How the Great Lakes Protection Initiative helps ALUS make a difference on the ground
In 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada granted ALUS Canada $600,000 to help improve Lake Erie water quality through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative (GLPI) program.
“ALUS Canada is doing really important work. We know that we need to be working with farmers when it comes to water quality, so it’s a very important partnership,” said Minister Catherine McKenna.
The funding is part of a larger commitment by the Government of Canada to help improve water quality in the Great Lakes, such as by reducing soluble phosphorous contributions to Lake Erie by 40% compared to 2008 levels, to fight and nuisance algae.
This GLPI funding will allow ALUS to restore, enhance and maintain 75 acres of wetlands, riparian buffers, native prairie grass, shelterbelts and erosion-control projects, which have been shown to significantly reduce the level of phosphorus in local waterbodies.
These 75 acres of projects will be established and maintained by farmers participating in the ALUS Norfolk, ALUS Middlesex and ALUS Chatham-Kent programs.
In addition to establishing these new natural infrastructure projects on agricultural land in the Lake Erie Basin, ALUS will also quantify their beneficial effects through modelling research: The GLPI grant includes $300,000 for a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of these ALUS projects for phosphorus reduction, working with Dr. Wanhong Yang of the University of Guelph, who has pioneered an innovative tool, known as “IMWEBs” (Integrated Modelling for Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices).
By investing in ALUS Canada, the GLPI invests in farmers, ranchers and communities to provide effective solutions to some of the biggest environmental problems of our day. “These ALUS projects will benefit the entire Great Lakes Basin by improving water quality, producing cleaner air and creating more wildlife habitat,” said CEO Bryan Gilvesy.