FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Government of Canada announces funding for Great Lakes protection and restoration in Burlington
September 10, 2018 – Burlington, Ontario
The Great Lakes are natural wonders. They are areas for recreation and economic growth, and they provide clean drinking water for millions of Canadians. Yet due to threats like toxic contaminants and climate change, the Government of Canada is taking action to protect and restore the Great Lakes now and for future generations.
Today, the Honourable Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington, announced on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, $525,000 in funding for a project. This is one of 36 projects which received contribution funding in 2018-19 under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative. Minister McKenna recently announced a total of $8.95 million over four years for these 36 projects.
This investment in the Royal Botanical Gardens Wetlands Rehabilitation Program will be used to restore 4.5 ha of wetland habitat and increase vegetate shoreline by 2 kilometers in Cootes Paradise and Grindstone Marsh to improve fish and wildlife habitat and water quality in the Hamilton Harbour Area of Concern. Restoring Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health is a priority for the government. The Great Lakes Protection Initiative supports projects that help prevent toxic and nuisance algae; reduce the release of harmful chemicals; engage the public through citizen science; and engage Indigenous Peoples.
The Great Lakes Protection Initiative is proud to support projects that tackle issues that matter to the lives of Canadians—from cleaner drinking water, to beaches we can enjoy, to waters in which we can fish and swim. Further, the Government of Canada recognizes the integral role that our partners, including Indigenous Peoples, play in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes.
The Government of Canada is ensuring we protect our natural spaces for future generations. That’s why through Budget 2018, we proposed a historic investment of more than $1.3 billion over five years to protect Canada’s nature, parks, and wild spaces.
“Through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative, we are working with local communities to protect our environment and strengthen our economy. These investments will ensure clean water for Canadians to be able to swim, drink, and fish.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Protecting Canada’s waterways is an important part of our Government’s responsibility. The funding for the Royal Botanical Garden’s Wetlands Rehabilitation Program will have significant benefits to Cootes Paradise and Grindstone Marsh for many years to come.”
– Hon. Karina Gould, Member of Parliament, Burlington
“The Royal Botanical Garden’s Wetlands Rehabilitation Program is a critical component in promoting the natural regeneration and sustainability of the wetland ecosystem. The benefits of the increase in investment include minimizing flood impacts, improving water quality and enhancing the wildlife population.”
– Rick Goldring, Mayor of Burlington
“As stewards of our region’s most vulnerable wetland habitats, Royal Botanical Gardens is fortunate to receive such invaluable support. With help from the Great Lakes Protection Initiative, RBG will continue to restore over 410 hectares of critical fish and wildlife wetland habitats while educating our community on the importance of conservation and biodiversity.”
– Mark Runciman, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Botanical Gardens
The Great Lakes are one the world’s largest repositories of freshwater—they contain 20% of world’s surface freshwater.
The Great Lakes contain one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth—sustaining 4,000 species of plants and animals.
The Great Lakes basin provides a source of drinking water for one in four Canadians and one in ten Americans.
The Great Lakes region represents the third-largest economy in the world, if measured as a country. It supplies 51 million jobs or nearly 30 percent of the combined American and Canadian workforce.
Great Lakes Protection Initiative
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