Local Actions to Protect Lake Erie
Ontario is building on the launch of the Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan, to protect the health of Lake Erie by funding 19 community projects in the Lake Erie Watershed.
The government is providing over $430,000 to not-for-profit organizations, schools, First Nations and Métis communities and other local groups to restore and protect Lake Erie and the rivers and streams that flow into it.
Since 2012, $1.7 million has been awarded to 80 projects in the Lake Erie Watershed through the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund (GLGCF). These projects:
- Engaged over 4,500 youth and students, and over 5,000 volunteers.
- Restored or enhanced 4.3 square kilometres (over 1,000 acres) of land and wetlands.
- Planted over 100,000 trees and shrubs along riparian areas and headland waters.
2018 GLGCF projects for Lake Erie communities include:
St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, Lambton Country - St. Clair River Recovery - $25,000 to restore 20 acres of wetlands and uplands along Hardy Creek, in the St Clair Region, to help enhance habitat for at risk, reptile species and engage local students on related issues.
ReForest London, London - $11,244 to enhance local habitat in four parks by planting almost one and a half acres of woodland in London, helping to improve water quality in the Thames River and Lake Erie.
Meesingw, Delaware Nation Council - $20,100 to provide education about environmental stewardship, cultural canoeing practices and harmful pollutants affecting the Thames River. This project will include a river clean-up canoe trip, collecting data on the health of the river and an invasive species count.
Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, London - $25,000 to help prevent phosphorous loads entering the headwaters of the Thames River by restoring parts of the riparian zone along the Medway Creek and planting native trees, shrubs and wetland plants with the help of student volunteers.
Association for Canadian Educational Resources (ACER), Windsor - $24,025 to reduce nutrient runoff and erosion around the lake by planting 800 native trees and 200 native shrubs, with the help of Essex Region Conservation Authority and local schools, institutions and NGOs.
Municipality of Bayham - $23,000 to install, with the Otter Valley Naturalists, 390 metres of fencing to protect 2,300 metres of bio-swale at Port Burwell Beach to help reduce erosion, protect dune species and improve water quality within the Lake Erie watershed.
Kee-Mo-Kee Campsite of the United Church of Canada, Komoka - $20,000 to help 20 camp volunteers install 280 metres of fencing at a ravine slope in Kamoka Creek to help reduce erosion and create a pathway for animal species to cross.
Haldimand Stewardship Council, Inc, Haldimand - $25,000 to engage and encourage landowners to restore wetlands on their properties at five sites within the Lake Erie and Niagara River watersheds, to improve hydrological function, water quality, species habitat and ecosystem health. Silt fences will also be installed around wetland borders to protect against erosion.
Haldimand Stewardship Council, Inc, Haldimand - $25,000 to protect habitat and species by foresting land close to environmentally sensitive areas. In partnership with Forest Ontario, the council will plant 40,000 trees on six sites with 15-year conservation easements signed to protect the 20 hectares of land.
Brant Waterways Foundation, Brantford - $12,000 to work with volunteers, including 500 high school students, in Brantford over Earth Week 2018 to plant 4,320 trees.
Carolinian Canada Coalition, Middlesex - $25,000 to engage 140 of Middlesex's youth to restore four acres of wetlands, create 10 acres of grasslands and improve six and a half acres of shrub thickets and woodlands in an important part of Lake Erie Drainage Basin. These activities will effectively act as a sponge, cleaning and filtering thousands of litres of agricultural runoff water.
Kettle Creek Conservation Authority, Central Elgin - $24,375 to help form the Kettle Creek Environmental Youth Corps, whose goal is to plant 4,500 native trees and shrubs, establish five acres of tall grass prairies and maintain 1,000 metres of hiking trails. They will also erect a viewing platform, remove three invasive species and conduct environmental monitoring around the Kettle Creek watershed.
Catfish Creek Conservation Authority, Elgin - $25,000 to stabilize 150 metres of degraded shoreline using bank protection treatments. Twenty five student volunteers will also plant 500 native hardwood trees and shrubs, and 10kg of grass seed to create edge habitat and biodiversity.
Stewardship Oxford, Woodstock - $25,000 to excavate and enhance Brick Ponds Wetlands to improve wildlife habitat zones, public access and water quality. They will run six hands-on events for approximately 360 students, planting 1,350 plants and 60kg of native seed.
OPIRG, Guelph - $25,000 to restore the Speed and Eramosa river-lands to increase plant biodiversity and control invasive species, protect urban wildlife and pollinator habitat, improving the overall health of the river systems.
2018 GLGCF projects for Lake Erie and other Great Lakes communities include:
Rural Lambton Stewardship Network, Sarnia - $25,000 to remove any non-native grass or invasive species and drill plant native seed in at least 25 acres of the wetlands in the St. Clair River connecting channel of Lake Erie. They will also restore at least 25 acres of this area with locally grown plant species with the help of community volunteers.
Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, Peterborough - $25,000 to help conserve Ontario's at-risk turtle species by treating, rehabilitating, and releasing injured turtles, and, releasing hatchlings raised from the eggs of deceased or injured females back into the mother's home wetland area throughout the Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and Lake Erie watersheds.
Land Care Niagara, Niagara Regional Municipality - $25,000 to plant habitat for interior forest species, increasing native tree diversity and improving water absorption and runoff in the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie watersheds.
Toronto Zoo, Toronto - $25,000 to reduce water consumption in participating schools from several Ontario school boards and reduce stormwater runoff from school properties. Initiatives could include planting water gardens and installing low-pressure taps.