Round 4 clean-up projects: Lake Simcoe

Lake Simcoe

Project Title: Storm Water Management Pond Study ($16,934)

Recipient: The Corporation of the City of Barrie

Description: This project will develop water quality profiles for the City of Barrie's stormwater ponds, providing a prioritization system for future restoration work which would lead to reductions in phosphorus loading and sedimentation to Lake Simcoe. By the end of this study, the city will prioritize sediment removal activities in municipal storm water management ponds based on levels of phosphorus, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), nitrogen and alkalinity.

Traditional sampling methods will be used to collect field data in the stormwater management ponds. The results will be processed to develop a profile for each pond which will allow prioritization of required restorative actions.

Project Title: Controlling the export of urban phosphorus: Do stormwater management ponds retain dissolved organic P? ($51,625)

Recipient: Trent University

Description: This project will determine the quantity of dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) being retained or released by urban stormwater ponds in the Lake Simcoe watershed which is a critical piece for determining the most effective pond management practices.  This information will be used by municipal governments and conservation authorities to develop better management practices and stormwater pond designs to increase the retention of dissolved organic phosphorus thereby reducing phosphorus loading to Lake Simcoe.

The proposed research will examine the relative rates of processing of dissolved organic phosphorus and inorganic phosphorus by algal and microbial communities through small scale lab experiments. Different types of collected stormwater samples and light/temperature conditions will be investigated.  A report on the results will be shared with municipalities, the provincial government and conservation authorities, and will also be made available to the public online.

Project Title: Lion's Park Stormwater Management and Creek Restoration ($155,235)

Recipient: The Corporation of the Town of Newmarket

Description: This project will reduce erosion and phosphorus loading to the East Holland River, a tributary of Lake Simcoe, by increasing the length, depth, and width of a creek channel in Lion's Park in Newmarket. This work will also restore fish habitat, improve flood control, and increase groundwater infiltration.

The existing creek channel in Lion’s Park will be widened, deepened, and lengthened, and a pocket wetland design may also be used.  These activities will result in the creation of aquatic habitat. A community planting event to finalize the project will be completed in order to engage the local community in this project.

Project Title: Dyment’s Creek Naturalization and Pond Bypass ($109,000)

Recipient: The Corporation of the City of Barrie

Description: The project will improve aquatic habitat in Dyment’s Creek, a tributary to Lake Simcoe, by reshaping and vegetating the creek channel so that it functions as an effective link to spawning and nursery areas for Lake Simcoe fish species. Accumulated sediment will also be removed in some sections of the creek to reduce phosphorus loading to Lake Simcoe. 

To restore function of Dyment's Creek, flow will be diverted using a temporary channel and/or pumping, followed by excavation of accumulated silt. A new channel will be shaped and planted with native riparian shrubs before having flow restored to it. An on-line pond will be removed to improve temperature conditions in the stream.  Finally, a community planting event will take place to engage the community and enhance buffer zone plantings in partnership with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.

Project Title: Lover's Creek Rehabilitation & On-line Pond Decommissioning Project ($138,200)

Recipient: The Corporation of the Town of Innisfil

Description: This project will improve aquatic habitat in Lover’s Creek and reduce phosphorus loading to Lake Simcoe by naturalizing the Lover’s creek channel and increasing the amount of functional wetland available in this degraded area of Innisfil. An existing water control structure in Lover's Creek will be removed and new wetland cells will also be established to further enhance aquatic habitat and improve overall biodiversity in the creek.

Activities will include on-line pond and dam removal, removal of accumulated sediments, restoration of the creek channel, establishment of 0.2 ha of wetland area, and establishment of vegetated buffers. Community volunteers will be involved in rehabilitation activities such as adding native plant cuttings and tree planting along the newly created stream channel. Interpretive signage will be incorporated to educate the public.  

Project Title: Fish and Benthic Invertebrate Habitat Enhancement Project ($48,993)

Recipient: Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation

Description: The project will restore aquatic habitat in the immediate vicinity of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation on Lake Simcoe by enhancing riparian zone vegetation and removing a perched culvert which currently blocks fish migration upstream. A site investigation will be conducted and site plans for remediation and rehabilitation for four sites identified in the sub-watershed management plan will be prepared. Restoration activities will be undertaken at one of those sites.

One site plan will be implemented resulting in restored aquatic habitat in the area. The Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation will be involved in planting, and students in the local school will take part in site investigations as a learning opportunity.

