wetlands are needed now more than ever.”
She also said she wants the Act to contain clear targets and reporting.
But in the end, Malcomson said, it’s going to be up to citizens, and urged residents of Goderich to let the Ministry of the Environment know what they think when consultations arrive. They will take place:
DATE: Thursday, August 23
LOCATION: Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 109 – Second Floor, 59 Kingston Street, Goderich
TIME: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Malcomson said one of the proposals in the Act could be especially beneficial to places like Goderich. There are proposals to fund local efforts to clean and protect the Lakes, like improving forests, wetlands, shorelines, beaches and sewage treatment.
”The Great Lakes don’t have a moment to lose. They need protection and restoration now and the proposed law could be a big step in the right direction,” she said.
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
-30-
For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca, (416)323-9521 ext. 228, (905)330-0172 (cell)