Round 2 clean-up projects

Through the second round of funding under the Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-up Fund, the Government of Canada has committed $8 million for 32 environmental projects that will improve the ecosystem health of the Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay watersheds.

Lake Simcoe

Project Title: Jerrann Liquid Manure Storage & Milkhouse Waste Project ($114,260)
Recipient: Private Landowner
Description: This project will include the construction of a manure storage tank that has sufficient capacity to contain both manure and milk house waste from farm operations. The new tank will increase control of the operation’s annual manure and milk house wash waste. This will allow for manure to be applied in appropriate weather conditions, will maximize the use of nutrients and will reduce phosphorus loading to Lake Simcoe.

Project Title:Phosphorus Removal Enhancement Project ($41,972)
Recipient: The Sir Sandford Fleming College of Applied Arts and Technology
Description: This research project will examine methods for increasing the removal of phosphorus from stormwater flow in a constructed wetland. Constructed wetlands could be installed in either Georgian Bay or Lake Simcoe watersheds to reduce phosphorus loadings. The study will assess the effectiveness of standard phosphorus removal processes using different chemical and mineral additives in the constructed wetland. The research will also look to determine if adding oxygen to the stormwater flow has a beneficial effect for these additives in their removal of phosphorus.

Project Title: Nutrient Reduction from Agricultural Drainage Works using Biofilters ($87,419)
Recipient: University of Waterloo
Description: Several river systems discharging into Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay are heavily impacted by agricultural activity and currently exceed provincial water quality objectives for phosphorus.

The use of constructed wetlands and biofilters (a pollution control technique) has gained popularity in recent years to control the export of nutrients from agricultural lands. Through this project, biofilters will be constructed at 2-3 sites in the Lake Simcoe watershed using woodchip-based designs that have established track records. The water quality at these sites will then be monitored monthly. This research will help demonstrate how different designs of biofilters can be used to reduce phosphorus loading from agricultural run-off.

Project Title: Lake Simcoe Basin Best Management Practice Opportunity Inventory - Phase III ($56,782)
Recipient: Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Description: This project will complete the Best Management Practice (BMP) inventory for Lake Simcoe. It is the third of three phases and will focus on the remaining third of the watershed. Phases I and II were funded by the previous Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund (2007-2012).

The inventory will identify sites where BMPs such as livestock exclusion fencing, erosion controls, stream bank stabilization, stream bank vegetative buffers, or fish migration barriers should be implemented to reduce phosphorus loading or improve in-stream aquatic habitat. A computer based prioritization tool has been developed to then use this information to assess the cost and benefit of the BMP opportunities identified. This will help the conservation authority determine which projects should be prioritized for financial support under their incentive programs.

Project Title: Ramara Creeks Best Management Practices - Phase 3 ($494,353)
Recipient: Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Description: Funding through this project will support the implementation of a variety of best management practices in targeted and prioritized areas of the Ramara Creeks subwatershed of Lake Simcoe. Activities will include upgrading and repairing septic systems, establishing shoreline buffers, improving aquatic habitat, controlling stream bank erosion, and reducing phosphorus and bacteria-laden runoff to local watercourses. Phase 1 and 2 of the Ramara Creeks Best Management program were funded by the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund (2007-2012).

Project Title: RainScaping Retrofit Program: Low Impact Development Demonstration Projects ($250,000)
Recipient: Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Description: This project will identify opportunities to control phosphorus and improve water balance in seven major urban centres in the Lake Simcoe watershed. Each of the seven municipalities will undertake one low impact development (LID) demonstration project. The projects will help transform current stormwater practices in both developed and to be developed lands. Low Impact Development methods to be demonstrated will reduce water pollution (especially phosphorus), alleviate flooding, and reduce stream bank erosion by controlling water quantity and increasing infiltration of rain water back into the ground.

Project Title: Scanlon Creek Restoration Project ($159,000)
Recipient: Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Description: This project will restore a 380 metre section of Scanlon Creek in the Lake Simcoe watershed, including reconnecting fragmented fish habitat using a natural channel design. Completing this project will allow fish species to migrate up and downstream around the existing dam barrier. Signage, lookout points and boardwalks will be constructed in collaboration with other partners to help educate the community of the benefits of this project and the need for stewardship activities.

Project Title: Adopt-a-Stream Crossing ($91,000)
Recipient: Regional Municipality of York
Description: The Adopt-a-Stream Crossing program will continue to coordinate York Region community and school groups to actively plant trees and shrubs in and around streams at Regional road crossings and on public property. Participating groups will help preserve the health of Lake Simcoe streams within York Region by planting native trees and shrubs in priority areas during the spring and fall planting periods from 2014 to 2017.

