IJC survey on issues and water quality in the Great Lakes
The International Joint Commission Great Lakes Water Quality Board invites you to complete the following survey about issues related to the Great Lakes and water quality.
This online poll explores the public’s opinions, values, and beliefs about the Great Lakes as well as their concerns and suggestions for the future. Building upon a random telephone survey conducted in January 2021, we are seeking a wide range of input from people like yourself in this online survey.
Link to the poll: https://ijc.org/en/wqb/great-lakes-poll
For additional information: https://ijc.org/en/wqb/great-lakes-poll-info
It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete, and all individual responses will be kept in strict confidence.
MECP Funding for protection and conservation
The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) is currently accepting applications for our enhanced Ontario Community Environment Fund (OCEF). We are specifically looking for projects that focus on the protection and preservation of our land, air and water.
As part of our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan commitment to protect our air, land and water, Ontario is holding polluters accountable by strengthening the enforcement tools we use to ensure compliance with environmental laws, while taking steps to help communities improve the environment in areas impacted by pollution.
Our enhanced Ontario Community Environment Fund invests money, collected from environmental penalties, back into community-based environmental projects in the region where a violation or environmental impact happened.
This year, close to $900,000 is available for projects in four of the five regions identified by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks regions. Please visit the OCEF webpage to see if your project proposal would fall within one of the following eligible regions:
- Northern Region: $475,009.52
- Southwest Region: $306,151.65
- Eastern Region: $62,864.40
- West-Central Region: $43,298.00
- Central Region : No funding available this round because the value of penalties collected did not meet the minimum funding threshold of $5,000.
The funding available this year (2021) was collected between 2016 and 2019, while the program was temporarily paused. During this period, the ministry considered how the fund could be enhanced in the future, outlined in our proposal to expand the use of administrative monetary penalties to a broader range of environmental violations.
Not-for-profit organizations, First Nations and Métis communities, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities and conservation authorities can apply to access these government grants. During the competitive evaluation process, applicants will be required to demonstrate that their projects have a direct benefit to the environment, and support one, or both of the following goals:
- Increased environmental restoration and remediation activities, that repair environmental harm. Project examples may include, but are not limited to:
- Planting trees, shrubs or plants to help mitigate and adapt to climate change
- Rebuilding fish habitat and creating fish spawning beds
- Stabilizing stream banks and creating buffer strips to reduce nutrient run-off
- Restoring streams to improve habitat and water quality
- Resilient communities and local solutions to environmental issues. Project examples may include, but are not limited to:
- Improving the resilience of natural ecosystems by restoring wetlands and preserving areas of significant environmental and ecological importance
- Installing rain gardens to reduce the risk of flooding and help communities adapt to climate change
The deadline to submit an application through the Transfer Payment Ontario portal is June 23rd, 2021 at 5:00 PM. Please review the program application guide for guidance on applying to the program. We will notify successful applicants of the result by summer 2021 and projects may begin in fall 2021.
Need more Information?We will be holding webinars to provide information and updates on the program, and application process. To attend a webinar, please respond to this email and provide your name, organization, contact information, and preferred webinar date. You may select one of the following dates to attend:
- Wednesday, May 19th – 1:30PM – 3:00PM
- Thursday, May 27th – 10:30AM – 12:00PM
*Meeting details will follow via email, in the days leading up to the event.
If you have any additional questions, please email OCEF@ontario.ca.
Explore Ontario Parks for free all summer long
The Covid-19 pandemic has meant many more stay-cations and exploring local areas. This summer, Ontario Parks is offering free weekday passes from Monday to Thursday at 115 provincial parks beginning June 7th, 2021. The free weekday passes increase accessibility to the parks as well as limits the amount of human contact at park offices.
For those looking to venture out to the parks on the weekend, users are encouraged to book their pass 5-days in advance if they plan to venture 17 of the provincial parks on the pilot program which include northern favourites such as Batchewana Bay, Kakabeka falls and Lake Superior. Booking ahead of time ensures you have a spot and reduces wasted time and fuel by arriving at the park when no spots are available despite an early arrival.
Some of the parks along the shore of Lake Superior are: Batchewana, Pancake Bay, Lake Superior, Neys, Rainbow Falls, Sleeping Giant, Pigeon River. While parks close to Thunder Bay are Kakabeka Falls, Ouimet Canyon, Silver Falls.
When visiting the parks, it is important to always leave no trace. Leaving no trace means that everything you bring to the park leaves with you or is disposed of in a proper, responsible manner. Leaving no trace also means leaving what you find. Any rocks, plants, wildlife, or other natural features should be left alone, the only exception to “leave what you find” is picking up garbage and litter. It also important to stay on designated trails and not venture off paths. Lake Superior is an amazing place and cultivating a connection with it is a great way to protect for future generations to appreciate.