Ontario to provide $60M for Great Lakes cleanup projects, groundwater studiesThe Ontario government is investing a total of $60 million in Great Lakes cleanup projects and local groundwater studies. Part of the $50 million Great Lakes funding and all of the $10 million for groundwater studies is coming from the provincial SuperBuild program.
The $50 million for the Great Lakes will be used for priority projects such as:
cleanup of contaminated sediment in Ontario' Areas of Concern;
increased monitoring and reporting of water and sediment quality and of fish and wildlife health in and around the Great Lakes;
reduction in releases of toxic substances, such as mercury, into the lakes;
integration of information from governments and stakeholders, to improve decision-making and ensure the most appropriate remedial action; and.
enhanced habitat rehabilitation, conservation and protection.
Part of the $50 million is a grant of over $2.7 million to the Great Lakes Renewal Foundation to help launch local partnerships in Areas of Concern (ELW March 18). The provincial and federal governments are working to finalize a new Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (COA), and other investments from this funding will be directed toward specific projects to implement future actions under the 2002 COA.
The $10 million in groundwater study grants is being distributed to 31 Ontario communities and conservation authorities (CA's). The studies will map sensitive groundwater areas, survey groundwater use, delineate wellhead protection areas and identify potential contaminant sources. The information will be used to help communities develop local-source protection measures.