For immediate release: September 4, 2020

Toronto, Ont. – Today’s announcement of $7.47 million in Great Lakes investments, including a new Local Action Fund, is an important step that must lead to further, more ambitious action to protect and restore the lakes.

The Great Lakes are facing serious threats from excess nutrient pollution, which causes harmful algae blooms, to invasive species and the impacts of climate change. Today’s funding announcement supports projects that will help address these threats, and the focus on local on-the-ground projects delivered by community partners is welcomed.

Great Lakes investments not only help mitigate the threats the lakes are facing, but they’re also a wise investment for the green economic recovery. Evidence from a decade of U.S. Great Lakes funding shows a 300 per cent return on investment and significant community benefits from cleaner water, healthier ecosystems, and more recreational opportunities. This positive trend needs to continue, and must lead to ambitious phosphorus reduction and wetland loss prevention targets being set under The Great Lakes Protection Act.

Today’s investments are a welcome start to improving the health of the Great Lakes. However, the Ontario government must get back on track in implementing Great Lakes protection plans such as the Lake Erie Action Plan, which is now over 18 months delayed. While this Ontario government has destroyed many pillars of environmental legislation, such as The Endangered Species Act, we hope today’s announcement represents a change of heart and a new approach to protecting Ontario’s environment.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca, cell: 905-330-0172