Project Title: Developing, Testing and Implementing New De-dirters on Vegetable Harvesting Equipment ($330,000)

Recipient: Holland Marsh Growers Association

Description: This project aims to reduce phosphorus loading to the nutrient laden Holland Marsh tributaries of Lake Simcoe by implementing a new technology on vegetable harvesting equipment and washing facilities. The goal is to remove up to one third of the soil that is adhered to harvested vegetables prior to washing them and thus reduce the amount of phosphorus being released as part of the washing process.

Two new harvesting technologies will be tested on 20 farm settings with different soil types and refined to determine ideal methods of reducing the amount of soils collected while harvesting vegetables in the Holland Marsh. Soil loads and washwater will then be sampled for phosphorus content and overall volume. Results will be communicated to other food producers, stakeholders and government agencies.

Project Title: Western Creek Headwater Improvement Project at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex ($100,631)

Recipient: Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Description: This project will utilize Low Impact Development (LID) features to capture precipitation runoff from the roof of the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex in Newmarket. These LID features will divert stormwater away from Western Creek, a tributary of Lake Simcoe. As a result phosphorus loading into Lake Simcoe will be reduced, and the aquatic habitat in the headwaters of Western Creek will be improved due to a decrease in erosion.

LID features such as rain gardens and mulch media will be installed near facility entrances in order to receive roof runoff. Two rainwater cisterns will also collect rainwater which would be used for other purposes. On-site monitoring wells will be used to assess the effectiveness of each installed feature, and total suspended sediment and phosphorus will continue to be sampled to assess impact during storm events.

Georgian Bay

Project Title: Evaluating the linkage between circulation and spatial water quality patterns in the nearshore of South-eastern Georgian Bay ($88,200)

Recipient: The Governing Council of the University of Toronto

Description: This project will develop a model to determine the linkage between water circulation and causes of water quality issues in the nearshore of South-eastern Georgian Bay to improve land use management decision making. Numerical modelling will be conducted to improve the accuracy of studies into how land use practices impact nearshore water quality. The impact of tributary nutrient loading on nearshore nutrient levels will also be assessed.

A circulation model will be developed that can be used to interpret and synthesize field data, and provide an understanding of how water circulation might drive nutrient gradients. Results will be shared with government agencies and the academic community.

Project Title: Enhanced Low Impact Development Parking Lot Retrofit ($62,855)

Recipient: Trinity United Church

Description: This project will incorporate Low Impact Development features into a parking lot rebuild to reduce stormwater runoff, increase ground water infiltration and reduce phosphorus loading to Lake Simcoe. With the rapid increase of urban land development surrounding Collingwood, the Church, with their new Low Impact Development design, hopes to influence other property owners to implement similar techniques to reduce runoff and improve water quality in Collingwood Harbour in Georgian Bay.

The Low Impact Development parking lot will be designed by an engineering firm to utilize permeable pavement throughout the parking lot in conjunction with two infiltration trenches to accommodate precipitation from multiple storm events. Following construction the site will be monitored periodically to determine effectiveness. Project results will be shared within the community.

Project Title: Internal phosphorus load assessment in Georgian Bay embayments to improve understanding about P sources and contribute to onshore-offshore productivity gradients ($13,600)

Recipient: Freshwater Research

Description: The project will identify the contribution of phosphorus from internal sources (bottom sediments) in Georgian Bay’s embayments, which is a key factor for resource and land use management agencies to determine phosphorus load reduction targets. Data on phosphorus bound sediments will be analyzed and reports prepared to benefit provincial and municipal decision makers in two ways: first, to help improve phosphorus models used in the region, and second to assist in determining a potential link between phosphorus in sediments and increased phytoplankton productivity.

This study will be followed by monitoring at the selected sites. Phosphorus levels at each site will be estimated using both an in-situ approach and a model approach and then compared to phytoplankton levels to determine correlations. Results will be summarized in a report and presented to resource management agencies.

Project Title: Implementation of a coordinated nutrient monitoring strategy in eastern Georgian Bay ($87,465)

Recipient: Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve Inc.

Description: This project will support the implementation of an expanded nutrient monitoring strategy for eastern Georgian Bay to improve environmental information required in order to determine phosphorus loads and assess whether current programming is effectively reducing phosphorus releases to Georgian Bay. The project will result in an increased number of trained monitoring volunteers; increased spatial coverage for monitoring efforts; material and technical support for nutrient monitoring; and an updated State of the Bay report.

