$2.5 million provided for Great Lakes projects

David Puccini, Ontario's Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks. (Photo of Bob Montgomery, Blackburn Media Inc.)

The Point Clark Lighthouse was the backdrop as provincial officials announced millions for projects to protect the health of the Great Lakes.

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Agriculture Minister, was joined by Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Dave Piccini for the announcement.

Piccini announced provincial funding of $2.5 million for 19 new projects to protect the health of the Great Lakes.

“One of the big focuses for our government is protecting our waterways and ensuring clean water, not just for now, but for generations to come. Its not a top-down approach from Ontario, rather working from the grass roots up with local leaders. It’s really important to work hand in hand with our agricultural community, who are already leaders,” said Piccini.

The Pine River Watershed Initiative Network is getting $60,000 to provide outreach, education and guidance to local farmers.

$300,000 will go to the Ausable Bayfield, St. Clair Region, Maitland Valley, Saugeen Valley and Grey Sauble Conservation Authorities to provide soil management and crop production support to farmers.

“So they’re doing important work on best practices for run-off. I mean we know that in order to keep our farms running, nutrient management is important to that and that run-off ends up in our waterways, so they’re working with our farmers on that,” added Piccini.

The Great Lakes Basin is home a large portion of Ontario’s agricultural land.

Huron-Bruce MPP, and the the province’s agriculture minister, Lisa Thompson says best practices can make a difference.

“All of our local conservation authorities are moving ahead with initiatives now to help us share best practices and encourage farmers to think about how they can make a difference on their own farm, utilizing soil management and planting trees to control any run-offs that could potentially happen.”