Organizations working to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes and surrounding water systems can now apply for up to $25,000 in funding.

The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate change is now accepting applications for the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund. Not-for-profit organizations, schools, First Nations and Métis communities and other local groups are encouraged to apply by December 1, 2016.

A total of $1.5 million will be awarded through the fund this year. Successful applicants will receive up to $25,000 per project. Since 2012, $6 million has been awarded to 305 community-based projects in Great Lakes watershed areas, including the St. Lawrence River and the Ottawa River basins.

Successful projects must have a direct environmental benefit to the Great Lakes. Past projects and activities supported include:

  • Planting native grasses and trees to protect the shores of the St. Clair River.
  • Creating rain gardens to reduce the effect of storm water along Toronto’s beaches.
  • Restoring wetland habitat along Lake Erie.
  • Controlling invasive species along the Ottawa River.
  • Cleaning up beaches or shorelines throughout Ontario.
  • Naturalizing stream banks and shorelines along the Speed and Eramosa Rivers.

According to the MOECC, investing in watershed protection, nutrient run-off reduction and fighting climate change is part of the government’s economic plan to grow the economy and create jobs. Ontario’s Great Lakes Basin is home to 40% of Canada’s economic activity and 95% of Ontario’s agricultural land.

For more information or to apply, visit: www.ontario.ca

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