Province protecting Lake Simcoe
McGuinty Government To Develop Comprehensive Plan, Seek Public Input
Ontario is taking a major step to address the effects more than 200 years of human activity have had on Lake Simcoe's water quality and ecosystem.
Legislation introduced today, would, if passed by the Legislature, require the province to develop a comprehensive plan to protect and restore the lake's watershed and address the issue of phosphorus discharge.
The plan, to be developed over the summer, would:
- Take an innovative, science-based, watershed approach to ensure that development and activities around the lake are environmentally sustainable
- Address emerging problems that affect the lake, such as climate change and invasive species
- Be supported by a $20-million investment, targeting protection measures, scientific research and on-farm stewardship activities.
- In the 1990s, more than 100 tonnes of phosphorus entered Lake Simcoe each year. Environmental efforts saw those levels drop to 67 tonnes by 2004.
- Over 350,000 people live in the Lake Simcoe watershed.
- Lake Simcoe provides drinking water for eight communities.
- Agricultural production in the Lake Simcoe watershed generated close to $300 million in 2006.
“We are very serious about protecting Lake Simcoe. Individual actions add up. Our plan will see everyone who enjoys the benefits of this vital resource doing their part to make it better and keep it that way.”
“The introduction of this bill is a key milestone that will help ensure the long-term protection and restoration of the lake for future generations. There’s much left to do but we have a goal and with this legislation we have a plan to get us there.”