York Region, Ontario, November 12, 2020—Lake Simcoe is the largest inland lake in southern Ontario outside of the Great Lakes. The watershed is home to more than 435,000 people. Clean water is vital to this ecosystem and these communities. But human activity has impacted the lake’s health.
Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; the Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for King–Vaughan; Helena Jaczek, Member of Parliament for Markham–Stouffville, and Wayne Emmerson, York Region Chairman and CEO, announced funding to construct a storm water treatment facility.
The storm water treatment facility will reduce runoff from Holland Marsh into Lake Simcoe, and protect the lake’s watershed from excessive algae growth. This investment will result in better protection for the region’s aquatic habitats, ecosystem biodiversity, and protect drinking water sources.
The Government of Canada is investing $16 million through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). The Regional Municipality of York is contributing $24 million to the project. The project is expected to save $5.38 for every dollar invested.
The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority identified the Marsh as a critical point load of phosphorus, contributing an average of 6 tonnes a year. The release of excess phosphorus from agriculture, such as fertilizer, places the Lake Simcoe Watershed at risk of eutrophication that can irreversibly destroy aquatic habitats and ecosystem biodiversity.