New law to protect Lake Simcoe
McGuinty Government To Develop Lake Simcoe Protection Plan
Protection for Lake Simcoe took a major step forward with the passage of the Lake Simcoe Protection Act by the Ontario Legislature.
The new legislation will enshrine watershed protection in law and require the province to develop a comprehensive plan to protect and restore the lake's watershed and address the issue of phosphorus levels in the lake.
The plan the government is developing would:
- Take an innovative, science-based, watershed approach to ensure that development and activities around the lake are environmentally sustainable
- Help 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.
The legislation builds on the work of the Lake Simcoe Science Advisory Committee and reflects public comment on a discussion paper released this spring.
- 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 and recreational activities generate more than $200 million a year for the local economy.
“This is an historic day. Lake Simcoe has faced ongoing and growing ecological threats. Now, we are well on our way to developing a gold standard of sustainability that will restore and protect Lake Simcoe not only for our benefit and enjoyment but for future generations.”