Letter: Heed the warnings, our water needs attention

Lake Simcoe

To the editor:

Has anybody else noticed the sediment mess in the bay between Beaverton Pier and the Trent Canal this summer?  Again!

We have a lot bigger issue than “just” the Beaverton Harbour run-off problems.  The accompanying picture is from June 24, 2017 and the cloudy, dirty, unswimmable water lasted (approximately) three weeks. This was only one of several times this has happened this summer. 

Nobody wants to swim in the bay.  It is extremely noticeable after rain storms running silt of the farmlands through tributaries along Mara Road between Concession Roads 7 and 9 and beyond.

We have been reporting sediment spills to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s Spill Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060 for a number of years since 2011, but the sediment continues to roll into the lake.  Please take all opportunities to call in when you see lake spills occurring  

We have been cottagers here along the these shores since 1959 enjoying much of the spring, summer, and fall time and have observed the fairly recent water degradation issues in this area.  Whereas we used to have a minor amount of silt close to the shoreline, we now have more than ankle deep “muck” out to 90 feet from shore before the hard-packed sand dominates.  We continue to observe the poor swimming conditions at Beaverton North, Beaverton South, and Thorah Centennial public beaches which are amongst the worst public beaches on Lake Simcoe based on the percentage of time the high ecoli levels make them unsafe for swimming.

Check out the online Swim Guide created by The Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.   What other chemicals are lurking in these waters?  Are our once incredible fish breeding grounds being jeopardized? Boaters who used to anchor their boats between Alsop’s Beach and Centennial Beach are long gone, now finding preferable waters elsewhere on the lake.

We continue to see the weed growth (including new varieties) expanding on the lake bottom along the shore.  We also continue to see increasing amounts of floating algae on the water surface.

What is it going to take for all of us to pay much more attention to this, and to get some action from authorities to reverse these trends?  Let’s heed the warnings. Nobody wants to see a water disaster along the once pristine shores in the Beaverton area.

Joanne
Beaverton