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Cleaning Up Peninsula Harbour

Archived News Release

Cleaning Up Peninsula Harbour

McGuinty Government Supporting Clean, Healthy Great Lakes

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Clean-up of Lake Superior's Peninsula Harbour near Marathon will start this spring.

Ontario, the federal government, and Ball Packaging, a former owner of the community's now closed pulp and paper mill, are financing the clean-up project. The work will improve water quality and help ensure the health of the harbour's natural habitat by capping leftover waste from past polluters. This is the last step in the plan to restore the harbour to a safe, healthy state. The Great Lakes enhance the quality of life for Ontario families by providing drinking water as well as recreation, environmental and economic benefits in our communities. Protecting our Great Lakes is part of the McGuinty government's plan to become North America's water innovation leader.

Quick Facts

  • The federal government will coordinate the contracts and work to finish the sediment capping. Work is expected to begin this spring and be completed in the fall.
  • Peninsula Harbour was designated an Area of Concern in 1987. The area includes the Marathon waterfront and extends four kilometres into Lake Superior.
  • An Area of Concern is an area where the environment has been harmed, resulting in problems that may include: beach closures; loss of fish and wildlife habitat; negative effects on fish and wildlife populations; restrictions on fish consumption; and effects on drinking water.
  • The Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish advises people to eat fewer fish from Peninsula Harbour than most other areas of Lake Superior.
  • Ontario and Canada share responsibility in cleaning up 43 Areas of Concern under the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem.
  • The pulp and paper mill at Marathon closed in 2009.

Background Information

Additional Resources


Michael Gravelle

“This is good news for Marathon, and good news for the Great Lakes. The funding Ontario has secured from the former mill owner, together with our own funding, and our collaboration with the federal government is going to help us restore the health of this ecosystem.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Natural Resources

Jim Bradley

“Our action is bringing us one step closer to completing the clean up of this historic contamination of Peninsula Harbour. This is another part of our ongoing commitment to restoring and protecting the Great Lakes for today and for future generations.”

Jim Bradley

Minister of the Environment

Media Contacts

  • Maya Gorham

    Minister's Office, Ministry of Natural Resources


  • Media Desk

    Communications Services Branch, Ministry of Natural Resources


  • Joe Kim

    Minister's Office, Ministry of the Environment


  • Kate Jordan

    Communications Branch, Ministry of the Environment




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