In July 2020, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks released a 10-year report on Lake Simcoe, as per the five-year and annual reporting requirements under the Lake Simcoe Protection Act, 2008.
The report shows the restoration of over 15 kilometres of degraded shorelines, the planting of more than 55,000 trees and shrubs, and the creation and restoration of 120 hectares of wetlands that have resulted in encouraging signs of recovery, including:
- A 50% reduction in phosphorus loads from sewage treatment plants entering the watershed;
- Decreased amounts of algae over time; and
- The successful reproduction of cold water fish such as lake trout, lake whitefish and cisco
“Ten years ago, local environmental and conservation organizations, advocates and all levels of government came together as a community to restore the Lake Simcoe watershed, resulting in the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Today, we are celebrating the progress we have made together to protect and preserve this vital region, and I look forward to continuing this work.”
To build on this progress, the provincial government announced it will invest $581,000 in four new projects to help find better ways to reduce the amount of pollutants from entering Lake Simcoe.
“The results of the 10-year report are very encouraging, but there is more work to be done,” said Andrea Khanjin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and MPP for Barrie-Innisfil. “We all have a role to play to restore and protect the lake and I am proud Ontario will continue working to keep Lake Simcoe clean.”
Over 450,000 people living in 22 municipalities depend on the Lake Simcoe watershed every day.
Read more in the province’s news release here.