Lake Simcoe Sessions Podcast
Episode 3: Changing Waterways
How are changing temperatures and weather patterns impacting Lake Simcoe? How sensitive are our water systems to climate change? Can we protect freshwater of Lake Simcoe and ensure the lake stays healthy and clean for generations to come? Dr. Brian Ginn joins host Katie Biddie to talk about climate change as one of the top three environmental stressors on Lake Simcoe, how nutrients like phosphorus and salt threaten lake health, and the effects of rising water temperatures on cold water fish populations. Learn more about how we can join together to fight and tackle climate change in the Lake Simcoe watershed.
Special Guest Bio
Dr. Brian Ginn, PhD, is a Limnologist at the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. Commonly referred to as the “Lake Doctor”, Brian has led the Authority monitoring program since 2008 and is focused on studying the environmental changes in Lake Simcoe and its biological communities. Incredibly, Brian has studied more than 600 lakes, ponds and rivers, mostly in northeastern North America.
Brian obtained his PhD from Queen’s University, and his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from University of New Brunswick. Brian is one of only three Certified Lake Managers in Canada, certified with the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS). Brian’s previous research investigations include nutrient inputs, acid rain, climate change, invasive species, fish habitat and impact of landscape changes such as urbanization. He has published 25 articles in international peer-reviewed scientific journals, has presented at more than 50 major international conferences, and has contributed to over 25 technical reports and publications.
Key takeaways from this episode:
- Lakes are a “downhill ecosystem”; everything that happens on the landscape that surrounds it will eventually impact Lake Simcoe.
- Lake Simcoe is already facing several challenges because of climate change, including the threats posed by road salt and phosphorus in run-off water.
- The warmer temperatures that are projected for our region due to climate change will pose a risk to the fish that live in Lake Simcoe and rely on cold water habitats.
What can you do?
- Consider how you can help keep the water where you live clean. Use household products that are phosphorus-free.
- Divert water that runs off your property onto soil or grass and away from paved surfaces. Position downspouts from your home away from the driveway or install a rain barrel to collect water from your roof.
- Install low impact development features like green roofs, or rain gardens on your property to allow rainwater to infiltrate into the ground. Check out our Low Impact Development webpage for more ideas on what you can do.
- Be careful not to over-salt your driveway or walkway in the wintertime. Visit our Halt the Salt webpage for more info.
- If you live on the shore or bank of a stream, naturalize the area to prevent erosion and improve water quality. Learn more about Improving Streams & Retrofitting On-line Ponds
- Be an invasive species fighter! Clean, drain and dry your boat, watercraft and gear between trips to bodies of water to prevent spreading invasive species.
Meet Our Host
Host Katie Biddie has spent nearly a decade working in environmental education, nature interpretation and community engagement, and is a proud Lake Simcoe watershed resident.
As a child she aspired to be the next “Dr. Jane Goodall”, investigating wildlife all around the world. Katie has visited 24 different countries, is a graduate from the University of Guelph (HBSc.) with a major in Zoology, a graduate of Lakehead University (BEd.) specializing in Outdoor and Environmental Education, and is currently a York University Masters candidate in Community Engagement and Leadership.