Canada invests $5.1 million in Great Lakes protection 

News release

Aerial photo of region along Lake Ontario. Great Lakes Protection Initiative: $5.1M to support 46 new projects to protect fresh water
Government of Canada invests $5.1M to support 46 new projects to improve the Great Lakes.

November 10, 2020 – Burlington, Ontario

The Great Lakes are essential to the health and well-being of millions of Canadians. The Government of Canada is delivering on our longstanding commitment to safeguard this important freshwater resource for Canadians by investing in local initiatives that drive innovation and create jobs.

Today, the Minister of International Development, the Honourable Karina Gould, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced $5.1 million in funding to support 46 new projects to protect and restore the Great Lakes through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative in 2020–21.

The Great Lakes Protection Initiative supports projects that address key Great Lakes priorities such as restoring areas of concern, preventing toxic and nuisance algae, reducing releases of harmful chemicals, engaging Indigenous Peoples on Great Lakes issues, and increasing public engagement through citizen science.

Minister Gould was joined at today’s announcement by Darlene Bennett-Howes, Director of Business Development and Community Engagement, at Royal Botanical Gardens. Their project will receive $53,000 in funding to help restore fish habitat and address algae issues in the Hamilton Harbour Area of Concern as well as examine ways to better protect the coastal wetland habitat.

Through investments like these, the Government of Canada is supporting local initiatives and solutions to environmental challenges.

In the coming weeks, the Government will be launching consultations on the creation of the new Canada Water Agency, to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, and scientists to keep our water safe, clean, and well managed. 


“Protecting and restoring our Great Lakes require collaboration. The leadership of our many partners and stakeholders on these innovative projects will have a significant impact in improving water quality for millions of Canadians, now and into the future. This work matters to the people who live, work, and play on the shores of the Great Lakes, including my family and the community of Burlington. Our water is our life, and it is up to us to protect it for generations to come. We are proud, as the Government of Canada, to support this important work.”
 – The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development 

“Support from the Great Lakes Protection Initiative is critical for invasive-species management and has provided valuable tools for Royal Botanical Gardens to implement Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement objectives. Specifically, funding has helped us implement important restoration projects for the diverse habitats of Cootes Paradise and Grindstone Marsh.”
– Tys Theijsmeijer, Head of Natural Areas, Royal Botanical Gardens 

Quick facts

  • More than 40 million people live in the Great Lakes Basin. One in four Canadians draw their drinking water directly from the Great Lakes. 

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

Associated links


Moira Kelly
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 Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page 

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