Today the Ontario Ministry of the Environment released the final Great Lakes Strategy, which establishes priorities to achieve goals to protect the Great Lakes – a vital step that until now had been missing from Ontario’s work to protect this critical resource.

We welcome this Strategy which outlines the government’s priorities for protecting, conserving and restoring the Great Lakes over the next nine years. The Great Lakes provide drinking water for almost 40 million people. Healthy Great Lakes are essential for the health of Ontarians, for our economy, and for all the animals and marine life that live in the Great Lakes basin.

We applaud the government for listening to input from Ontarians into the Strategy, and for making commitments to measure progress and track results. Importantly, the Strategy will help to focus provincial resources across ministries, and to improve collaboration and engagement with other governments and the broader Great Lakes community, so that Ontarians see more results, and less process. Implementation of the Strategy should improve our beaches, wetlands and other habitat, lessen the impact of industries and cities on water quality and help build a sustainable resource economy.

To complement the Strategy, we strongly urge all parties to prioritize the reintroduction of the Great Lakes Protection Act.

Sixteen organizations including Environmental Defence signed onto the Great Lakes Protection Act Alliance’s comments on the draft Strategy, which was released at the same time as the Great Lakes Protection Act, June 6, 2012. Our comments are available here.
To view Ontario’s Great Lake Strategy, click here.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( 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.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 258; 416-570-2878 (cell)