Ontario Offering Grants to Help Protect the Great Lakes
Applications Now Open to Local Environmental Stewards
Ontario is calling on community groups to help protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes by applying for a Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund grant.
Now in its fourth year, the fund provides a grant of up to $25,000 to not-for-profit organizations, schools, First Nations and Métis communities and other local groups for projects that have a direct environmental benefit to the Great Lakes. Past projects and activities supported by the fund have included:
- Planting trees
- Creating rain gardens
- Restoring wetland habitat
- Controlling invasive species
- Cleaning up beaches or shorelines
- Naturalizing stream banks and shorelines.
Applications will be accepted until October 23, 2015.
Supporting local efforts to protect the Great Lakes and other watersheds is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic and innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- This year’s fund will award $1.5 million in total for eligible projects.
- Since 2012, $4.5 million has been awarded to 221 community-based projects in Great Lakes watershed areas, including the St. Lawrence River Basin and the Ottawa River.
- Projects must be completed by February 2017.
- Since 2012, more than 11,000 volunteers have helped plant 85,125 trees, release 2,133 fish, create or enhance 643 kilometres of trail and collect 586 bags of garbage.
- Ontario’s Great Lakes Basin is home to 40 per cent of Canada’s economic activity and 95 per cent of Ontario’s agricultural land.
“I strongly encourage people to become local guardians of their lakes and apply for a Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund grant. This fund gives communities the opportunity to undertake activities that will make a real difference for the environment, while uniting community members around a common goal. The fund not only recognizes and supports our local Great Lakes champions, it empowers them to do their part to restore, protect and conserve our Great Lakes to keep them drinkable, swimmable and fishable.”