LETTER: Lake Simcoe funding just a drop in the bucket
Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority CAO Rob Baldwin, centre, and Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall are shown at Thursday’s Lake Simcoe funding announcement.
Letter to the Editor, November 11, 2023
Re: Province drops $1.3M into Lake Simcoe for phosphorous reduction, Nov. 9, 2023.
The Lake Simcoe watershed needs to be protected and requires substantial investment.
All told, the province’s press release celebrates the spending of less than $1 million per year on Lake Simcoe.
Let us recall that over approximately a 10-year period $100 million, from provincial and federal funding sources, was invested in protecting Lake Simcoe. The only resulting significant reductions in phosphorus pollution to Lake Simcoe came from the previous provincial government’s rules that clamped down on phosphorus pollution from sewage treatment plants, which the $100 million helped to support. The resulting reduction of the phosphorus load by three tonnes per year still leaves us short of the target (44 tonnes per year) needed to ensure the long-term health of Lake Simcoe.
Indeed, phosphorus loads are on average still double the science-based ecological target set in the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. These loads are projected to rise due to housing and highway development pollution, and will be driven by climate change, whose impacts are projected to increase. Phosphorus pollution causes excess aquatic weed growth, low oxygen levels, and contributes to algae blooms.
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