Hamilton Port Authority funding to protect Hamilton Harbour water quality

December 22, 2011
Hamilton, ON
The Hamilton Port Authority (HPA) is throwing its support behind two projects that share the aim of protecting water quality in Hamilton Harbour.  Through its Environmental Trust Fund, the HPA will provide financial support to projects being undertaken by the Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC) and Green Venture, two well-established local environmental groups.

Implemented in 2010, the Environmental Trust Fund allocates funding to support projects that benefit the Hamilton Harbour ecosystem. Up to two projects a year are chosen for funding, which covers half of the project cost, typically up to a maximum of $10,000 per project.

“We recognize that a healthy Hamilton Harbour benefits both port users and the community,” explains HPA president Bruce Wood. “As the owner of more than 600 acres of waterfront land, we’re committed to environmental respect and sustainability.”

For 2011, funding will support the production of the 2012 Toward Safe Harbours Report Card by the Bay Area Restoration Council. Produced every five years, the report card updates the overall health of the harbour and indicates areas that need improvement in the push toward harbour and watershed restoration.

“It’s great to have the HPA’s support, particularly for 2012 with our third Report Card on progress toward delisting the harbour as an Area of Concern,” said Scott Koblyk, BARC president. “The Port Authority’s contribution will allow us to ensure it receives wide distribution and can be an interesting, engaging and dynamic part of our hamiltonharbour.ca website.”

The Environmental Trust Fund will also support Green Venture’s Healthy Harbour! Residential Best Practices Project. By encouraging lower city residents to disconnect downspouts and install rain barrels, the project aims to divert stormwater from the sewer system and reduce sewer overflow from being released into the harbour during storms. Data and experience gathered through the project will be used to build long-term strategies to deal with stormwater overflows.

“Stormwater is a major source of pollution in Hamilton Harbour,” said Pete Wobschall, executive director of Green Venture. “Funding will provide citizens with the tools, knowledge, and support necessary to reduce stormwater flows into the harbour. Green Venture applauds the HPA for their generous support of initiatives that improve the quality of life in our community.”

The two 2011 projects selected for funding were chosen by a committee of the HPA board, following a community stakeholder meeting held to gather input on potential projects. In 2010, the Environmental Trust fund provided money to support a McMaster University project to monitor and manage colonial nesting birds in the harbour, as well as a the planting of 12 Ivory Silk Lilac trees on the Navy League lawn on Pier 8.

The Port of Hamilton is the largest Canadian port on the Great Lakes in terms of both size and cargo handled. The Hamilton Port Authority’s strategic vision is to be the Great Lakes port of choice.


Media Contacts:

Hamilton Port Authority
Marilyn Baxter, Environmental Manager
(905) 525-4330 ext. 240

Bay Area Restoration Council
Chris McLaughlin, Executive Director
(905) 527-7111

Green Venture
Pete Wobschall, Executive Director
905-540-8787 ext. 117

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