Great Lakes Reports2019-06-18T17:20:33+00:00

On June 18, 2019, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Collaborative submitted a 10-year, $100 million-a-year Action Plan to protect the Great Lakes (Action Plan 2030) to Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, and Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Honourable Rod Phillips.

Following a nine-month engagement process, the Collaborative’s Expert Panel, supported by Issue Table members, stakeholders, and Indigenous advisors, have proposed recommendations to tackle four complex challenges facing the Great Lakes: climate change and flooding, toxics and other harmful pollutants, nutrients contributing to harmful algal blooms, and bacteriological contamination of beaches.

Climate Change

To protect Great Lakes shoreline communities and ecosystems, the Collaborative recommends providing direct assistance and funding to municipal and Indigenous communities in shoreline resiliency priority zones hardest hit by extreme flooding and erosion associated with climate change.

Toxics and Other Harmful Pollutants

To reduce exposure to toxics in the Great Lakes region, the Collaborative recommends actively identifying and investigating human and environmental exposure to toxics and other harmful chemicals, and requiring more immediate and dedicated action to reduce exposure.

Nutrients and Harmful Algal Blooms

To accelerate reduction of nutrients causing harmful algal blooms, the Collaborative recommends harnessing the power of big data to identify hotspots and work with landowners, municipalities, Indigenous communities, and others in priority areas or properties that contribute the most.

Beaches and Bacteriological Contamination

Using a risk-based approach, the Collaborative recommends identifying beaches with chronic bacteriological contamination problems, and requiring action to clean up the source of contamination, including untreated sewage.

The Collaborative has identified the need for Government of Canada, in collaboration with the Government of Ontario, to invest in and deliver on 15 critical actions to protect the Great Lakes and those who live in the region. Through Action Plan 2030, investing in the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes will provides immediate and long-term benefits. The Collaborative recommends all governments and relevant partners commit to delivering on this innovative and bold action plan to protect the Great Lakes.

Media Images

To download images, click folder of media images  (including social media share images)

Gord Miller, Expert Panel Co-Chair, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Collaborative (photo credit Quinn Corkal)
Jean Cinq-Mars, Expert Panel Co-Chair, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Collaborative (photo credit Quinn Corkal)
Great Lakes Summit May 1, 2019 Group (photo credit Quinn Corkal)
Great Lakes Summit May 1, 2019 Break out group (photo credit Quinn Corkal)
Beaches: photo credit Flickr user Gregs Southern Ontario
Climate Change: Lake Huron erosion
Nutrients: Banding nitrogen closer to time of crop needs. Photo credit Dale Cowan.
Climate change: South Bay, Georgian Bay. Photo credit: Nikki Priestman Severn Sound Environmental Association
Toxics: Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Chemical Industry (WorldJustice

Second Phase

This completes the first phase of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Collaborative process focused on the Great Lakes. The second phase focused on the St. Lawrence region was launched in May of 2019. New Issue Tables have formed to explore, discuss, and draft recommendations for the St. Lawrence region by the end of 2019. Stay tuned by visiting Collaboratif Grands-Lacs – Saint-Laurent. You can also sign up for the Collaborative’s newsletter to receive updates over the coming months.

More Information

For more information about Great Lakes Action Plan 2030 and the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Collaborative, please contact:

Nicola Crawhall

Great Lakes St. Lawrence Collaborative Secretariat