Great Lakes water quality agreement: habitat and species

A woman canoeing on pondA girl is paddling her canoe through a wetland marsh.

Photo: © Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Objective: To provide valuable ecosystem services that will prevent the further loss of habitat and species that contribute to the protection of Great Lakes water quality.

This new annex of the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) was created to strengthen collaborative actions in order to contribute to the recovery of native species populations and to achieve a net gain in habitat.

Why is action on habitat and species important?

The Great Lakes ecosystem provides a critical source of income, water, food and energy, key transport routes and important spaces for recreation and tourism. Thriving habitats and native fish and wildlife communities contribute to the social and economic vitality of the Great Lakes.

Unfortunately, many human activities put pressure on the ecosystem that results in the loss or degradation of some habitats and threatens the species that those ecosystems support. For example, many coastal habitats such as wetlands are degraded due to shoreline development and hardening and other stressors.

In order to protect water quality, we must support ecosystem health by ensuring the resilience of native species and habitats.

Commitment to key activities within the 2012 GLWQA

Expected outcomes

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