During this project a communication plan will be developed and implemented, followed by engagement of partners to enhance nutrient monitoring of enclosed bays. Volunteer and partner monitoring capacity will be supported with training and new equipment purchase. Nutrient monitoring results will be communicated to partners and the public through the State of the Bay report, data sharing website, and other publications. 

Project Title: Longitudinal assessment of water quality during low and high flow conditions along Innisfil Creek ($98,484)

Recipient: Ryerson University

Description: This project will undertake temporally and spatially intensive water quality monitoring to fully understand the influences of phosphorus loadings and streamflow levels on water quality in the Innisfil Creek system of the Lake Simcoe watershed to improve land use planning decisions by local and provincial bodies. The assessment data will help determine what land management practices and creekside initiatives are most appropriate for reducing phosphorus loading in the future.

Monitoring will take place at selected sites in Innisfil Creek as well as at agricultural and roadside ditches draining into the creek. Collected data will be analyzed and results will be modeled based on land use and drainage ditch connectivity. Results will be communicated through conferences, journal publications, and will be shared with government agencies.

Project Title: Love Your Lake - Archipelago ($15,958)

Recipient: The Corporation of the Township of the Archipelago

Description: This project involves assessments of shoreline health for property owners and Lake Associations on three lakes in the Georgian Bay watershed to guide them on how they should restore and protect their shorelines. This will empower the property owners to take positive environmental action to restore aquatic habitat and reduce non-point source phosphorus loading from their properties into Georgian Bay.

Waterfront properties on three lakes (Skerryvore Lagoon, Blackstone Lake, and Kapikog Lake) will be surveyed from the waterside by trained staff. Property owners will receive a personalized property report which recommends actions they can take to reduce their environmental impact and improve shoreline habitat. Lake associations will also be provided with a report which includes a general analysis of shoreline health for the lake to encourage community based stewardship efforts. A half-day workshop will take place to communicate results and future actions.

Project Title: Water quality monitoring and assessment of phosphorus along the Sandy Bay/Georgian Bay shoreline ($19,404)

Recipient: Henvey Inlet First Nation

Description: This project will involve a water quality monitoring program being designed and implemented to help define future management actions to reduce phosphorus loading in the Sandy Bay area of the Henvey Inlet First Nation on Georgian Bay. It is an area where the presence of harmful algal blooms has impacted water quality and aquatic habitat.

This will be followed by ongoing water quality monitoring. An assessment of the data and report on the overall environmental health of the study area will be created, and results will then be presented to the Henvey Inlet First Nation as well as shared with neighbouring communities.

Project Title: Mapping of Dynamic Beach, Flood Hazard Limit, Nearshore Bathymetry and Biodiversity for the Wasaga Beach and Collingwood Shoreline ($231,203)

Recipient: Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

Description: The project will monitor and report on near shore bathymetry, aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity, beach dynamics and flood hazards along the coast of Nottawasaga Bay to allow for improved aquatic species conservation and management of non-point sources of phosphorus by resource and land management agencies. The information is seen as essential for future conservation efforts by the multi-agency Southern Georgian Bay Shoreline Initiative and for effectively managing increasing development pressures.

Bathymetry data will be collected at various points along the shoreline to a depth of 5 metres. Onshore topography will be mapped via aerial surveys. Flood hazard limits will be determined through calculation of wave uprush limits, comparison to existing models, and field assessments of the shoreline area. Aquatic and terrestrial species information will be collected through field surveys. Results will be communicated to municipal and provincial land managers as well as groups leading shoreline stewardship initiatives.

Lake Simcoe & Georgian Bay

Project Title: Soil Health Check-Up ($200,000)

Recipient: Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association

Description: This project will reduce non-point source discharges of phosphorus and other nutrients from agricultural lands to the Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay watersheds by engaging farm operators in soil health evaluations, identifying soil health issues, and assisting with implementation of Best Management Practices to address identified issues. Soil erosion will also be mitigated via project activities. The Association will work with farm operators via a two-pronged approach of soil health education and implementation of Best Management Practices to achieve results.

The soil health check-up process will be initiated with an on-farm visit by a Certified Crop Advisor who will offer a thorough soil health discussion and evaluation. Financial support to address any identified soil management issues will then be available to assist participants in implementing recommended Best Management Practices. This discussion and evaluation of soil management will reach a broad audience of farm operators encouraging more efficient use of fertilizers thus reducing the flow of excess nutrients to Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay.

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