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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

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​Barrie, Lovers & Hewitt's Creek Subwatersheds

The Barrie, Lovers and Hewitt’s Creeks subwatersheds are located in the west central portion of the Lake Simcoe watershed and are 3,750 ha, 5,990 ha and 1,750 ha in size respectively, comprising approximately 4% of the Lake Simcoe watershed.

The three subwatersheds are located within:

  • City of Barrie,
  • Town of Innisfil,
  • Township of Oro-Medonte, and
  • Township of Springwater.

Land uses within these subwatersheds are a mix of agriculture, urban, and natural heritage features. The Barrie Creeks subwatershed has the highest percentage of urban land cover of all the Lake Simcoe watersheds.

Chloride and phosphorus are the two main parameters negatively impacting water quality in the subwatersheds. Runoff of wintertime road salt from the numerous roadways in Barrie and Lover’s Creek subwatersheds has led to high chloride concentrations that exceed Canadian Water Guidelines in over 50% of samples. Uncontrolled urban stormwater and extensive agricultural areas have introduced large amounts of phosphorus into waterways. Fish and benthic invertebrates are both in ‘Fair’ condition, indicating that these stressors, along with habitat alterations from dams, online ponds, and removal of streambed vegetation, are impairing water quality in these subwatersheds.

Restoration efforts saw an increase in funding and landowner participation in 2015 as a result of the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation’s ‘Creeks Project’. To find out more about the Foundation’s efforts, or to make a donation, visit http://lakesimcoefoundation.ca/.

Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority’s restoration team provides funding and assistance to landowners to help address runoff of phosphorus and chloride through projects such as rain gardens and stream bank tree and shrub planting. To find out more about how your property could be improved to reduce stormwater runoff visit www.lsrca.on.ca/rainscaping

Indicators of Health

The following key performance indicators (KPI) provide a quick “snap-shot” of the health of local watercourses within a subwatershed.

LSRCA collects and monitors data using measures of water quality (including phosphorus, chloride, and total suspended solids), and the species found within them (including both fish and insects).  Water temperature is also a key measure of habitat value for fish and other species.
Individual subwatershed are given a grade from “A” to “F” for each of these measures, based on how they compare with standards such as the Provincial Water Quality Objectives, or Indices of Ecological Integrity.

Restoration Outputs

LSRCA staff use our monitoring data, and subwatershed plans, to identify restoration priorities for different parts of the Lake Simcoe drainage area.  The restoration team then works with local landowners, and other partners, to implement these projects by providing technical and financial assistance.

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