ORILLIA - The federal government has announced an additional $20 million in funding to shore up the historic Trent-Severn Waterway.

The funds announced Friday are in addition to $63 million announced for the Trent-Severn Waterway in 2008 and will help to address some immediate needs, said Environment Minister Jim Prentice.

"These are extremely important investments to stabilize the situation, to improve it in central areas and to ensure that we are well positioned to move forward," Prentice said.

A number of the projects will involve bridge work in Port Severn, Gamebridge and Bolsover.

Some of the larger projects made possible by the new funds will involve upgrading stop logs at some of the waterways dams and mechanizing the dams at other locations.

One of the largest undertakings will be the development of a new water management model for the entire 386 kilometre length of the system.

"This investment will address the most pressing capital needs, it will create jobs and stimulate the local economy," Prentice said.

Acknowledging the Trent-Severn's role as a major player in the tourism industry Prentice also noted the waterway's importance to the environment as a source of renewable energy, with its 18 hydro electricity facilities.

The Trent-Severn Waterway connects Lake Ontario at Trenton to Georgian Bay.