Ontario Supports Environmental Action in the St. Lawrence River Watershed

Government investing $1.9 million in 38 Great Lakes projects across the province

NEWSDecember 5 2022

Leeds-Grenville— The Ontario government is investing $49,056 in Watersheds Canada’s Natural Edge Project: Shoreline Naturalizations in the St. Lawrence River Watershed. This funding comes through the Great Lakes Local Action Fund and will help build healthier communities while protecting and improving the health of the Great Lakes and their connecting waters.

The aim of the Natural Edge Project is to restore degraded shorelines impacting water quality, engage community members on shorelines naturalization activities that reduce shorelines erosion, improve resilience to climate change and safeguard wildlife habitat in the St. Lawrence River Watershed. It will transform disturbed and non-buffered shorelines into natural shorelines by planting 2,000 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers along the water’s edge.

“Through this investment, we’re supporting innovative projects led by Ontario municipalities, community-based organizations, conservation authorities, small businesses and Indigenous communities that are protecting and restoring the Great Lakes and their connecting waters,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Project grants from the Great Lakes Local Action Fund are helping communities and organizations promote environmental stewardship and take action in their own backyards.”

This project is one of 38 community-based projects to receive $1.9 million in funding from the Great Lakes Local Action Fund.

“The St. Lawrence River watershed is one of Leeds-Grenville’s most important ecological features, and I am delighted to see our government investing in its protection,” said Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. “I look forward to seeing this funding used to restore and preserve our shorelines and protect both property owners and the environment in the years ahead.”

“I would like to congratulate Watersheds Canada on receiving more than $49,000 from the Great Lakes Local Action Fund,” said John Yakabuski, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks and MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. “Projects like this one empower communities to restore vulnerable shorelines and preserve the health of our Great Lakes for generations to come.”

“The success of the Natural Edge Program can be witnessed on shorelines from Dog Lake to Otty Lake and along the Mississippi,” said John Jordan, MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston. “The cottagers and homeowners who’ve worked with the staff at Natural Edge have shared in a wealth of knowledge and expertise, learning about native plants and shrubs and healthy waterfront balance- and that’s something that can be passed down for generations to come.”

“It is wonderful to see provincial supports to the municipal rehabilitation efforts across our shorelines,” said Ric Bresee, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington. “Lake Ontario shores follow the entire southern boundary of this riding, and plays an important part in our environmental, social, economic and cultural identity.”


  • Since 2021, the province has invested $3.8 million through the Great Lakes Local Action Fund to support 82 projects in communities across Ontario.
  • In its first year, the Great Lakes Local Action Fund supported restoration projects that engaged over 7,000 volunteers to help plant over 44,000 trees and 15,000 shrubs to support diverse and resilient shoreline habitats. These projects helped clean up more than 26,000 lbs of litter, and restore and protect over 860 acres of vital greenspace and wetlands.
  • 20 per cent of the world’s fresh surface water is found in the Great Lakes, making it the largest lake system in the world.
  • Ontario’s Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River shoreline is the longest freshwater coastline in the world measuring 10,000 kilometres.
  • Ontario invests approximately $14 million per year in actions to protect and restore the Great Lakes, including projects that support commitments in the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health and Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy.



Erin Merkley
Office of Steve Clark, MPP