Queen’s Park to commit over $500,000 to improve Lake Simcoe’s health

Four new projects hope to build on progress already made

The Province of Ontario says it is putting its money where its mouth is on making Lake Simcoe that much healthier.

Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin was at the Lake Simcoe shore in Barrie Friday morning to announce the province is committing $581,000 in four projects designed to reduce the amount of pollutants from entering the lake. Khanjin says this builds on work already done. “The results of the 10-year report are very encouraging, but there is more work to be done,” said Khanjin, who also serves as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks. “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.”

In 2009, the provincial government of the day established the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, which focuses on the lake’s water quality, reducing phosphorus levels, maintaining natural heritage, and addressing the impacts of invasive species. A report released by Queen’s Park today shows the health of Lake Simcoe is improving. Phosphorus concentrations have been consistently low since 2015. The amount of algae in the lake has decreased, and deep-water dissolved oxygen has improved, meaning for the potential recovery of cold-water fish.

“We are pleased that the province is spending money on research and monitoring in areas that we agree are important to the lake’s health,” says the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition’s Executive Director Margaret Prophet. “Sound science, evidence, and climate change projections need to form the basis of improvements to the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. It is a science-based plan; it needs to stay that way.”

It is expected the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan will undergo a review in the fall to see what, if anything, requires an update.