The Healthy Lake Scugog Steering Committee

The Healthy Lake Scugog Working Group initiated in 2013, became The Healthy Lake Scugog Steering Committee (HLSSC), a committee of Scugog Council, in 2016.

HLSSC is a committee of the Township of Scugog Council, and comprised of representatives from all government levels, local business owners, private residents, the Kawartha Region Conservation Authority, Scugog Lake Stewards Inc,. Parks Canada, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

The HLSSC identifies short- and long-term solutions and research through appropriate lead agencies within and outside the HLSSC and provides a collaborative effort to facilitate decision making and information gathering which leads to actions for improving Lake Scugog’s overall health, recreational and tourism/economic values.

History

Founding

This group was formed in 2013 to work on in-lake conditions in Lake Scugog. Much was done to understand the dynamics of Lake Scugog through the development of the Lake Scugog Environmental Management Plan (LSEMP) and the Port Perry Stormwater Management Plan.

While LSEMP was being researched, it was considered that the Region and the Municipality had no jurisdiction over the lake itself and that it was in the exclusive hands of the Trent-Severn Waterway, Parks Canada .

The Scugog Lake Stewards pushed at this supposed limit and wished to help the lake in an holistic way:  Help reduce the problem of invasive aquatic plants throughout the lake, increase lake depth, and improve the usability and aesthetics of Port Perry bay and rowing club bay (Kent Bay).

Droughts

In 2012 nature dealt the lake and especially the lake shore close to Port Perry a nasty blow.  Its newly created, scenic waterfront area was inundated with weed and algae. A drought lowered water levels and caused boat traffic to drop drastically. (In 2016, another drought dropped water levels to historic lows by mid-summer.)

This drought brought the Lake Scugog stakeholders together. The Working Group for a Healthy Lake Scugog was formed, and MP Erin O’Toole attended the first session.

The Stewards supported the working group by researching practical solutions, which considered various types of aeration, benthic mats, harvesting and several more esoteric ideas.

A method which solved the muck-depth, overabundance of lake-plants and algae problem was dredging out the muck, nutrients, weeds and pollutants.

But, how big a project was this project to be? How much would the Trent-Severn Waterway allow? How could we prevent it from just quickly filling in again?

Request for proposal

Kawartha Conservation, with funds from Durham Region, drew up a Request for Proposal for a project to fulfill the project’s needs. The request attracted several excellent proposals which were presented to the HLSSC.