Lake Simcoe Resources
Lake Simcoe is an essential part of Ontario’s natural environment and a critical resource, especially for people who live, work and play within the watershed of the Lake. In the face of climate change, invasive species, and the pressures of population growth and development, strong action is needed to protect and restore the ecological health of the Lake Simcoe watershed for the present generation and for future generations. There are many benefits of promoting environmentally sustainable land and water uses, activities and development practices in the Lake Simcoe watershed. Public bodies, aboriginal communities, businesses and individuals share an interest in the ecosystem of the Lake Simcoe watershed and have shared responsibility for its health.
The Plan addresses long term environmental issues in Lake Simcoe and its watershed by:
- promoting immediate action to address threats to the ecosystem, such as excessive phosphorus
- targeting new and emerging causes of stress such as invasive species and climate change
- protecting and restoring important natural areas such as shorelines and wetlands
- restoring the health of the fish and other aquatic life
Phosphorus is a key water quality concern in Lake Simcoe. The Lake Simcoe Protection Plan (the Plan) commits the Province, working with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA), local stakeholders, municipalities and other partners, to develop a comprehensive Phosphorus Reduction Strategy (the Strategy) in Year One of the Plan – by June 2010. This Strategy is critical to achieving the ambitious and aggressive reductions in phosphorus needed to restore the Lake’s water quality and ecological health and builds on the tough measures in the Plan.
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority has prepared this report card as a summary of the state of your forests, lake and water resources using data from 2012 to 2016.
Subwatershed plans have now been completed for nearly all of the tributaries flowing into the lake, as well as the islands of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. As part of the subwatershed planning process, implementation plans have been developed which identify a schedule of priority projects to be completed, as well as which agencies will be responsible for their completion.
- Barrie Creeks, Lovers Creek and Hewitt’s Creek Subwatershed Plan
- Beaver River Subwatershed Plan
- Black River Subwatershed
- Canal and Mitchell Lakes, Talbot River and Whites Creek Subwatershed Plan
- East Holland River Subwatershed Plan
- Georgina, Fox and Snake Islands Subwatershed Plan
- Innisfil Creeks Subwatershed Plan
- Maskinonge River Subwatershed Plan
- Oro & Hawkestone Creeks Subwatershed Plan
- Musselman’s Lake Subwatershed
- Pefferlaw River Subwatershed Plan
- Ramara Creeks Subwatershed Plan
- Uxbridge Brook Watershed
- West Holland River Subwatershed Plan
The 2014 Lake Simcoe Monitoring Report compiled by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change presents the results of all ecological monitoring programs for Lake Simcoe and its watershed.
The benefit-cost analysis for phosphorous removal alone indicates that the annual benefit is approximately $292,661 ($315,632 for full restoration), while the cost to retain all the current wetlands is $2.9 million annually ($105.2 million for full restoration). This provides a benefit-cost ratio of approximately 0.1:1 for wetland retention, indicating that phosphorous reduction potential alone does not provide a desirable return on investment. However, lost benefit from wetland loss scenarios provides a strong argument for riparian wetland retention since phosphorous loading is expected to increase by 891 per cent should full wetland loss occur.