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Government pours money into river recovery

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Government pours money into river recovery



October 26th, 2009

John Law / Niagara Falls Review



Niagara’s portion of the Great Lakes got just a bit greater Saturday.


The federal government gave a $326,000 financial boost for seven “areas of concern” in Niagara as part of Environment Canada’s Great Lakes Sustainability Fund. The money will go towards habitat improvement, cleaner water, and other issues identified by biologists, technicians and trained volunteers.


“We can’t forget the Great Lakes,” said Niagara Falls MP Rob Nicholson during the announcement at Table Rock. “They are a crucial ecosystem that contains 20% of the world’s fresh water supply.”


The government has pledged more than $2 million this year towards 39 trouble spots along the Great Lakes.


The seven spots in Niagara include the region’s Niagara Falls Central Pump Station, the wetland habitat along the Niagara River and the Niagara Parks Commission’s Niagara River Bank Stabilization Project at the northern point of Navy Island.


Debbie Whitehouse, executive director of the commission’s parks department, said bioengineering will be used to tackle erosion control.


“Other than a hard and fast engineering approach, this is a much more environmentally sustainable approach.”


The Niagara River has been cited as one of five binational areas of concern by the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund. There are 14 areas in total.


The fund provides help for initiatives aimed at reducing pollution, restoring habitat and cleaning up contaminated sediment. It also supports projects to clean up contaminated beaches.


The Niagara River portion of the Great Lakes runs 58 kilo-metres, from lakes Erie to Ontario. Its problems include excessive nutrient loads (such as phosphorous), inputting to the watershed, and wetland and habitat loss.


For more information on the fund, visit sustainabilityfund. gc.ca

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