Lake Simcoe Watershed
Our watershed is a vibrant and diverse habitat and a precious source of water. It's also a centre for tourism and recreation — generating over $200 million annually for the local economy — as well as industry and agriculture. Our lives and that of its animals, plants and insects rely on its health. A healthy watershed supports sustainable communities.
The Lake Simcoe watershed sweeps across 3,400 square kilometres and 20 municipal borders, from the Oak Ridges Moraine in the south to the Oro Moraine in the north, through York and Durham regions, Simcoe County and the cities of Kawartha Lakes, Barrie and Orillia. The lake itself covers 20 percent of the area and provides a source of safe drinking water to seven municipalities. There are over 400,000 residents in the watershed; 18 major river systems; 4,225 kilometres of creek, stream and tributary channels; and it's home to 75 species of fish, with over 50 in the lake alone.
What is a Watershed?
A watershed is an area of land drained by a river or stream. Similar to the branch of a tree, creeks empty into streams, which then empty into larger streams, eventually forming one main trunk, or river.
In our watershed, all of these rivers ultimately drain into Lake Simcoe. Within this system, everything is connected to everything else. In other words, actions which take place at the top of the system can and do affect those downstream.