New report highlights 2022 updates on threats to the watershed
Lake Simcoe, ON - A new report issued April 27, 2022, by the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition and Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition sheds light on the increasing pressure facing Lake Simcoe a year after releasing their Lake Simcoe Under Pressure in 2021 report.
The report names four immediate threats to Lake Simcoe:
Unsustainable growth and development around the lake, the Orbit MZO development in Innisfil, the Bradford Bypass and more planned highways, and the possible approval of the Upper York Sewage System.
Two good things Lake Simcoe needs are listed as well: Keeping the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan strong, and growing the Greenbelt into Simcoe County.
The authors do not have good news to share on any of these issues. Concerns remain, while Greenbelt expansion and the unreleased results of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan review have done nothing to improve environmental conditions in the watershed.
“Municipalities have demonstrated their ability to stand together in defence of Lake Simcoe, as evidenced by their unanimous support for a successful bid to have the province pay the balance of a phosphorus recycling facility on the Holland River, announced last week,” says Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition Executive Director, Claire Malcolmson, the report’s lead author.
“But growth pressures, be they in the form of new highway plans or greenfield development, will have environmental impacts on Lake Simcoe that are not getting enough attention,” adds Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition Executive Director Margaret Prophet.
In this stark and information-rich report, Lake Simcoe area environmental groups shine a light on the dark clouds on Lake Simcoe’s horizon, cautioning that “if we carry on with the development and highway plans outlined in this report, it will be virtually impossible to save this beautiful freshwater ecosystem as we know it today.”
The Who Will Take Care of Lake Simcoe? report is available at this link: https://rescuelakesimcoe.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/2022-Update-Under-Pressure-Report-Final.pdf
About the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition www.simcoecountygreenbelt.ca: The Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition is a diverse coalition of 35 organizations from across Simcoe County and the province calling on local and provincial leaders to better protect our water resources, green spaces and farmland through smart growth and sustainable policies including expansion of the Greenbelt into Simcoe County.
About the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition. RLSC is a lake-wide member-based organization, representing 26 member groups in the watershed, that provides leadership and inspires people to take action to protect Lake Simcoe. www.rescuelakesimcoe.org