Progress Toward Restoration
Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Progress in habitat restoration within Areas of Concern has been described by the governmments in terms of the number and cost of projects. For the Canadian Areas of Concern, the government reports that 187 projects have been completed at a total cost of $80.26 million (CAD). Although habitat work is underway in the United States portion of the Great Lakes basin, the United States government was not able to report on progress within most United States Areas of Concern.
In Canada, the restoration of fish and wildlife habitat is progressing more rapidly than are more complex projects such as sediment remediation and infrastructure improvements. However, the benefits to fish and wildlife populations are not well quantified and are infrequently reported15.
Few participants involved in Remedial Action Plan development and implementation on both sides of the border could quantify the extent to which fish and wildlife habitat and populations have been restored, despite a considerable number of projects designed to enhance and protect habitat. The quantification of progress requires more than a catalogue of dollars expended and hectares or acres of habitat protected or rehabilitatede. It requires restoration targets, clearly defined endpoints and estimates of the degree to which those targets are being met.
The Commission acknowledges that work is proceeding but without the above information the Commission cannot evaluate to what degree the actions reported by the governments contribute to the full restoration of beneficial uses.