Round 3 clean-up projects

Through the third round of funding under the Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-up Fund, the Government of Canada has committed $3.56 million for 32 environmental projects that will help improve the ecosystem health of the Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay watersheds.

Lake Simcoe

Project Title: Septic System Repair/Replacement Program (2) ($98,212)
Recipient: Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation
Description: This project will involve upgrading and/or replacing five faulty or failing residential septic systems as well as the Community Centre’s septic system. The Community Centre’s system was constructed in the early 1990’s and is no longer able to operate effectively.

Project Title: A de-centralized approach for the reduction of phosphorous from point sources ($58,160)
Recipient: Lakehead University
Description: This project will test the removal of phosphorus from point sources in a highly innovative way. First, a sorptive media will be developed with organic waste from Orillia’s solid waste diversion site. The recipient will then undertake bench-scale testing of the media to treat effluent from Orillia’s wastewater treatment plant. Lastly, this project will test the saturated media’s ability to act as a slow-release fertilizer. The impact of this project will reach the entire watershed and beyond. It will develop and demonstrate a solution flexible enough to meet the needs and capacity of any municipality concerned with water quality.

Project Title: Targeted Best Management Practice Options to Control Anthropogenic Sources of Atmospheric Phosphorus Deposition to Lake Simcoe ($27,000)
Recipient: University of Guelph
Description: The main purpose of this study is to define and identify vulnerable areas for wind erosion within the Lake Simcoe airshed. Using this information, the study will develop a targeted best management practice (BMP) approach by collating BMP results from published sources to develop a Lake Simcoe-specific decision analysis tool. This tool will determine the optimal implementation of BMPs within the airshed to reduce erosion and atmospheric transport of phosphorus to Lake Simcoe.

Project Title: Shanty Bay Brook Street Tributary Catchment - Pilot Low Impact Development Project ($70,950)
Recipient: Township of Oro-Medonte
Description: A recently completed Comprehensive Stormwater Management Master Plan for Oro-Medonte identified erosion problems in the tributaries in the Shanty Bay area. The catchment area includes both residential and agricultural land uses. A pilot Low Impact Development (LID) project will be implemented for an existing subdivision to reduce erosion in the creek by constructing infiltration and bio-retention structures. The outcome will be reduced phosphorus loading to Lake Simcoe.

Project Title: Identification and enhancement of critical tributary habitat to support species recovery on Lake Simcoe (Phase II) ($189,696)
Recipient: Ontario Streams
Description: Phase II of this project will expand its efforts into Lake Simcoe tributaries.  Critical habitats and enhancement opportunities will be identified. Implemented projects will restore ecosystem function within Lake Simcoe tributaries by stabilizing banks, creating habitat, minimizing erosion, and planting vegetation in areas that support critical fish population spawning and nursery habitats.

Project Title: Evaluating aeration as a method of alleviating stratification and phosphorus re-release in urban stormwater ponds ($26,600)
Recipient: Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Description: This project will evaluate the effectiveness of a low cost / low maintenance aeration technique to prevent pond stratification and maintain bottom water dissolved oxygen concentrations. The proposed research will determine if bottom-water oxygen levels can be maintained above 2 mg/l and whether phosphorus will remain trapped in the pond sediments. If shown to be effective, this could present a low-cost solution to optimize the phosphorus reduction of existing stormwater ponds in the Lake Simcoe watershed as well as informing stormwater management practices in Ontario.

Project Title: Assessing phosphorus inputs to Lake Simcoe from the Talbot River system ($58,256)
Recipient: Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Description: This project will assess the flow regime and nutrient discharge of the Talbot River in order to better quantify the phosphorus load estimates and impact that this tributary has on Lake Simcoe. Water samples for nutrient analysis and flow velocities will be collected and a flow monitoring station will be installed.

Project Title: Evaluation of the invasive mussel population in Lake Simcoe and potential for more frequent harmful algal blooms (HABs) ($47,340)
Recipient: Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Description: This project will undertake a survey of invasive mussels in Lake Simcoe to quantify and assess the impacts of removing a dominant species that engineered the current ecological state. As this species change may be linked to increased cyanobacteria, the recipient will investigate the current status and risk of harmful algal blooms, particularly to those communities that rely on Lake Simcoe for their water supply.

Project Title: Riparian Rangers ($43,776)
Recipient: Association for Canadian Educational Resources (ACER)
Description: This project will assess 10% of Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority’s recently planted trees that are within 50 metres of a watercourse. All assessed trees will be coded, mapped, and tagged with permanent embossed metal tags. The recipient will also evaluate and report on the status of tree health and damage, the presence of invasive species and infestations, and the condition of species at risk and other indicator species. Local staff and volunteers will be trained to carry on this program for long-term data collection.

