Lake Scugog: Development And Land Use

Lake Scugog: Development And Land Use

The data we collected over the last
three years particularly in the nearshore zone has shown that what’s
happening on the land is influencing water quality in the lake. For example, we
found our sites that are near Port Perry tend to have poor water quality compared
to say, sites in the eastern arm of the lake which is less developed. So what
this tells us is that there’s particular hot spots in the lake of water quality
impairment. I think there’s a common misunderstanding or assumption that
people who want to protect the environment are against growth and
development. And in fact that doesn’t have to be the case. I think most
environmentalists including myself believe in sustainable development. So
what this means is that we need to address our growing human population but
we can do it in this smart way. And this is known as smart growth. And so moving forward and knowing that
Port Perry is going to be growing in the future it is our hope that low-impact
design features will be considered and incorporated into urban growth in the
area. And why this is important is that with low-impact design you’re going to
be slowing down the stormwater. You have less impervious surfaces that are just
going to allow water to run directly off of the landscape and into creeks and
rivers and eventually Lake Scugog. You’re gonna slow it down improve water
treatment before that water actually makes it into the lake. And so for
example the stormwater infrastructure in the town can be improved to improve
water quality. As well as every resident can probably think of ways to slow water
down and reduce their impact on the environment by thinking of alternatives
to using fertilizers. There’s a variety of ways that we all can contribute to
reducing our impact on water quality in Lake Scugog. So even though we’ve shown
that in areas that are more highly developed like in Port Perry, water
quality is poorer than in other parts of the lake. It’s still important to
recognize that Lake Scugog as a whole whether it’s the Western arm or
the eastern arm has incredible value not only for the organisms that live in the
lake but for the people that live around the lake and the users of the lake
including tourists that come to the region. Knowing that there are various
hot spots in the lake where water quality is poorer provides information
of where management and remediation efforts should be targeted. And by doing
this it ends up being a much more economical approach to targeting
specific areas as opposed to just trying to manage the entire lake. Because in
different parts of the lake there may not necessarily be mitigation practices
required there.

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