Clean Water and Algae Blooms In Our Area

Part 1 - Lake Fanshawe

Fanshawe Beach is found in the 3000 acre conservation area, which was created in order to protect London from flooding. Due to the development of blue-green algae this beach is closed until further notice. The Middlesex-London Health Unit monitors the water for bacteria levels, as well as physical or chemical dangers.

I propose that in order to try and clean up Fanshawe Lake we work with the OFA (The Ontario Farmer’s Association) and ensure that all farmers that feed into the Fanshawe Dam utilize a GPS unit so that we can eliminate many of the fertilizer and pesticide overlaps that end up entering the Lake. Due to the construction of the Fanshawe Dam it traps these nutrients in this location and pounding rain has the potential to reactivate the algae bloom.

I would like to work with the OFA, to identify all the farmers that live between Thorndale, St.Mary’s and Mitchell to find out how many farmers are in that area, how many GPS’s they have per farm and to identify how many farms do not have GPS units..

Next, I would attempt to approach GPS companies to encourage them to participate in a program to reduce their prices by $250 or $500 so that we could offer those OFA members with no GPS units a $250 rebate from the government for one unit only. For example, the current price on Amazon a Trimble EZ Guide 250 GPS w/ AG15 Antenna Upgrade is $2,999 US. After 10 years of research, this is the only company that I know of with a unit that sells in Canada. There are other units but for some reason they will not ship to Canada.

Agricultural Farm Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for growing crops, but they can also trigger algal growth in rivers, lakes, bays and dams. If this study is successful and helps reduce the algae bloom in the Fanshawe Lake, then we could implement it elsewhere in Canada. For Example, Lake Winnipeg has a dam that has the same problem of trapping nutrients in the lake. This is a proposal at this time and has not been costed.