Project Title: Development of all season stormwater low impact development (LID) practices for Lake Simcoe watershed ($150,000)      
Recipient: Ryerson University
Description: This project will improve the management of phosphorus loading from stormwater to Lake Simcoe through all four seasons. The methodology includes formulation of four season based stormwater management criteria, the development of planning and design guidelines for Low Impact Development (LID) practices, the preparation of four season LID master plans for uncontrolled stormwater areas in the Lake Simcoe watershed, knowledge transfer of project results to Lake Simcoe municipalities, and the establishment of a web site for wider audiences in Canada.

Project Title: RAIN ($141,200)
Recipient: Windfall Ecology Centre
Description: The project will address an identified gap in Low Impact Development (LID) best practices by targeting densely populated urban areas and motivating homeowners to implement lot level mitigation measures including the installation of rain barrels, permeable paving, and rain gardens. Through these measures home owners will contribute to the reduction in phosphorus loading to Lake Simcoe.

Project Title: Lagoon City Clean Flo ($80,563)
Recipient: Corporation of the Township of Ramara
Project Description: This project will improve the waterways of Lagoon City using innovative technologies. The proposed method is expected to bring the stagnant waterway to a healthy aquatic ecosystem through oxygenation and a balanced enzyme and bacterial treatment. The proposed technology (Clean-Flo) treats bottom sediments by digesting and converting the organic material to carbon dioxide and water.

Project Title: Large Scale Total Phosphate Filtration System ($157,320)
Recipient: University of Windsor
Description: The proposed filtration technology is expected to be a simple and cost effective alternative to currently available methods for removing phosphorus from agricultural wastewater.  The method consists of a cyclone filter to remove insoluble phosphate and a biofilter to remove the soluble phosphate. The unit will be automated for continuous operation by incorporating a regeneration unit to remove and recover both the soluble and insoluble phosphate and recycle the treated water.

Project Title: Chemical characterization of sediment “Legacy P” in watershed streams - implications for P loading under land management and climate change scenarios ($274,794)
Recipient: University of Guelph
Description: The goal of the research is to chemically characterize the phosphorus in stream sediments located in the Holland River watershed. The Holland River empties to Cook’s Bay of Lake Simcoe. This watershed receives significant external phosphorus loading and has the highest rate of sediment buildup, primarily from agricultural lands.

Project Title: Bridging the gap between land management and lake response: integrating models to assess effectiveness of nutrient reduction strategies in raising lake DO levels, and controlling algal biomass ($258,991)
Recipient: Trent University
Description: This research project looks to determine the relation between phosphorus management strategies and their effect on dissolved oxygen levels in Lake Simcoe. The impacts on lake health under different management strategies will be evaluated. This will provide more information for resource managers to consider when determining which lake wide strategies and best management practices to invest in to improve dissolved oxygen levels in the lake.

Georgian Bay

Project Title: Key River Walleye Spawning Habitat Rehabilitation Project ($16,500)
Recipient: Eastern Georgian Bay Stewardship Council
Description: This project will restore a Walleye spawning bed in the Key River Inlet, upstream from where the Key River flows into Eastern Georgian Bay. Recent years of low water levels have made the current spawning bed inaccessible to Walleye during the spawning season. The recipient will also work with landowners and interest groups in the area to improve awareness about the Walleye restoration project and promote positive stewardship actions.       

Project Title: Status and long-term trends in ecosystem health of coastal wetlands of eastern Georgian Bay ($113,612)
Recipient: McMaster University
Description: The project will determine the current status of 50 wetlands in eastern Georgian Bay to assess relative changes in wetland health over the past decade. During the summers of 2015 and 2016 the recipient will collect information on water quality, wetland plant and fish communities, and use published ecological indicators to determine the health status of these wetlands. The data will then be compared against 2003-2006 values to assess changes in long-term ecosystem health. 

Project Title: Mapping and removal of Phragmites australis along Western Collingwood shoreline through community action and local partnerships ($29,039)
Recipient: Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA)
Description: This project will bring together residents and the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority to monitor and remove the invasive Phragmites Australis from a section of Georgian Bay. Residents will use GPS devices to monitor and map the occurrence of Phragmites stands within the area and then assist in the physical removal of this invasive species.        

Project Title: Mapping, Evaluating, and Predicting Changes in Coastal Margin Aquatic Habitat in Severn Sound and Southeastern Georgian Bay ($266,064)
Recipient: Severn Sound Environmental Association
Description: The project will use a combination of a remotely operated raft and a boat-mounted side-scan sonar to assess the lake bottom habitat. Data collected, will be used to create maps of depth, substrate texture, and aquatic plant distribution.  Habitat suitability models will be used to score the habitat quality and protection/ restoration potential of extensive coastline areas. This nearshore habitat mapping will provide resource planners with a scientifically defensible tool to manage the nearshore habitat.

Project Title: Depave Collingwood ($17,450)
Recipient: Environmental Network
Description: This project will restore natural diversity to a section of downtown Collingwood by removing up to 74 m2 of concrete and replacing it with natural ground cover.  Native species will be planted to act as filters and sponges for polluted storm water runoff helping to restore the natural hydrological cycle. Homeowners, businesses, institutions, and government will be engaged to encourage adoption of new stormwater best management practices.