Project Title: Phase 1 Phosphorus Reduction Through the Use of Riparian Buffer Strips in the Holland Marsh ($75,000)
Recipient: Drainage Investment Group
Description: This project will engage landowners in the Holland Marsh to establish a 2.5 metre vegetative buffer where feasible along both sides of the West Holland River. This project is the first of three phases. The objectives of this phase are to determine which areas are priorities for vegetative buffers to be planted, communicate the benefits and importance of erosion control to local landowners, install vegetative buffers along 2 kilometres of the river as demonstration sites, and collect baseline data on rates of river bank erosion. The vegetative buffers will help reduce overland flow of phosphorus and pesticides from the agricultural lands to the river as well as reduce soil loss as a result of erosion. The West Holland River feeds into Lake Simcoe and is a major source of excess nutrients as a result of agricultural practices.

Project Title: Chippewas of Georgina Island - Habitat and Littoral zone study ($11,749)
Recipient: Anishinabek Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre
Description: The Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation requires an up-to-date nearshore habitat assessment to use in various projects for conservation and resource management within their community. The purpose of the study is to obtain and document current information about fish populations, ecosystem health, soils/sediments, aquatic conditions and shoreline development around Georgina Island in Lake Simcoe. Updated shoreline condition report cards will also be completed for homeowners to educate them and raise awareness about the issue. Summer students will be trained on how to identify fish species and measure and examine evidence of their spawning characteristics.

Data will be compared to historical data and traditional ecological knowledge to identify areas that are in need of rehabilitation. All information obtained in the study will be shared with the community and made available to the public.

Project Title: Shoreline Restoration ($3,950)
Recipient: Private Landowner
Description: This project will restore a 33 metre section of shoreline on Lake Simcoe by removing existing cement blocks and replacing them with boulders. Through this project, the shoreline will be properly protected from erosion. This will also improve habitat for aquatic dependent species.

Project Title: Effectiveness of Innovative Stormwater and Soil Management Best Management Practices for Residential Developments - Mosaik Homes Glenway Subdivision, Newmarket ($207,340)
Recipient: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Description: This project will demonstrate and evaluate widespread application of Low Impact Development (LID) techniques in a new residential subdivision in the Lake Simcoe watershed. The practices that will be evaluated in this project include rain gardens, vegetated biofilters, an underground infiltration system and best practices for the management of soils in landscaped areas. The project will document the effectiveness in filtering and managing stormwater and assess the financial and technical feasibility of the different techniques.

Location: Town of Newmarket (Mosaik Homes Glenway subdivision)

Project Title: Brechin-Lagoon City Environmental Sustainability for the Betterment for the Future of the Township of Ramara ($55,000)
Recipient: Corporation of the Township of Ramara
Description: Located on the shores of Lake Simcoe, the canals of Lagoon City have had cyanobacteria blooms in recent years due to poor water quality conditions. This project will carry out water quality monitoring in the canals of Lagoon City; conduct a goose management study; support a phosphorus-free fertilizer bylaw and rebate program; and support the installation of 300 rain barrels on individual properties. These activities will help reduce phosphorus inputs to the canals and monitor phosphorus levels to validate the benefits of residents' actions.

Project Title: Bayview Beach Restoration Project ($34,080)
Recipient: Bayview Beach Resident Association Inc
Description: Through this project, a tree hedge will be planted along the Bayview Beach park to create a barrier for nutrients entering Lake Simcoe; two bioswales (shallow depressions to convey stormwater) will be installed to reduce movement of silt and other pollutants from the park to the lake; and rocks and plantings will be added to counteract beach erosion. Through these efforts, the association will also educate local residents on the importance of stewardship for maintaining the health of the lake.

Project Title: State of Wetlands and Premier Natural Areas in the Lake Simcoe Watershed ($292,000)
Recipient: Ontario Streams
Description: This project will re-map all the wetlands within the Lake Simcoe watershed and determine if a loss of wetlands is continuing. Additionally, Ontario Streams will provide an inventory and analysis of the current state of the premier natural areas in the watershed and will work with landowners to encourage the protection of these important features.

South-eastern Georgian Bay

Project Title: Development of Fish Community Indicators of Water Quality for South-eastern Georgian Bay ($287,100)
Recipient: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Description: This project will characterize the fish communities and biodiversity in South-eastern Georgian Bay. Changes in water quality create stresses on aquatic community health. Characterizing and measuring nearshore biodiversity and fish populations will help identify these stresses. Data will be collected from sites which vary in degree of degradation and will be compared to historical data sets to identify changes over time. This information will allow resource and planning agencies to conserve and protect habitat more effectively, particularly in areas where development pressures are increasing or emerging.

