Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced Government of Canada support for the second phase of the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative (LWBI) which will focus on improving water quality for people living in the region as well as for fish and wildlife in and surrounding Lake Winnipeg.
“Lake Winnipeg is a significant driver of the region’s economy that must be protected,” said the Prime Minister. “This continued support will ensure that there is clean water for Manitoba residents and visitors to the region for years to come.”
The Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative aims to restore the ecological health of Lake Winnipeg, reduce pollution from sources such as agriculture, industry and wastewater, and improve water quality for fisheries and recreation. The Lake Winnipeg ecosystem significantly supports freshwater fishery, and the recreation and tourism industry. The Lake Winnipeg ecosystem supports an annual freshwater fishery of $50 million and a $110 million recreation and tourism industry.
Phase II (2012-2017) of the LWBI will build on the work of Phase I (2008-2012) to help transboundary partners understand water quality issues facing Lake Winnipeg and provide scientific research, monitoring and support for community stewardship initiatives to improve the lake’s water quality. It will also provide support for local solutions to reduce nutrient and pollution levels. Science efforts will emphasize water and land-based research in key geographic areas, and increased emphasis will be placed on work with other governments within the watershed.
Government of Canada support for this project is provided through the Action Plan for Clean Water and fulfills an Economic Action Plan 2012 commitment to pursue water quality and ecosystem health improvements in lakes and bodies of water. Other initiatives under the Plan include the clean-up of contaminated sediment in areas of concern in the Great Lakes Basin and the clean-up of Lake Simcoe.
To learn more about the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative and the projects funded through this initiative, visit the Cleaning Up Lake Winnipeg website at http://www.ec.gc.ca/doc/eau-water/winnipeg_e.html.