The Government of Canada invests in Great Lakes protection and restoration

News release

July 19, 2018 – Port Colborne, Ontario

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canada’s natural legacy and freshwater resources. Part of this commitment is protecting and restoring the water quality and ecosystem health of the Great Lakes, a vitally important environmental, economic, and cultural resource for millions within its basin and beyond.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced $8.95 million in funding over four years for 36 local on-the-ground projects under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative. The Initiative supports projects across the Great Lakes Basin, which will help restore areas of concern, prevent toxic and nuisance algae, reduce the release of harmful chemicals, engage the public through citizen science, and engage Indigenous Peoples.

Minister McKenna was accompanied at today’s announcement by funding recipients from ALUS Canada and Swim Drink Fish Canada. The Swim Drink Fish Canada project will receive $1.8 million to engage Canadians through citizen science in Great Lakes water quality monitoring of our beaches and other recreational waters. Monitoring hubs will be set up in communities across the Great Lakes Basin. ALUS Canada will receive $600,000 over three years to focus on reducing phosphorus inputs to Lake Erie through restoration of natural features on agricultural lands.

The Government of Canada recognizes the integral role that our partners, including Indigenous Peoples, play in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Protection Initiative is proud to support projects that tackle issues that matter most to the lives of Canadians—from cleaner drinking water, to beaches we can enjoy, to waters in which we can fish and swim.


“Protecting and restoring our Great Lakes for current and future generations is a priority for Canada. With the help of our partners, we will work together to protect our freshwater resources. The Government of Canada is proud to support these 36 projects that help to ensure a clean and healthy source of drinking water for Canadians and restore and protect the health of ecosystems for the many species of plants and animals relying on the Great Lakes.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health and well-being of Canadians by reducing harmful and nuisance algal blooms in Lake Erie. The Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan, announced earlier this year, and the work being done by ALUS Canada will help us achieve the phosphorus-loading reduction targets set out in the plan. We are working collaboratively with our partners so that Canadians can enjoy cleaner, healthier waterfronts along the shores of Lake Erie.”

– Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre

“The Great Lakes are an important freshwater resource in the Niagara region. Restoring and protecting them will help ensure future economic prosperity, strong communities, as well as clean and safe recreational areas for Canadians in the Niagara region and communities across the Great Lakes Basin.”

– Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines

Quick facts

  • The Great Lakes are one of the world’s largest repositories of fresh water: They contain 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water.

  • The Great Lakes contain one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth—sustaining 4000 species of plants and animals.

  • The Great Lakes Basin provides a source of drinking water for one in four Canadians and one in ten Americans.

  • The Great Lakes region represents the third-largest economy in the world, if measured as a country. It supplies 51 million jobs or nearly 30 percent of the combined American and Canadian workforce.

Associated links


Caroline Thériault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Natural Resources in Canada’s Facebook page

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