Regional goals for the Great Lakes

Through Blue Accounting, experts collaborate to track progress toward shared goals for key issues affecting the Great Lakes. Below is what we are currently tracking for Ontario.

Prevent the introduction of new aquatic invasive species

Progress is reported by metric

Detect and respond to new introduction of aquatic invasive species

in development

Control established aquatic invasive species to reduce negative impacts

in development

Protect sources of drinking water

Progress will be reported by metric

Additional information about Ontario

Most Ontarians live within the watersheds of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system. Their resources provide Ontarians with drinking water and energy, food and recreational opportunities. The lakes also provide the province with numerous economic advantages. Nearly 50% of Canada’s manufacturing along with 83% of Ontario’s power generation and 95% of Ontario’s agricultural lands depend on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin.

Given the importance of the Great Lakes to the province’s economy, quality of life and environment, in 2015 Ontario established the Great Lakes Protection Act, which provides flexible tools to protect and restore the lakes. Additionally, Ontario is investing $10.9 million in multi-year funding in 98 new projects that will help improve the health of the Great Lakes. This investment supports Ontario’s commitments in the new Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health — a five-year agreement that sets out specific actions that the federal and provincial governments will take, together with Great Lakes partners, to restore, protect and conserve the water quality and ecosystem health of the Great Lakes. It also supports implementation of Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy.

Ontario believes that one clear way to strengthen protection of the Great Lakes is by setting targets. The Great Lakes Protection Act allows the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, in consultation with other Great Lakes ministers, communities and stakeholders, to set specific or general targets for local and lake-wide areas, including the goal to reduce phosphorus loadings to the western and central basins of Lake Erie by 40 per cent by 2025 – a target set under Ontario’s Great Lakes Protection Act. The Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan serves as Ontario’s plan to achieve this target. This act will also provide the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry with authority to establish one or more targets for preventing the loss of wetlands.

What we do

Blue Accounting is an information service to track the region’s progress toward shared goals for the Great Lakes. Maintained by the Great Lakes Commission, the information developed by Blue Accounting helps elected officials make sure that policies and programs are effective at protecting the largest fresh surface water system on earth.

What we measure

The Great Lakes Commission’s Blue Accounting team works with experts to identify goals and methods to track progress on key Great Lakes issues. Currently, Blue Accounting is tracking progress on protecting the region from aquatic invasive species and keeping phosphorus out of Lake Erie.