Project Title: Bayfield-Nares Enhanced Water Quality Information & Testing Program ($4,848)
Recipient: Bayfield Nares Islanders' Association
Description: The main objectives of this project are to monitor phosphorus levels in the Bayfield and Nares inlets of Georgian Bay, educate the public about the stressed conditions, and raise awareness of the need for stewardship. Changing landowner activities will help reduce phosphorus inputs and the frequency and extent of algal blooms. Water quality sampling for phosphorus will be completed on a weekly basis throughout the summer season (in addition to the bacteria and clarity testing already being conducted).

Project Title: Hotspots of Phosphorus on the Landscape: Do New and Decommissioned Septic Systems Contribute Phosphorus? ($99,375)
Recipient: University of Waterloo
Description: This research project will test for changes in phosphorus concentrations between areas where septic systems were decommissioned three decades ago, compared to septic systems decommissioned only recently. Groundwater sampling will be conducted along the 11-kilometre strip of Wasaga Beach to test for changes in phosphorus concentrations. The results of this study will provide guidance to municipalities on the effectiveness of decommissioning septic systems and installing sanitary sewers to reduce phosphorus loading to Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay.

Project Title: Co-ordinated Nutrient Monitoring in Eastern Georgian Bay ($191,305)
Recipient: Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve
Description: This project will work with three municipalities and volunteers to monitor the conditions in Georgian Bay. The project will also ensure consistency in how nutrients are measured and monitored by various stakeholders. Activities will include volunteer training, Best Management Practices workshops in 10 communities in the region; and developing a nutrient monitoring portal/web platform that maps all nutrient monitoring activities, as well as research and stewardship activities. Trends will be reported through the State of the Bay ecosystem health report card program.

Project Title: Water Quality Characterization - Byng Inlet ($51,198)
Recipient: Magnetawan First Nation
Description: The goal of this project is to better understand the physical and chemical relationships that govern the water quality in the Byng Inlet and lower part of the Magnetawan River, and assess the levels of total phosphorus in the system, including its export to Georgian Bay. The potential for harmful algal blooms or the deterioration of drinking water sources in the area to be assessed. The Magnetawan First Nation will be involved in the collection of relevant water quality data in the area during open-water seasons in 2014-2016.

Project Title: Sediment Phosphorus Release and Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms in Southeastern Georgian Bay: Field and Diagenetic Modeling Study ($216,600)
Recipient: University of Toronto Scarborough
Description: This project will use field and modeling studies to predict the movement of sediment bound phosphorus and its impact on both water quality and the risk of harmful algal blooms.

The results will allow an evaluation of the relative importance of internal phosphorus loading and how this may affect or delay responses to remedial action. This evaluation will occur in combination with external phosphorus loading data from other studies, will address an important knowledge gap, and will contribute to more effective management of this region. The findings of this study will have direct relevance to Lake Simcoe as well as other water bodies.

Project Title: Lafontaine Creek Wetland Restoration Project ($30,239)
Recipient: Private Landowner
Description: The recipient will create two wetlands inside a fenced livestock-exclusion zone of Lafontaine Creek, which flows into Georgian Bay. Native trees and shrubs will be planted to create a riparian zone that will filter surface water runoff before it reaches the wetlands and the creek. The wetlands will reduce erosion and phosphorus transport during periods of high flow by trapping sediments, and at the same time will provide habitat for waterfowl, birds, mammals and amphibians. The recipient will also monitor conditions in Lafontaine Creek.

Project Title: Water Quality Survey of Lake Couchiching through Active Stewardship and Public Training ($45,528)
Recipient: Lakehead University
Description: Through this project, a comprehensive water quality report of Lake Couchiching will be prepared and will include information on lake water sampling and analyses of biological and chemical parameters. Lake Couchiching is the major body of water which joins Lake Simcoe to the Severn River, which in turn drains into Georgian Bay.

This project will also initiate a stewardship program to educate the community on the health of this resource and encourage them to participate in protecting it. Volunteers will be trained and educated on water quality issues and standard water sampling methods.

Project Title: Innisfil Creek and Upper Nottawasaga Watershed Improvement Project ($313,684)
Recipient: Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority
Description: This project will improve water quality and the health of the Nottawasaga River and Georgian Bay through nutrient control and aquatic habitat restoration projects on tributary streams - particularly the degraded Innisfil Creek and its Beeton Creek tributary. Project activities include stabilizing stream bank, creating floodplain, installing livestock exclusion fencing, restoring streams at dam sites and planting trees in the community.

Project Title: Nottawasaga Watershed Improvement Project ($383,300)
Recipient: Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority
Description: Through this project, representatives from local schools, municipalities, agricultural associations, and environmental groups will work collaboratively to support local water quality improvement and stream habitat restoration work. Project activities include stabilizing stream banks, constructing an environmentally-friendly shoreline retaining wall, creating floodplain, diverting a watercourse away from a nutrient source, restoring a dredged channel, installing livestock exclusion fencing and planting trees.

