The first Progress Report on Great Lakes Strategy was released on March 22nd, coinciding with World Water Day and Canada Water Week. The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate is bound under the Great Lakes Protection Act to report on key accountabilities every three years. The first Progress Report details how much the Ministry and its partners have accomplished since the release of the Great Lakes Strategy in 2012. The report represents the joint effort of over a dozen Great Lakes agencies and ministries, including Ontario’s MECC. As Minister Glen Murray writes in his introduction, the basic aim is to keep the Great Lakes “drinkable, swimmable, and fishable” for a future generations.
The Great Lakes Strategy outlined 6 key goals:
- Engaging and Empowering Communities
- Protecting water for human and ecological health
- Improving wetlands, beaches, and coastal areas
- Protecting habitats and species
- Enhancing understanding and adaptation
- Ensuring environmentally sustainable economic opportunities and innovation.
The report is broken down by these goals in a chapter-by-chapter basis, each chapter boasting a fast-fact header with bottom-line results for each. The report also takes some time to explain the new Great Lakes Protection Act, which was introduced in October 2015.
For a detailed look at the First Progress Report is accessible here, on the Government of Ontario’s website.