Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative

The Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative will provide resources to address nearshore water quality and aquatic ecosystem health, and toxic and nuisance algae in the Great Lakes.  The focus will be on Lake Erie and will entail enhanced water quality monitoring and new modeling and research.  These efforts will enable Canada to set ecosystem objectives and establish phosphorus reduction targets with the United States, pursuant to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and to prepare policy options to meet these targets.  This Initiative will involve collaboration with the Province of Ontario and will include broad multi-stakeholder engagement.  The new knowledge and approaches developed will be transferrable to other Great Lakes and elsewhere in Canada.

The activities of the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative are foundational to set the stage for effective and coordinated action amongst partners to improve nearshore waters and combat toxic and nuisance algae in the Great Lakes.  Over the longer term, there should be a decrease in algal blooms leading to better water quality and reduced risk to human health, protected habitats for fish and wildlife, increased economic benefits and generally, an improved quality of life for citizens that live along the shores of the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative will support meeting the following Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goal and target:
Goal 3: Protect and enhance the quality of water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems.
Target 3.2 Contribute to the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes by developing and gaining binational acceptance of objectives and strategies for the management of nutrients in the Great Lakes by 2015.

A Strategic Environmental Assessment completed for this proposal reveals that positive environmental effects will be realized as a result of the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative with many of the direct environmental effects occurring over the longer term.  The monitoring, modeling and research under the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative will support effective and coordinated future action that is focussed on achieving clear targets.  Throughout the Initiative, regular sharing and reporting of information to partners and stakeholders will provide opportunities for new knowledge to be integrated into ongoing planning and projects; as well as, allow the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative to benefit from the examination and input of stakeholders on a regular basis.

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