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Government announces funding to clean up Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay

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On Monday, it was announced that funding would be made available for clean-up projects through the Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund, which will help improve water quality for residents and wildlife.

So exactly what areas will this cover? The fund’s geographic boundaries will include watersheds of the Lake Simcoe region, such as Lake Couchiching and the Severn River west to Port Severn, as well as bays of the Nottawasaga Valley, Severn Sound and coastal regions extending west of Highway 400/69 and from Port Severn in the South to the French River in the North. Environment Canada provides a detailed map of the targeted regions.

Over the course of the next five years, the $29 million fund will support projects in those regions that are focused on reducing phosphorus inputs from both urban and rural sources, restoring fish and aquatic life habitat and populations, and addressing toxic algae growth.

The previous five-year fund supported 160 community-based projects, which included installing 20,000 metres of fencing to restrict livestock from water courses; planting more than 72,000 native trees, shrubs and grasses to stabilize shorelines and reduce phosphorus runoff; and upgrading more than 100 septic systems, among other things.

“Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay are important natural resources, vital sources of drinking water, and regional economic drivers,” said Peter Van Loan, a Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe, in a recent release. He added, “Our Government is proud to contribute to projects that will help ensure the long-term sustainability of Canada’s lakes and waterways.”

To learn ways that you can help improve the water quality of your lake, and protect it from harmful toxins, see 6 ways to protect your lake from blue-green algae. For more information about the Lake Simcoe South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-up Fund, see Environment Canada’s website.