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Lake Ontario Biodiversity Conservation Strategy

Contact: David Klein -

great lakes, michigan, freshwater conservation, biodiversity, nature conservancy

Additional Resources: Appendices

Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence River constitute an ecosystem of international importance that provides significant ecological services to over 10 million people. Past and current neglect of this ecosystem have led to drastic changes in nutrient dynamics, altered hydrologic rhythms, loss of coastal habitats, and the introduction of invasive species, with serious consequences to native species, food webs and quality of life. Many of these changes have occurred rapidly, and the lake and river continue to respond to these changes in unpredictable ways.

The Lake Ontario Biodiversity Conservation Strategy report presents the recommendations of a bi‐national strategy to protect and restore, to the full extent possible, the native biodiversity and critical natural processes of Lake Ontario (including the Upper St. Lawrence River). Experts from both Canada and the U.S., representing over 50 agencies and organizations, developed this strategy through workshops, small‐group meetings, conference calls, and review of earlier drafts of this report. The Lake Ontario Biodiversity Conservation Strategy focuses on key ecosystem components (referred to as “biodiversity targets” in this report), identifies the threats to the viability of these seven biodiversity targets, and recommends a framework for action to protect and restore the lake. While many of the actions require significant and long term commitments, the benefits of restoring a healthy, vibrant Lake Ontario ecosystem will support the well‐being and prosperity of the basin’s residents for many generations.