By Stu Mackenzie, Director, Strategic Assets, Birds Canada
With support of the Great Lakes Action Fund, Birds Canada’s Long Point Bird Observatory has initiated the Great Long Point Clean-up, the most ambitious clean-up effort ever in the Long Point, ON, area.
Long Point is the last wilderness area in southwestern Ontario, stretching 40 km into the middle of Lake Erie from the north shore near Port Rowan, ON. Long Point is host to many fragile ecosystems unlike any other in Canada, as well as Canada’s greatest biodiversity and dozens of Threatened and Endangered species. Long Point’s prominence on the shoreline and prevailing westerly winds make it a natural trap for garbage from the entire western basin of Lake Erie.
Long Point Balloons Photo: Ryan Leys / Leanne Grieves
The Great Long Point Clean-up strives to remove more than 10,000 kg of waste from Long Point by 2024 and will engage 50-100 volunteers from across Ontario, Canada, and several other countries. Birds Canada has already started cleaning up our beaches and wetlands, and we look forward to working with the community to remove as much as possible over the coming year and into the future.
The Ontario government is supporting the clean-up with a $30,700 local investment from the Ontario government through the Great Lakes Local Action Fund. This funding will help build healthier communities while protecting and improving the health of the Great Lakes and their connecting waters.
“Our government is proud to support Great Lakes projects by organizations like Birds Canada who, with the help of volunteers, will carry out shoreline clean-ups at Long Point in Lake Erie. This project and other shoreline clean ups help protect and conserve the unique and fragile ecosystems that dozens of threatened and endangered species call home,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Through the Great Lakes Local Action Fund, we are continuing to invest in projects like this one by Birds Canada to build healthy communities while protecting and improving the health of the Great Lakes.”
For over 60 years, Long Point Bird Observatory has been an important steward of Long Point, alongside the federal and provincial governments, non-profits, and private landowners. We’re thrilled to receive support from the Great Lakes Action Fund which will enable us to engage our community in The Great Long Point Clean-up!
This project is one of 38 community-based projects to receive a combined $1.9 million in funding from the Great Lakes Local Action Fund.