Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund : overview

The 2012-2017 Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund will build on the 2007-2012 Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund’s record of success, expanding the geographic area in which environmental improvements will accrue. The extension and expansion of the program will allow for continued progress on addressing Lake Simcoe water quality, while also addressing nearshore toxic and nuisance algae growth in Georgian Bay, where conditions are indicating increasing trends towards more severe problems. It will also support efforts related to the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Improve monitoring, assessment and information required to measure the effectiveness of control strategies and identify and assess alternative approaches to reducing phosphorus discharges;
  • Conserve critical aquatic habitat and associated species through targeted aquatic habitat protection, restoration and creation projects;
  • Reduce rural and urban non-point sources of phosphorus/nutrients, including implementation of best management practices for the management of soil, crops, livestock, water use, septic systems, and creating and rehabilitating wetlands and naturalizing watercourses to attenuate phosphorus discharges;
  • Reduce discharges of phosphorus from point sources including sewage, combined sewer overflows and urban stormwater systems, including support to development and testing of innovative approaches to manage urban stormwater and wastewater.

Benefits to Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay will include improved water quality for human uses, reduction in phosphorus loads from urban and rural sources, and the restoration and protection of fish and aquatic-dependent wildlife.

Activities under this initiative will support the government’s Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), tabled in October 2010. The FSDS presents a detailed description of federal government activities to achieve environmental sustainability. It is composed of goals, targets and implementation strategies for meeting each target, organized under four priority themes: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality; Maintaining Water Quality and Availability; Protecting Nature; and Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government. Indicators have been established to measure progress of the FSDS at both the goal and target levels.

  • Goal 3: Water Quality - Protect and enhance the quality of water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems.

This proposal will have positive impacts on this goal through reductions in phosphorus loads to Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay from rural and urban sources, and through restoration and protection of fish and aquatic-dependent wildlife populations of Lake Simcoe and south-eastern Georgian Bay.

  • Target 3.2: Freshwater Quality - Contribute to the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes by developing and gaining binational acceptance of objectives and strategies for the management of nutrients in the Great Lakes by 2015.

Science carried out through this proposal will contribute to increased understanding of phosphorus reduction and other measures required to restore and protect water quality and ecosystem health. This will support work focused on Lake Erie through the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative to meet this target (which is also a commitment in the amended Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement).

  • Target 3.4: Freshwater Quality - Reduce nutrient inputs into Lake Simcoe by 2012.

This proposal will contribute to reductions in phosphorus loads to Lake Simcoe and south-eastern Georgian Bay from rural and urban sources.

Project recipients will be required to report on environmental performance measures specific to their project, such as kilometres of stream bank stabilized, hectares of wetland protected, square metres of riparian buffer installed and estimated phosphorus reductions. Discussions and reviews by a Technical Review Committee and Public Advisory Committee will also contribute to monitoring.

Relevant Links:

Cleaning Up Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay

Lake Huron Binational Partnership

Phosphorus and Excess Algal Growth

 

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