Project Title: Implementing a Pine River Fisheries Enhancement Plan and Phosphorus Reduction Strategy ($145,000)
Recipient: Township of Adjala-Tosorontio
Summary: This project will focus on integrating existing research and modelling tools to help identify and implement projects upstream of spawning areas that have the greatest potential to reduce nutrient and soil loss to watercourses. Projects will commence in conjunction with a water quality and ecological monitoring program which will help to quantify the net benefits of the implemented solutions. The results will help to provide a transferrable methodology for watercourse improvements applicable elsewhere to help improve water quality and aquatic habitats.          

Project Title: Implementing a Nottawasaga River Watershed Phosphorus Management Tool ($159,970)
Recipient: Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority
Description: This project will utilize the new “CANWET-5” Internet-based Decision Support System to make complex watershed simulations and datasets available to a wider audience. This will allow for users (developers, general public, and agencies) to view simulated hydrology and water quality results anywhere within the watershed, where nutrient loads originate, and how land use changes impact downstream water quality. The project will also examine potential impacts of climate change using accepted analytical scenarios built into the CANWET-5 model.

Project Title: Testing the Lake Capacity Model for protection of Georgian Bay Headwaters in Seguin Township ($12,000)
Recipient: The Corporation of the Township of Seguin
Description: This project will update, refine, and assess the Township of Seguin’s Lake Capacity Model. The model, together with a township-wide water quality monitoring program, is used to develop and support township planning policies and regulations that place limits and controls on shoreline development which in turn helps protect water quality.

Project Title: Quantifying Water Quality Benefits of Transient Storage in Streams of the Nottawasaga River Valley ($29,784)
Recipient: Governing Council of the University of Toronto
Description: This research will determine the ability of streams of the Nottawasaga River Valley (NRV) to remove added nutrients through microbial degradation and sedimentation. Excess fertilizers and discharges from septic beds and wastewater treatment plants can negatively impact stream water quality ultimately leading to degradation of cold-water and lake fish habitat. This study will conduct a series of short-term tracer tests in nine streams in different landscapes to develop a predictive conceptual model of the NRV’s ability to control increased nutrient additions.

Project Title: Towards Linking Water Level Fluctuations with Water Quality in South-Eastern Georgian Bay: An Adaptive Management Approach ($144,000)
Recipient: Governing Council of the University of Toronto
Description: This project will consolidate 15 years of existing data from academic, provincial, and federal databases to develop and validate a modelling framework that examines the effects of water level changes on water quality.  The recipient will apply the framework across the entire South-eastern Georgian Bay to identify hot-spots with poor water quality during low water level conditions and also forecast water quality impairment based on nutrient levels.

Project Title: A Bayesian ensemble watershed modelling strategy to support adaptive management implementation in the southeastern Georgian Bay area ($168,000)
Recipient: University of Toronto
Description: The project will develop a watershed modelling strategy that will assist with the management practices in the south-eastern Georgian Bay area. A synthesis of the lessons learned by two different models will be used to improve the annual loading estimates, to quantify the loading from ungauged subwatersheds, to delineate “hot spots" where excessive nutrient export occurs, and to identify sites that need to be studied more intensively.

Project Title: Using phosphorus and phytoplankton dynamics to guide best management practices in southeast Georgian Bay ($158,400)
Recipient: Queen’s University
Description: This project will measure the algae and phosphorus compositions in south-eastern Georgian Bay to fill in knowledge gaps and provide insight into how human activities and management actions can affect the ecology of the bay.

Lake Simcoe & Georgian Bay

Project Title: Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Tributaries Rehabilitation Initiative ($111,462)
Recipient: Ontario Streams
Description: This project will protect the existing natural stream and riparian habitat within the Lake Simcoe-Georgian Bay watersheds and rehabilitate degraded systems to improve habitat for local fish and wildlife populations. This will be accomplished through rehabilitation projects including restoring riparian habitats, bank stabilization, and in-stream habitat enhancement. The project will also have a strong focus on public education and community involvement.

Project Title: Nearshore/Watershed Monitoring Protocol Project ($183,382)
Recipient: Association of Conservation Authorities of Ontario
Description: This project will build on the existing monitoring framework developed for Lake Simcoe to develop nearshore monitoring protocols that can be applied to South-eastern Georgian Bay and be transferable to other parts of the Great Lakes Basin.  Nearshore monitoring protocols will help shoreline managers understand the state of their nearshore and its relationship to the contributing watersheds.

Project Title: The fate and transport of chloride in urbanizing catchments of the Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay watersheds ($212,106)
Recipient: Ryerson University
Description: Chloride was listed as a pollutant of concern in the Lake Simcoe watershed in the 2009 Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. In-stream chloride concentrations have been increasing in most tributaries since 1993. This project will improve the understanding of the dynamics and ecological effects of chloride across a gradient of urbanizing catchments in the Lake Simcoe and South Eastern Georgian Bay watersheds. The results of this study will help to inform adaptive winter maintenance management strategies and identify salt vulnerable areas to be protected.

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