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Wanted: proposals for cleaning up the lake

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Wanted: proposals for cleaning up the lake


By Miriam King / Bradford West Gwillumbury Times



Following the announcement of an additional $18 million for the clean-up of Lake Simcoe over the next 4 years by Federal Minister of the Environment John Baird on February 16, a number of key questions remained.


The PROPEL (Protect and Preserve the Environment of Lake Simcoe) Committee, chaired by Gilford resident Richard Simpson, was established to advise the government on the allocation of the funding, but what were the terms of reference for eligible projects? How could interested groups apply for a share of funds? When will the dollars begin to flow?


On February 25, those questions were answered – with a call for “letters of intent for Lake Simcoe Collaborative Projects,” by the Ministry of the Environment. According to MP for York-Simcoe, the Hon. Peter Van Loan, “Residents, community groups, stakeholders and others” are invited to apply for funding from the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund, by sending in a Letter of Intent to the Ministry by March 17th, outlining proposed projects.


The Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund is designed to support the implementation of “high-impact, priority projects aimed at reducing phosphorus inputs”, rehabilitation of habitat, nutrient reduction, restoration of the cold-water fishery in Lake Simcoe, and enhancement of the research and monitoring essential for the restoration of the lake and watershed. Both traditional and innovative technologies are eligible – and projects can be multi-year in nature.


The Fund will be administered by the Lake Simcoe Program Unit of the Great Lakes Basin, Lakewide Management Section, Strategic Integration and Partnerships Division of Environment Canada, with input from PROPEL and a Technical Review Committee.


Federal funding for up to two-thirds of a project’s cost will be available – but preference will be given to collaborative partnerships. Potential sources of matching funds and how collaboration will be undertaken (e.g., cash, in-kind, use of equipment, etc.) should be outlined in the Letters of Intent. The letters, not to exceed 2 pages, should also include Project title, name of the lead organization with all contact information, a brief description of the project, estimated budget, timeframe, location, which Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund Priority is supported, and MP names and ridings.


Eligible projects include reduction of surface runoff and erosion, implementation of vegetated buffers, nutrient management , pollution prevention (e.g. septic system inspections and pump-outs), implementation of phosphorus management strategies, monitoring and assessment programs, and outreach to deliver programs. Not eligible are programs or activities already underway, beautification projects, purchase of land, or the purchase or construction of municipal infrastructure (roads, sewers, stormwater ponds).


Letters of intent should be emailed to [email protected] and an original, signed unbound paper copy sent to Jannette Anderson, Lake Simcoe Program Unit, Great Lakes Basin and Lakewide Management Section, Ontario, Strategic Integration and Partnerships Division, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, ON L7R 4A6.


Approved letters of intent will be notified on March 25, and asked to submit a detailed proposal.

“I fully expect that federally-funded projects to clean up Lake Simcoe will begin this summer,” said MP Van Loan. “I encourage all interested parties to apply for funding.”

For more information, contact the MP.

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