Cleaning up Lake Simcoe and south-eastern Georgian Bay
The Lake Simcoe South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund will help restore ecological health of Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay and improve water quality for the residents and wildlife of the region.
The five-year $29 million fund is part of the Government of Canada’s Comprehensive Approach to Clean Water and will be managed by Environment Canada. It will support community-based projects that are focused on priorities such as reducing phosphorous inputs from urban and rural sources, restoring fish and aquatic wildlife habitat, and addressing nearshore toxic and nuisance algae growth.
Lake Simcoe South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund Boundary Map
Geographic boundaries for the fund include the watersheds of the Lake Simcoe Region including Lake Couchiching and the Severn River west to Port Severn. It also includes the bays of the Nottawasaga Valley, Severn Sound and the targeted coastal regions which extend west of Highway 400/69 and from Port Severn in the South, to the French River in the North. A detailed map is available below.
Figure 1. Lake Simcoe / South-eastern Georgian Bay Boundary Map
Figure 1 is a map showing the geographical boundary for the program. This will be the watersheds of the Lake Simcoe Region including Lake Couchiching and the Severn River west to Port Severn. It also includes the watersheds and bays of the Nottawasaga Valley, Severn Sound, and the targeted coastal regions which extend west of Highway 400/69 and from Port Severn in the South, to the French River in the North, in recognition that this region contributes directly to the problem of phosphorous and nutrients in Georgian Bay.
About Lake Simcoe
Lake Simcoe is the largest lake outside the Great Lakes system in Southern Ontario. Located north of Toronto, the lake is a major recreational area and generates millions per year in tourism revenue. It is also a major agricultural area and supplies drinking water to eight municipalities. As a result of urban and rural pollution causing higher than normal levels of phosphorous, the lake is being robbed of oxygen, which affects cold water fish, wildlife and overall water quality.
About South-eastern Georgian Bay
South-eastern Georgian Bay is a major recreational area that supports a significant tourism industry and includes the UNESCO designated Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. The water quality and ecosystem health in parts of south-eastern Georgian Bay are under threat due to shoreline development, excessive inputs of phosphorous, and nuisance and toxic algae growth.
The 2007-2012 Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund
Canadians who work, live, or enjoy recreation around Lake Simcoe have already benefited from the Government of Canada’s efforts to clean-up the lake through the successful Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund, which included $30 million over a five year period from 2007 to 2012.
The Fund leveraged an estimated $28.5 million from non-federal sources, supported 160 community-based projects to enhance fish and wildlife, and reduced phosphorous discharges to Lake Simcoe by an average of three tonnes per year. Specific results included:
- Installing 20,000 metres of fencing to restrict approximately 1300 livestock from water courses;
- Planting more than 72,000 native trees/shrubs/grasses to stabilize shorelines and reduce phosphorous runoff;
- Upgrading 110 septic systems;
- Developing an optimization manual for a sewage treatment plant;
- Implementing storm water pond retrofits in several municipalities.
The 2012-2017 Lake Simcoe South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund will build on this success.
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