Get involved in keeping your own corner of the Great Lakes drinkable, swimmable and fishable.
On a beach on Ward's Island this week, just a short ferry ride from downtown Toronto, Environment Minister Jim Bradley announced the launch of the Great Lakes Community Action Fund. The fund is providing $1.5 million this year to help people restore and protect the Great Lakes through local initiatives such as organizing beach or shoreline clean-ups, helping protect wetlands and creating coastal and riverside trails.
The setting for the announcement was Environmental Defence's Blue Flag Beach Bonanza - a full day of beachfront activities from paddle-board demonstrations to beach yoga - organized to celebrate the Blue Flag beach program. This internationally recognized eco-label is raised at beaches and marinas meeting strict standards for water quality, environmental management and education. A Blue Flag tells people their beachfront is good to enjoy.
With the Great Lakes Guardian Fund, the Province is offering funding to community groups that want to do their part to keep beaches and shorelines clean and take on beach, stream and water-related improvement projects in their area of the Great Lakes. Grants of up to $25,000 are available for actions that contribute to the health of the Great Lakes.
The fund offers non-profit groups such as service clubs the opportunity to seek modest grants to finance Great Lakes restoration or protection activities in their communities. Funding is also available to First Nations and Métis communities and organizations.
Applications are now being accepted and will be assessed and processed in the order they are received, between July 25, 2012 and October 12, 2012. Find out how to apply at GreatLakesFund@ontario.ca.