Water quality is critical for both human and environmental health. Although the world briefly paused in March 2020, life has begun to resume some sort of normalcy and the government of Ontario has just released funding to improve the health of the Great Lakes. Great Lakes water quality is so important. The Great Lakes store about 20% of the world’s freshwater, but only about 1% of the world’s renewable freshwater (the percentage of water that is replenished each year) (Source) . Canada as a country has approximately 6.5% of the world’s renewable freshwater supply, but the majority of the water is in Canada’s north and is not usable by the majority of the population (Bakker, 2007).
Water quality in the Great Lakes is so important to protect because of the ecosystem services, recreation, energy, and economy it provides. The Great Lakes are facing increasing threats from harmful pollutants, increased population, increased phosphorus loads, invasive species, to climate change and many more. The Government of Ontario is providing over $5.8 million to fund over 65 projects in 2020 to help improve the health of the Great Lakes.
Some of the local projects being funded to address issues in the Thunder Bay/Lake Superior watershed are:
|Recipient||Description of Project||Funding ($)|
|EcoSuperior Environment Programs||Implement the Lake Superior Lakewide Action and Management Plan and increase awareness on protecting and restoring Lake Superior through outreach and education||$163,087.00|
|Lakehead University||Provide administrative and coordination support for Lake Superior North Shore Areas of Concern||$87,200.00|
|Lakehead University||Improve understanding of climate impacts and the relationship between climate and water in Neebing River||$182,900.00|
|The Friends of Chippewa Park||Breakwater Removal at Chippewa Park Main Beach to Improve Water Quality||$75,000.00|
The projects are run by organizations, communities, universities, and Indigenous peoples throughout the province. There are area/lake specific projects, as well as, projects that address issues facing the Great Lakes as a whole.
Protecting the Great Lakes is vital so that current and future generations can enjoy what the Great Lakes. Where areas have declined in quality, the projects work to restore the ecosystem to good health to provide water where people can swim, drink, and fish.
For more information visit:
Supporting Projects to Improve the Heath of the Great Lakes
Bakker, K. (2007). Eau Canada: The future of Canadian water. Place of publication not identified: UBC.