The governments of Canada and Ontario have renewed their commitment to restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes by signing the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health (COA), 2014.
The five-year agreement commits Canada and Ontario to:
- Take action to address algal blooms, including blue-green algae
- Complete actions to clean up historical Areas of Concern including the Niagara River, Nipigon Bay, Peninsula Harbour, the Bay of Quinte and the St. Lawrence River (Cornwall)
- Help prevent aquatic invasive species from entering the lakes
- Protect the lakes from harmful pollutants
- Conserve important fish and wildlife habitats
- Strengthen collaboration with the Great Lakes community
The Great Lakes are vitally important. They are home to many unique ecosystems and species. The Great Lakes also provide us with drinking water, recreation, energy, transportation, and enhance our quality of life. The 2014 COA is the result of negotiations between Canada and Ontario and engagement with the Great Lakes community.
Both governments look forward to continuing to work with the Great Lakes community to protect the Great Lakes, including First Nations and Métis, municipal governments, conservation authorities, non-government organizations, the scientific community, industrial, agricultural, recreational and tourism sectors, and members of the public.
- The Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health (COA) builds on a long history of environmental cooperation between Canada and Ontario and is the eighth of its kind since 1971.
- COA establishes shared Great Lakes priorities among eight federal departments and three Ontario ministries.
- COA identifies time-bounded measurable goals, results and commitments and strengthens cooperation.
- The Great Lakes play a vital role in the physical, social, and economic life of Canada, and support almost 40 per cent of Canada’s economic activity.
- The Great Lakes directly provide drinking water to more than 10 million Ontario residents.