The Ontario Federation of Agriculture welcomes this week’s news of a $6 million investment by the provincial government into projects that will support the health of the Great Lakes.
The funding is being shared by 30 multi-year community projects that will focus on reducing the amount of plastic litter, road salt and agricultural nutrients from entering watercourses, and making progress on restoring environmentally degraded areas of the Great Lakes,
The announcement was made by Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks David Piccini at Kaiser Lake Farms near Napanee, an OFA member farm overlooking the Bay of Quinte and known leader in agricultural environmental stewardship.
Of particular interest to farmers is the support for projects that support agricultural land stewardship and minimize agriculture’s impact on the Great Lakes, notes OFA Director Bruce Buttar, who was on hand for the announcement.
Lower Trent Region Conservation Authority is receiving $65,000 to work with area farmers to reduce excess nutrients from agricultural lands, and Quinte Conservation Association has been allocated $162,791 to reduce nuisance algae and manage phosphorus in the Bay of Quinte Area of Concern.
Raisin Region Conservation Authority will use its $140,000 in funding to develop and implement an agricultural land stewardship program and facilitate an outreach and education program to improve water quality within the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern.
Areas of Concern are specific geographic locations in the Great Lakes identified in the mid-1980s where human activities had severely degraded water quality and ecosystem health.
According to Buttar, the projects will help keep run-off from agricultural nutrients out of the Great Lakes. Kaiser Lake Farms showcased various practices farmers can use to protect water quality and the environment, including buffer strips, grass waterways, cover crops and tile draining.
The programs will be advertised through the Lower Trent Region Conservation Authority’s website and social media channels with more details on eligibility to be announced soon.