By Jack Gibbons, Lake Simcoe Watch - The recent municipal election brought good news for Lake Simcoe.
According to our election survey, there are now at least 45 councillors and mayors in municipalities in the Lake Simcoe watershed who broadly support Lake Simcoe Watch goals for protecting the lake and its surrounding forests and wetlands.
Eight newly elected and re-elected Mayors responded positively to our survey with the vast majority endorsing our call to reduce phosphorus loadings to 44 tonnes per year by 2026. Phosphorous feeds algae blooms and weed growth, so this is an important way to improve Lake Simcoe water quality. Similarly, almost all of these mayors also supported ensuring that at least 40% of Lake Simcoe’s watershed consists of high quality connected forests, wetlands and meadows.
Interestingly, the election also resulted in nine seats on the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) board becoming vacant as the previous representatives either went down to defeat or chose not to seek re-election.
This opens up an excellent opportunity for newly elected councils to act to protect Lake Simcoe and its forests and wetlands by appointing representatives who will steer the LSRCA toward acting in the best interest of the lake instead of in the best interests of developers.
Help Lake Simcoe Watch make the best of this fresh start by reminding your newly elected mayor and councillors that a healthy Lake Simcoe is an irreplaceable asset for our region and that the health of the lake is directly tied to the health of the forests and wetlands that surround it.
Lake Simcoe Watch is a joint initiative of AWARE Simcoe, the Innisfil District Association, the Lake Simcoe Association, the North Gwillimbury Forest Alliance, the South Lake Simcoe Naturalists, the STORM Coalition and the West Oro Ratepayers’ Association.