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Ontario Improving Wetlands in Thunder Bay

Province partnering with Lakehead Region Conservation Authority to protect local wetlands.

July 3rd, 2024

Thunder Bay — The Ontario government is investing $110,700 in one local conservation project to enhance wetlands in Thunder Bay. This project is among many wetland projects across Ontario that are collectively receiving up to $11 million from the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program this year.

“Wetlands are incredibly important to our communities. They make up the natural infrastructure that protect us from drought and flooding, while keeping water clean and providing homes for many at-risk species of plants and animals,” said Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Working with partners like municipalities and conservation organizations, our government has supported the restoration and enhancement of an estimated 7,500 acres of wetlands in the first three years of the program – that’s about eight times the size of the Toronto Islands.”

The Wetlands Conservation Partner Program is one of the largest investments in wetland enhancement and restoration in the province’s history. Over the past five years, Ontario has invested over $30 million to support a wide range of projects, restoring and enhancing large-scale wetlands, smaller wetlands on marginal agricultural lands, and wetlands in more urban areas as part of municipal stormwater management.

Local wetland enhancement projects include:

  • Working with the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority on restoring the Lake Superior watershed, a project (covering approximately 3 hectares) will recreate a wetland at Boulevard Lake, a priority site for remedial action in the Thunder Bay Area of Concern. The new wetland will filter runoff before it flows into Lake Superior.

“I am pleased to announce our government’s investment of $110,700 on behalf on Minister Andrea Khanjin to enhance the wetlands in Thunder Bay, specifically focusing on the restoration of the Lake Superior Watershed at Boulevard Lake,” said Kevin Holland, MPP Thunder Bay – Atikokan. “This initiative is a testament to our commitment to preserving our natural environment, improving water quality, and providing a sanctuary for wildlife, ultimately contributing to a sustainable future for our community.”

“This funding will help restore a wetland at Boulevard Lake, one of the jewels of Thunder Bay. Not only will this create new habitat for wildlife in our city, but it will help manage stormwater and provide another way for us to mitigate some of the impacts of climate change.” – Ken Boshcoff, Mayor of Thunder Bay

“Thanks to funding from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks’ Wetlands Conservation Partner Program, Lakehead Region Conservation Authority is excited to be partnering with the City of Thunder Bay to create functional wetland habitat on the shoreline of Boulevard Lake. The wetland will capture and filter stormwater runoff, sequester carbon, and contribute to the Current River wildlife habitat corridor. Nature enjoyment, clean water, and urban greening are a few of the countless benefits of this project to our community. The LRCA is grateful for this funding as it enables us to continue striving towards our Vision of a healthy, safe, and sustainable Lakehead Watershed for future generations.” – Tammy Cook, CAO of Lakehead Region Conservation Authority


  • In the first three years of the program, 18 organizations have received funding for 335 projects across the province.
  • In the first two years of the program, an estimated $6 million of damage due to flooding has been avoided and over 170 green jobs were created in Ontario’s rural and near-urban communities to undertake restoration work.
  • An additional $1 million has recently been invested in wetland projects, resulting in a total investment of $31 million, which has taken place over five years and focuses on restoring and enhancing wetlands in the Great Lakes watersheds and supporting municipalities with stormwater management.
  • Ontario is taking action to ensure vital water resources and ecosystems in the province are protected. The Wetlands Conservation Partner Program represents one of the largest investments in wetland restoration in Ontario’s history.