To be an inspiring umbrella group that provides leadership and motivates people to take action to protect Lake Simcoe.
Save Lake Simcoe and protect its future.
1. To reduce the annual phosphorus loading to the lake to 44 tonnes by the year 2045.
2. To increase environmental awareness and concern in the Lake Simcoe watershed.
3. To increase public participation in activities that promote the health of the watershed.
4. To encourage land use planning decisions and building techniques that will protect forests, wetlands, working farms, and Lake Simcoe.
The RLSC was formed through the coming together of founding groups in 2003. The founding Directors saw that if Lake Simcoe’s health were to improve, empowered and informed people would need to be part of the answer.
Education and empowerment of local groups is the way we make a difference. We focus on promoting dialogue between citizens and their governments around the lake. By sharing information and opportunities for collaboration and action, we learn what is relevant, and work together towards important goals.
Our focus today
Protect Our Plan (POP!)
The Province of Ontario is more than two years behind on the review of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. Consultations are finished, but where’s the beef? Instead of releasing any plans for the LSPP, the province is forcing growth on the watershed that will move us away from reaching the ecological targets of the LSPP. We want to hold the line in the Review, and make sure the Plan is strengthened, not weakened. Right now that means focusing on issues like Municipal Comprehensive Reviews (growth planning), the Bradford Bypass, and the Orbit MZO in Innisfil. All these activities would harm the Lake’s health unless the LSPP is fully followed and respected.
Lake Simcoe Greenlands Project
We want the land surrounding the lake to be as healthy as possible. To that end, we seek solutions to achieving the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan’s target of 40% “high quality natural cover” (forests and wetlands) in the watershed. We created environmental policy maps for Simcoe County and the Lake Simcoe watershed which show that while we have a good amount of greenspace now, not enough has the policy protections in place that guarantee that it will be part of the natural heritage system in the future. We promote solutions to increasing greenlands protections; we are working in two communities and with local First Nations on participatory mapping exercises, and are making recommendations for municipal Official Plan policies.
Education to Action
Our education and outreach always focus on connecting people to each other, to place, and history, and to making tangible improvements for the lake. In 2019 we did masses of outreach and education about the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, and this continues in a social distance friendly way this year. Now we are fundraising and trying to launch an outreach and education program that supports lasting change in local subwatersheds. For example:
- Engaging and involving youth and families via curriculum-linked educational resources for teachers and students which focuses on local knowledge, ecological literacy, and action;
- Facilitating local input and participation in ecological restoration plans and activities.
Lake Simcoe Protection Act and Plan
Under the banner of Campaign Lake Simcoe, we spearheaded the campaign for the creation of the Lake Simcoe Protection Act (2008) and Plan (2009) with our many partners. The Act and Plan are Canada’s strongest watershed-based environmental legislation.
We analyzed and communicated corporate funding of municipal election campaigns in the Lake Simcoe watershed, and explained the relationship between corporate contributions and development in the watershed. The Province of Ontario banned corporate and union funding of municipal election campaigns in 2016.
Lake Simcoe Greenlands Project, 2014
See above current activity. We won an LSRCA education award for this project.
Ladies of the Lake
We were an incubator for the lovable Ladies of the Lake (LoL) when the group of more than 100 women took action for the lake with their first “cheeky but not cheesy” calendar in 2006 to support The WAVE. LoL has since merged with the Ontario Water Centre.
The WAVE – Healthy Yards Healthy Waters
A team of “WAVE patrollers” taught environmentally friendly lawn care to 5,500 families over two years and educated people about what threatens Lake Simcoe. The WAVE was carried forward by the Ladies of the Lake in 2006.
Barilla Park Residents Association
Bayshore Village Association
Canadian Freshwater Alliance
Carden Field Naturalists
Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation
Concerned Citizens of King Township
Concerned Citizens of Ramara
Crescent Harbour Association
DeGrassi Cove Association
Eight Mile Point Cottagers Association
Friends of Strawberry Island
Innisfil District Association (IDA)
Innisfree Ltd. DeGrassi Point
Lake Simcoe Association
North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance
North Mara Beach Residents Association
Ontario Headwaters Institute
Ontario Water Centre
Orillia Naturalists Club
Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition
South Lake Simcoe Naturalists
Snake Island Cottagers Association
Windfall Ecology Centre
York Simcoe Nature Club
Yonge Street Monthly Meeting (Quakers)
Contact us to join this list.
Who are we?
Claire Malcolmson, Executive Director
The Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition
c/o Janis Macaskill
120 Primeau Drive
We are grateful to our funders:
And concerned citizens like you.