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LETTER: Story about Lake Simcoe health can be looked at two ways

'Lake Simcoe can have a healthy future if we carefully consider the science,' Malcolmson says
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BradfordToday received the following letter to the editor from Claire Malcolmson, the Executive Director of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, thanking local journalist Bob Burton for 'his decades of balanced reporting:'

Thanks to experienced journalist Bob Bruton for his decades of balanced reporting on Lake Simcoe.  

Burton presented a solid news story that should be read as: "We don't really know why Lake Simcoe's oxygen levels are better than expected. We are going to research this over the next few years before making any suggestions about changing Lake Simcoe's phosphorus load targets." Not as "Looking good! Now let's let lots more phosphorus into the lake by easing restrictions on phosphorus loads."

The first reading would be in line with the precautionary principle, one of the "principles to guide our actions" embedded in the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.  In the lead up to the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan review, this fall, the precautionary principle should be top of mind: The precautionary principle enables decision-makers to adopt precautionary measures when scientific evidence about an environmental or human health hazard is uncertain and the stakes are high.

Sounds like the situation we have at Lake Simcoe. 

While dissolved oxygen levels in the water are improving, one must stop to consider the larger picture as well. We are not achieving the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan's targets for natural cover, shoreline naturalization, or wetland cover.

We can get there, and Lake Simcoe can have a healthy future if we carefully consider the science, and ground our decisions in caution and care. Jumping to conclusions because they are convenient does not serve the lake's health. 

Claire Malcolmson
Executive Director
Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition