However, the Government of Ontario has not funded or implemented a plan to reduce Lake Simcoe’s phosphorous pollution to 44 tonnes a year. Lake Simcoe’s phosphorous pollution has instead gone up by 30% since 2009. (To learn more about how we can reduce Lake Simcoe’s phosphorous pollution to 44 tonnes a year, please read our Cleaning-Up Lake Simcoe report.)
Responses to the question:
Do you believe that Lake Simcoe’s municipalities should formally request that the Government of Ontario promptly fund and implement a plan to reduce Lake Simcoe’s phosphorous pollution to 44 tonnes a year by 2030?
Lake Simcoe reflects the health of our entire watershed. Strategies to reduce phosphorus will benefit the health of all our river systems.
Absolutely yes. There needs to be action quickly to both remediate what is already in place and to avoid the issue being exacerbated by developments which are already in process or at least approved to be done. We don’t need to figure out what to do; but rather we need to figure how to remove the obstacles to implementation. In the Report (Cleaning Up Lake Simcoe) it appears that there are two general types of obstacles. One is capital and the other is peoples’ & corporations’ behaviors and practices.
The capital for the Art Jansen pumping station should come from the Province OR perhaps a joint funding effort by Province and municipalities. It is not appropriate to ask King and Bradford West Gwillimbury to shoulder the total $1.3 million. The beneficiaries of the project are not the farmers and residents of these two: the Holland Marsh is an asset of value to Ontario; that sum is too much for those 2 rural municipalities.
Conceptually I agree with the idea of expanding the Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program. The lands currently eligible for such (managed forests, wetlands) are to be treasured and we want to encourage good stewardship of them. Stewarding a CLTIP does restrict property owner’s rights and there may be effort to be a good steward; hence a”reward” of a lower tax rate is entirely appropriate. But I do not agree that the “reward” is funded by the municipality; it should be by the Province which was the way it was > 20 years ago. (Propoerty owner paid full tax to municipality and applied for a rebate) The only rationale is administrative cost and I am sure that could be rectified with a good software program. Protecting these assets is not to the exclusive benefit of the municipality; trees absorbing GHG contributes to the climate action targets of everyone. Conversely many of these CLTIP properties are in fact existing because the municipality encouraged such …at least that is done in King. By virtue of the fact that there are CLTIP’s in a municipality, there is less commercial and industrial development in the municipality. The municipality’s role should be encouraging creation of new ones, ensuring that they are protected in planning applications and having a role in enforcement.
I do not understand the reluctance of the agriculture community to embrace the various practices identified in the Report. Effort must be made to understand why. Its my guess that there is fear about impact on productivity; if correct there must be a serious well developed communication/education plan. And there is also likely a real transition cost: again this needs to be understood and solution found.
Urban stormwater is not just a problem for Lake Simcoe. Water courses like Humber River are suffering too. Probably the case can be made that priority needs to be put on executing solutions re: Lake Simcoe but the policies need to be applied broadly.
Thank you for sending this over, I have not heard of this issue before now. Nice presentation, I imagine a significant amount of time went into making this. It sounds like we have a lot more work ahead of us to hit these reductions. Weather I win or lose in this election, keep me on the mailing list and I will help where/when I can.
the protection of our lakes is fundamental to the prosperity of our future generations
Thank you for sending me this information!
Vegetated Buffer Strips, Streambank Fencing, and Streambank Stabilization have the highest phosphorus reduction efficiency, and when installed, will have the lowest long term costs. This should be implemented immediately as a first step. For additional reading material, I would direct you to read the ACS Publication titled “Reducing Phosphorus to Curb Lake Eutrophication is a Success”