Federal funding to construct a stormwater treatment facility has been announced. The stormwater 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.

“This project alone will reduce phosphorus runoff into Lake Simcoe by 40 per cent, cutting algae growth in the lake’s watershed, preserving fish habitat, and protecting a major source of drinking water,” said Catherine McKenna, minister of infrastructure and communities.

“We simply have to invest now in infrastructure that protects Canadians, our environment, and the biodiversity of our ecosystems,” added McKenna. “The $16 million the Government of Canada is investing in this stormwater treatment facility will ensure York Region residents have access to quality drinking water, and will preserve industries that are important to the economy, including agriculture and recreation.”

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.

“Clean water is vital to the health of our environment and communities,” said Deb Schulte, minister of seniors and member of parliament for King−Vaughan. “The Government of Canada is proud to partner with York Region to help protect Lake Simcoe with this major investment. These investments will create jobs today that help protect our region’s environment and drinking water for our future.”

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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.

“Building strong, caring, safe communities is a top priority for York Regional Council,” said Wayne Emmerson, chairman and chief executive officer of York Region. “This includes building resilient infrastructure for residents today and into the future. Through the support of our federal partners we continue to safeguard the local water supply, while also investing in innovative solutions to protect the Lake Simcoe Watershed and its habitats.”

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