SUDBURY -- The Ontario government is investing $50,000 in the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy's Canoes for Conservation project to help promote ecotourism and create several seasonal jobs.

Funding for the project is through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and will be used to develop guided tours in a 14-person, 11-metre canoe, connecting visitors to cultural and historical sites along the banks of the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie.

"Sault Ste. Marie's downtown core and many of the city's tourist attractions are situated along the St. Marys River," said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, in a news release Thursday.

"In addition to boosting tourism development along this historic waterway, the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy's Canoes for Conservation project will also promote environmental stewardship of Lake Superior and create greater opportunities for cross-cultural learning with Indigenous people."

Environmental stewardship

The Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy is a land trust organization that works to sustain a healthy Lake Superior watershed for future generations. It is the lead stewardship organization of the Lake Superior Water Trail and works closely with educational institutions to advance environmental stewardship.

"NOHFC funding assists local enterprises like the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy, ensuring our northern communities can grow and thrive," Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, said in the release. "As the province reopens and the economy recovers, our government is proud to support tourism and attractions across the north."

The NOHFC promotes economic development across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects - big and small, rural and urban - that stimulate growth, job creation and develop a skilled workforce. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $193 million in 1,386 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $748 million in investment and creating or retaining 3,912 jobs.

The Ontario government is getting more people back to work and more recreational activities open by moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 3 of reopening the province. For a full list of spaces and services allowed to open in regions preparing to enter Stage 3, click here.