The Great Lakes Sustainability Fund

The Great Lakes Sustainability Fund (GLSF) supports projects to remediate each of Canada’s 14 remaining Areas of Concern or “degraded areas” within the Great Lakes Basin. Since 1989, the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund has contributed approximately $110 million to more than 900 partnered projects to improve water quality in these areas. To date, three of the 17 original Canadian Areas of Concern have been fully restored.

Environmental improvements lead to local economic competitiveness through the development of innovative technologies and increased recreation, tourism and development opportunities in Area of Concern communities. 

The Fund, which has leveraged nearly $400 million from the public and private sectors, provides technical and financial support to projects that implement remedial actions to complete clean up and restoration in three key priority areas: fish and wildlife habitat rehabilitation and stewardship; contaminated sediment assessment and remediation; and innovative approaches to improve municipal wastewater effluent quality.

GLSF funding proposals are put through a rigorous technical review process that takes into account the priorities that have been established in relation to the Canada–United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the Canada–Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Ecosystem. 

In collaboration with others, GLSF funding supports the coordination, development and implementation of remedial actions and local community involvement in Areas of Concern. Local communities play an instrumental role in establishing environmental quality criteria for Area of Concern delisting as well as in identifying and implementing actions to restore ecological impairments.

Delisted Canadian Areas of Concern:

Severn Sound
Collingwood Harbour
Wheatley Harbour

Canadian Areas in Recovery:

Spanish Harbour
Jackfish Bay

Canadian Areas of Concern:

Thunder Bay
Nipigon Bay
Peninsula Harbour
Hamilton Harbour
Toronto and Region
Port Hope Harbour
Bay of Quinte

Binational Areas of Concern:

St. Lawrence River
Niagara River
St. Marys River
St. Clair River
Detroit River

For more information about the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund, please visit the Environment Canada web site at

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