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Ontario Releases Final Lake Simcoe Protection Plan

Archived News Release

Ontario Releases Final Lake Simcoe Protection Plan

McGuinty Government's Watershed-Based Protection Plan Sets New Standard

The final Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, released today, is the first of its kind in Ontario to address environmental protection of a watershed. 

Drawing on expert advice from scientists, the plan sets a new standard for environmental protection in the province and provides a roadmap to help restore and protect the health of Lake Simcoe by:

  • promoting immediate action to address threats to the ecosystem, such as excessive phosphorus in the lake
  • targeting new and emerging causes of stress to Lake Simcoe such as invasive species and climate change.
The plan is supported by a regulation that builds on and supports Ontario's framework for promoting sustainable growth in communities in the Lake Simcoe watershed.

Release of the plan follows months of consultation with citizens and organizations from around Lake Simcoe.

Quick Facts

  • The plan includes: A phosphorus reduction strategy to reduce the amount of phosphorus in the lake to 44 tonnes per year (currently 67 t/year) from sewage treatment plants, watershed runoff, and particles in the air deposited by rain or wind
  • A dissolved oxygen target of 7mg/L to restore a self-sustaining coldwater fishery
  • Actions to protect key groundwater and natural heritage features to maintain a minimum 40 per cent high quality natural vegetative cover in the watershed

Additional Resources


“Ontario is taking strong action to protect the health of Lake Simcoe and its watershed. By acting now to implement the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, we are ensuring the long-term protection of the lake and its watershed for generations to come.”

John Gerretsen

Minister of the Environment

“The Lake Simcoe Protection Plan is a vital initiative for the protection of the lake and its future as a source of economic and recreational activity for Barrie and surrounding communities.”

Aileen Carroll

MPP Barrie



Environment and Energy Government