Project Title: Healthy Waters from Brook to Bay ($416,626)
Recipient: Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority
Description: This project will promote the implementation of habitat and water-quality improvement projects in Georgian Bay by providing landowners and community groups with technical and financial assistance. The project will address threats such as urban and agricultural non-point pollution, river fragmentation (in-stream dams) and habitat loss. This will be accomplished by supporting activities such as planting trees; installing agricultural erosion control structures, manure storage facilities, fish ladders; stabilizing stream bank and promoting stewardship.

Lake Simcoe/ Southeastern Georgian Bay

Project Title: Lake Simcoe & Southeastern Georgian Bay Community Stewardship - Part A ($2,877,684)
Recipient: Dufferin Simcoe Land Stewardship Network
Description: The project is a three-year educational and incentive-based stewardship program that targets rural, shoreline and agricultural landowners who live in high-priority restoration locations across the entire geographic scope of the Lake Simcoe/Southeastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund. The program structure encourages and supports individual landowners and groups in achieving significant environmental improvements that benefit the overall quality of the targeted aquatic habitats. Landowner-directed financial incentives will be used for activities such as stabilizing shoreline, restoring and naturalizing applications, improving nearshore and in-stream fish habitats, improving wetland function, retrofitting and replacing failed septic systems, selecting tree & shrub planting applications, and modifying cropping practices.

Project Title: State of Lake Simcoe’s Marsh Birds and Frogs ($26,058)
Recipient: Bird Studies Canada
Description: This project will generate a snapshot of wetland health throughout the Nottawasaga Valley and Lake Simcoe watershed. The information collected by participants in Bird Studies Canada’s Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program will be used in a State of Lake Simcoe’s Marsh Birds and Frogs report. The report will compare abundance and population trends within the watershed to abundance and population trends in the rest of southern Ontario. This will be like a “report card” describing how well marsh ecosystem health is fairing within the watershed. Through the production and distribution of this report, this project will increase awareness of the importance of wetlands and promote and facilitate stewardship of wetlands and their surrounding landscapes throughout the area.

Project Title: Shoreline Inventory to Inform Stewardship and Management Action for Lake Simcoe/ Southeastern Georgian Bay ($129,200)
Recipient: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Description: Through this project, imagery will be acquired for the entire Lake Simcoe and Southeastern Georgian Bay shorelines, from Port Severn to Collingwood. The imagery will be analyzed to: 1) identify priority areas where habitat restoration is needed along the shoreline 2) identify need for refinements to the Provincial Shoreline Management Strategy for Lake Simcoe 3) identify nearshore habitat information to support the implementation of Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Lake Simcoe Fish Community Objectives, and 4) assist in making decisions related to permits and enforcement. The data and imagery will also provide baseline information on the current state of the shoreline. This information could be used as a starting point for long-term monitoring of the shoreline if the inventory is repeated at regular intervals in the future.

Project Title: Evaluating the Health of the Pelagic Community in relation to Water Quality in Impacted Embayments of Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe ($318,300)
Recipient: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Description: This project will characterize the fish and plankton communities in key embayments of Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe, and relate patterns to water quality. There is a knowledge gap in the degree to which fish communities have been impacted by factors such as nutrient loading, invasive species and climate change. To fill this gap, this project will sample sites that vary in their degree of degradation. With the results of this project and other studies, the Recipient will be able to determine if fish species are impacted by poor water quality differently, depending on their proximity to shore.

Project Title: Assessing the Critical Role of Ferrous Iron in Cyanobacteria Bloom Formation ($287,514)
Recipient: York University
Description: This research project will develop a method to determine how susceptible lakes in the Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay watersheds are to cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms, based on sediment composition. Controlling cyanobacteria is critically important, as there is no current method to predict which strains of cyanobacteria will produce toxins. In order to bloom, current research indicates that cyanobacteria require access to iron in the sediment as well as low sulfate conditions. The research will develop the correlation between these conditions.

Project Title: Identification and Restoration of Wetlands in Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe ($305,914)
Recipient: Ducks Unlimited Canada
Description: Through this project, priority wetlands and shoreline areas in the southern Georgian Bay, Nottawasaga and Lake Simcoe areas will be updated, identified and restored. Once specific sites are identified, restoration measures will be undertaken to improve the overall ecological health of the degraded habitat. This will help to reduce nutrient and pathogen inputs; help mitigate the impacts of excessive water level and flow fluctuations that contribute to enhanced erosion, property damage and impairment of fish and wildlife habitat; and contribute to the restoration of healthy natural heritage features.

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