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  • News
  • March 23, 2018

Ontario Invests in Five Local Great Lakes Projects

York Region Takes Action to Protect the Great Lakes

MPP Michael Chan announced today that Ontario is supporting five projects in York Region as part of the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund.

The Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund provides grants to not-for-profit organizations, schools, First Nations and Métis communities and other groups to restore habitat, improve the health of lakes or rivers, clean up shorelines or strengthen water quality.

“I am proud of our government’s commitment to empower local organizations and volunteers as guardians for the Great Lakes and the rivers and streams that flow into them.  Our community’s beautiful natural environment includes the Rouge watershed and the fund’s support will help protect it and keep it healthy.”
Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville

Details of the grants and description of the projects, totaling $121,570, include:

  • Friends of the Rouge Watershed - $25,000 - to engage youth and community volunteers to help plant 10,000 trees in Markham and Toronto.
  • Ontario Streams - $25,000 - to work to reduce sediment, connect fish habitat and engage communities in cold water fisheries habitat restoration in the Rouge, Humber and Lynde Creek watersheds.
  • LEAF - Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests - $21,800 - to work in partnership with York Region to hold a series of community events to improve the health of urban forest in Richmond Hill.
  • Ontario Water Centre - $24,770 – to engage local students, along with experts, in reducing runoff into Lake Simcoe through the creation of a raised-garden ecosystem, known as a Hugelkultur garden.
  • Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation - $25,000 – to enhance 1.06 hectares of wetland habitat by planting native trees, shrubs, and aquatic plants to enhance the natural features of the Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area.

Protecting and restoring the Great Lakes is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. 


  • This year, Ontario is awarding over $1.5 million to over 60 local environmental projects across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin.
  • The Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund provides up to $25,000 per project to restore and protect the Great Lakes and the rivers and streams that flow into them.
  • Since 2012, the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund has helped more than 37,000 volunteers plant over 285,000 trees and shrubs, release over 800,000 fish, create or enhance 760 kilometres of trail and collect over 2,800 bags of garbage.
  • More than 98 per cent of Ontarians live in watersheds of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
  • Research shows we can expect an economic return of up to $2 for every dollar we invest to improve the health of the Great Lakes.
  • Ontario’s Great Lakes Basin is home to about 40 per cent of Canada’s economic activity.

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