Ontario Newsroom

Turning Environmental Penalties into Environmental Benefits

Archived Bulletin

Turning Environmental Penalties into Environmental Benefits

Ontario Funding Local Projects to Help Protect and Restore the Environment

Ontario is supporting environmental protection and restoration projects in up to 13 communities across the province by reinvesting penalties collected from environmental violations in local watersheds.

Organizations, communities, schools and conservation authorities can apply for grants through the Ontario Community Environment Fund (OCEF) to support community-based environmental remediation projects, capacity building to prevent or manage spills and environmental research, education and outreach activities.

The province collects penalties when environmental violations occur in local watersheds, such as fuel or other chemicals spills. Each year, Ontario reinvests these funds through the OCEF in local projects in the same communities where the violations occurred to support restoration and future protections.

This year, more than $209,000 from the OCEF is available for the following watersheds:

  • Black River - Lake Simcoe
  • Central Abitibi
  • Credit River -16 Mile Creek
  • Englehart
  • Humber - Don River
  • Michipicoten - Magpie
  • Penetangore
  • Spanish
  • Syndenham 
  • Upper Abitibi
  • Upper Groundhog
  • Whitefish

The deadline to apply for the 2017 intake of the OCEF is May 25, 2017.

Protecting watersheds and our environment now and into the future is part of Ontario's plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • The Great Lakes basin is home to 98 per cent of Ontario’s population and 80 per cent of the province’s power generation.
  • Since 2007, Ontario has invested more than $140 million into 1,000 local Great Lakes protection projects that have dramatically reduced harmful pollutants, restored contaminated areas and engaged hundreds of partners and community groups to protect and restore the health of the Great Lakes and inland lakes.

Additional Resources


“The Ontario Community Environment Fund empowers communities to help protect and restore the environment in areas where a spill or violation has happened. These projects will help safeguard our watershed and all those who depend on it.”

Glen Murray

Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Contacts



Environment and Energy