Applications Now Open for Great Lakes Project Funding
Ontario is supporting the work of community groups across the province to protect the Great Lakes and the rivers and streams that flow into them.Applications for the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund are now open to organizations working to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes and surrounding water systems. Not-for-profit organizations, schools, First Nations and Métis communities and other local groups are encouraged to apply by December 1, 2016.
Successful projects must have a direct environmental benefit to the Great Lakes. Past projects and activities supported include:
- Planting native grasses and trees to protect the shores of the St. Clair River
- Creating rain gardens to reduce the effect of storm water along Toronto’s beach
- Restoring wetland habitat along Lake Erie
- Controlling invasive species along the Ottawa River
- Cleaning up beaches or shorelines throughout Ontario
- Naturalizing stream banks and shorelines along the Speed and Eramosa Rivers.
Investing in Great Lakes protection, reducing nutrient run-off and fighting climate change is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- More than 60 high school students from across Ontario will present solutions to Great Lakes problems on Oct. 6 at the Great Lakes Public Forum, Enercare Centre in Toronto.
- Ontario is showcasing water innovations at the Great Lakes Public Forum Oct. 4 – 6.
- Ontario is awarding $1.5 million in total through the fund this year for eligible projects. Successful applicants will receive up to $25,000 per project.
- This year’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund projects must be completed by February 2018.
- Since 2012, $6 million has been awarded to 305 community-based projects in Great Lakes watershed areas, including the St. Lawrence River and the Ottawa River basins.
- Since 2012, more than 25,000 volunteers have helped plant over 100,000 trees, release more than 350,000 fish, create or enhance 670 kilometres of trail and collect more than 1,600 bags of garbage from shorelines.
- Ontario’s Great Lakes Basin is home to 40 per cent of Canada’s economic activity and 95 per cent of Ontario’s agricultural land.
“People know what should be fixed or can be improved on the shorelines where they live. That’s why they make for perfect Great Lakes Guardians and why we are proud to be partners in their efforts to protect and preserve this amazing natural resource.”
— Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change