Great Lakes action plan

With annual funding of $8 million toward the Great Lakes Action Plan, the Government of Canada makes progress toward cleaning up severely contaminated and degraded locations around the Great Lakes known as Areas of Concern. Restoring water quality and other beneficial uses of these ecosystems is a key commitment under the Canada-US Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA).

History of the Great Lakes Action Plans

Since 1989, there have been five Great Lakes Action Plans with most of the funding allocated to making progress in Areas of Concern.

2010-2012 Great Lakes Action Plan for Areas of Concern - Phase V (2010 to 2012)

$16 million over two years to continue to implement the Government's action plan to protect the Great Lakes by cleaning up areas identified as being the most degraded.

2005-2010 Great Lakes Action Plan for Areas of Concern - Phase IV (2005 to 2010)

$40 million ($8 million per year over five years) towards its commitment to restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Basin 2020 initiative was renewed as the 2005-2010 Great Lakes Action Plan for Areas of Concern.

The focus of this fourth phase of the Great Lakes Action Plan is to continue the work towards the environmental restoration of key aquatic areas of concern identified under the GLWQA.

Great Lakes Action Plan - Phase III (2000 to 2005) (also known as Great Lakes Basin 2020)

The Government of Canada's Budget 2000 announced federal funding of $40 million over five years to restore environmental quality in Areas of Concern identified in the Canada-US GLWQA. Great Lakes 2000 was renewed as the Great Lakes Basin 2020 initiative. The remediation of the environmental quality of selected Areas of Concern was a broader priority within Great Lakes Basin 2020, which contributed to three objectives:

  • A healthy environment;
  • Healthy citizens; and
  • Sustainable communities.

Great Lakes Action Plan - Phase II (1994 to 2000) (also known as Great Lakes 2000)

In 1994, the Program was renewed as Great Lakes 2000 to further the progress achieved in the first phase of the Great Lakes Action Plan and to continue delivering on commitments in the GLWQA. This second phase totalled $125 million over its six-year duration targeting:

  • Restoration of degraded ecosystems;
  • Prevention and control of pollutant impacts;
  • Conservation of human and ecosystem health; and
  • Integrated ecosystem management.

Great Lakes Action Plan - Phase I (1989 to 1994)

The Great Lakes Action Plan was developed to coordinate the federal government's work on the 1987 GLWQA Protocol. For the five years of phase I, the action plan totalled $125 million for:

  • The Preservation Program, which addressed the water and ecosystem quality components of the GLWQA Protocol;
  • The Great Lakes Clean-up Fund (now the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund) to ensure that required remedial measures within federal jurisdiction and within an Area of Concern were undertaken; and
  • The Great Lakes Health Effects Program, which addressed the human health aspects of the GLWQA Protocol.

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