Government of Canada Announces Additional Projects to Clean-Up Lake Simcoe

BARRIE, ONTARIO — (Marketwire) — 02/27/09 — Canada’s Environment Minister Jim Prentice, joined by the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, and local member of Parliament Patrick Brown, announced today the second group of projects under the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund.

“We’re investing in projects that will help to ensure a healthy future for Lake Simcoe. The lake is a key part of Canada’s natural environment, and is also an important resource that provides safe drinking water for eight municipalities and generates more than $200 million a year for the local economy through recreational activities,” said Environment Minister Jim Prentice.

Initiatives funded by the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund are designed to preserve and protect the environment of Lake Simcoe. Twenty-six projects will receive a total of $4,732,031 as part of an overall investment of $30 million over five years, which was announced in February 2008.

This investment to clean up Lake Simcoe is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Clean Water, which includes projects like the Health of the Oceans initiative to protect Canada’s three oceans, the cleanup of Randle Reef in Hamilton Harbour, and action on pollution in Lake Winnipeg.

Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund

The Government of Canada believes that clean, safe and secure water is something all Canadians have the right to enjoy. That is why we are taking action to preserve and protect Lake Simcoe. The health of the lake has been steadily declining for many years. Declining water quality is the primary challenge, and residents around the lake are seeking solutions. Through a $30 million, five-year clean-up fund, the Government of Canada is helping the residents restore the health of the lake.

The Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund is used to support priority projects involving community organizations, land owners, Aboriginal communities, non-government environmental groups, the federal, provincial and municipal governments and the Conservation Authority. The fund will address:

– Reducing rural and urban pollution to cut the amount of phosphorus going into the lake

– Rehabilitating fish and wildlife habitats

– Improving the information-gathering and monitoring of phosphorus levels for assessing progress

– Reducing pollution from sewage, sewer overflow and storm water.

Twice a year, Environment Canada solicits public input for clean-up projects and a public advisory committee recommends to the Minister which projects should go ahead.

The fund is administered by Environment Canada in consultation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Province of Ontario, the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority and other key stakeholders.

Environment Canada is assisted by the Protect and Preserve the Environment of Lake Simcoe Committee (PROPEL), and a Technical Review Committee. The PROPEL Committee members were appointed by the Minister of the Environment on October 12, 2007, to advise on priority actions and funding recommendations. The strategic priorities for the fund will be reviewed on an annual basis by Environment Canada, PROPEL and thee Technical Review Committee.

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