COA is an agreement between the federal and provincial governments. It sets goals and objectives to restore and protect the Great Lakes and helps Canada meet its commitments under the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Ontario and Canada work with hundreds of partners in the Great Lakes community to achieve those goals. The agreement has been signed seven times since 1971. The last agreement was signed in 2007 and expired in June 2012.
The work we do under COA helps to:
Canada and Ontario are now negotiating the details of a new agreement and will consult the public on the draft in the coming months. In the meantime, we continue to work with our partners to restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes.
The goals of the 2007 COA are to continue work to protect and restore habitat, prevent pollution, clean up environmental hotspots, deal with invasive species and protect the biodiversity of the Great Lakes Basin.
The 2007 COA was signed by the Ministry of the Environment with the ministries of Natural Resources and Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, and six federal departments and one federal agency.
Originally set to expire on March 31, 2010, the 2007 COA was extended to March 31, 2011. This one-year extension allows Canada and Ontario to continue their important work to protect and restore the Great Lakes while Canada and the U.S. negotiate amendments to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA).
Ontario signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative to support the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (COA). The memorandum has led to our sharing perspectives and joint projects in a number of areas, such as:
The memorandum took effect on July 17, 2008, when it was signed by the ministers of the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Cities Initiative. It expired on March 31, 2010 and a second memorandum was signed in June 2010 for another two years.
Read about the mandates of our COA partner agencies*
*The Ministry of the Environment is not responsible for and does not necessarily endorse the information on websites that are linked to from this site.