Lake Simcoe Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy Documents/reports/moecc-cms.pdfآ  Lake Simcoe Comprehensive

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  • Lake Simcoe

    Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy

  • Cette publication hautement spécialisée Lake Simcoe Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy, n’est disponible qu’en anglais conformément au Règlement 671/92, selon lequel il n’est pas obligatoire de la traduire en vertu de la Loi sur les services en français. Pour obtenir des renseignements en français, veuillez communiquer avec le ministère de l’Environnement et de l’Action en matière de changement climatique au 416-327-1851 ou par courriel à .

    The comprehensive monitoring strategy (CMS) was prepared in 2014 by Joelle Young from the Biomonitoring Section of the MOECC and Jake La Rose from the Biodiversity and Monitoring Section of the MNRF, with substantial input provided by the CMS working group that consisted of monitoring experts from MOECC, MNRF, LSRCA and EC.

  • Table of Contents

    COMPREHENSIVE MONITORING STRATEGY RECOMMENDATIONS ----------------------------------------- 1

    INTRODUCTION ------------------------------------------------ 2

    STATE OF MONITORING FOR LSPP ------------------------ 5 Monitoring Recommendations ------------------------------------ 8

    STATE OF DATA MANAGEMENT FOR THE LSPP ----- 11 Data Management Recommendations ----------------------- 12

    General Recommendations -------------------------------- 12 Data Storage Recommendations ------------------------- 13 Data Documentation Recommendations -------------- 13 Data Sharing Recommendations ------------------------- 14

    STATE OF REPORTING FOR LSPP ------------------------ 15 Reporting Recommendations ------------------------------------ 17

    BEYOND THE CMS ------------------------------------------- 18

    NEXT STEPS --------------------------------------------------- 19

    GLOSSARY OF TERMS --------------------------------------- 20

    SUPPORTING DOCUMENT I: MONITORING ------------ 22 Appendix A ------------------------------------------------------------ 42 Appendix B ------------------------------------------------------------ 43 Appendix C ------------------------------------------------------------ 44 Appendix D ------------------------------------------------------------ 46 Appendix E ------------------------------------------------------------ 50 Appendix F ------------------------------------------------------------ 51 Appendix G ------------------------------------------------------------ 52

    SUPPORTING DOCUMENT II: DATA MANAGEMENT 53 Appendix A ------------------------------------------------------------ 54

    SUPPORTING DOCUMENT III: REPORTING ------------ 55 Appendix A ------------------------------------------------------------ 56

  • Lake Simcoe Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy 1


    Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy Recommendations

    Monitoring, Data Management and Reporting Monitoring Recommendations 1 Existing monitoring should continue, as it has high importance to the LSPP and/or requires low

    resources 8

    2 LSPP partner agencies should enhance and continue to develop collaboration in monitoring 8 3 A terrestrial natural heritage monitoring program should be designed and implemented in the Lake

    Simcoe watershed 8

    4 The monitoring of terrestrial animal indicator species should be coordinated and promoted through citizen-science programs


    9 5 LSPP partner agencies need to consider how to mitigate the risk of cancellation or alteration of monitoring that is led by external agencies but which LSPP implementation relies on

    6 Consider monitoring high priority gaps in tributary, near-shore and offshore lake parameters 9 7 A small group of important aquatic parameters should be monitored at less frequent intervals

    (every 5–10 years) than most other parameters 10

    8 To address LSPP climate change information needs: 10 • Monitoring of many existing long-term parameters should be continued • Further analysis of existing monitoring data should be conducted • Where possible, climate change monitoring should be standardized across other watersheds

    Data Management Recommendations 1 Data should be housed with the Primary Agency who performs monitoring 12 2 There is a requirement for clear lines of accountability by primary Agencies (data owner/steward)

    for the management of data collected in support of monitoring Lake Simcoe 12

    3 Ongoing resource requirements for data management should be recognized by primary Agencies 13 4 It is recommended that all data are transferred to and stored in a database management system

    (DBMS) 13

    5 Newly collected monitoring data should be regularly appended to appropriate existing databases within a defined time period after data preparation


    13 6 Backing-up and archiving should be continued by following the Primary Agency’s best practices, which should include off-site backing up and the use of universally recognizable software

    7 Data management plans should be documented and kept current 13 8 All Lake Simcoe data should have a metadata record 14 9 Lake Simcoe data should continue to be openly shared, using the Freedom of Information and

    Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) as a guideline for access to data 14

    10 Distributed data that is not QA-QCed should be properly identified 14

    Reporting Recommendations 1 Continue to produce frequent scientific and technical reporting in order to meet LSPP information

    needs 17

    2 Make existing reports more easily searchable and available to a variety of audiences (agencies, stakeholders, public)


    3 Consider producing a collaborative multi-agency report that presents highlights of ecological and environmental state and trends of Lake Simcoe for public consumption


  • Lake Simcoe Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy 2


    The Lake Simcoe Protection Act (LSPA) was passed in December 2008 with the primary objective “to protect and restore the ecological health of the Lake Simcoe watershed”. The LSPA was followed by the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan (LSPP) in June 2009, which laid out the plan for meeting the primary objective of the LSPA. The LSPP is based on ecosystem and adaptive management approaches, and is organized into several chapters, covering critical themes that include aquatic life, water quality, water quantity, shorelines, natural heritage, climate change and invasive species.

    Within the LSPP chapters, there are indicators and targets, and a category of policies that deal specifically with monitoring activities (the policies coded as M) (Table 1).

    Table 1. Examples of Indicators and Monitoring Policies in the LSPP Chapters

    LSPP Chapter Indicator Policy

    Aquatic Life • Native aquatic communities • Key sensitive species • Shifts in fish community composition

    3.6-M: an annual aquatic community monitoring program for the Lake Simcoe watershed.

    Water Quality

    • TP concentration and loading • Other nutrients • Beach postings • Total suspended solids • Chlorides • Heavy metals

    4.22-M: a scientific water quality monitoring program

    Water Quantity • Base discharge

    Natural Heritage and Shorelines

    • Proportion of land in natural cover • Degree of fragmentation • Integrity of shoreline • Key biological indicators • Significant recharge areas

    6.50-M: a monitoring program in relation to the targets and indicators associated with natural heritage and hydrologic features and areas

    Other threats Invasive species • Newly introduced species 7.10-SA: an annual monitoring program

    for terrestrial invasive species (including pests/ wildlife diseases)

    Climate change • Meteorological data • Lake thermal structure • Lake hydrodynamics • River hydrology • Timing of seasonal processes

    7.11-SA: an integrated climate change monitoring program to inform decision making and model the impacts of climate change

  • Lake Simcoe Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy 3

    These were designed by experts from the partner agencies involved in monitoring and the Lake Simcoe Science Committee to track the progress of actions for protecting and restoring the ecological health of Lake Simcoe and its watershed. Indicators, targets and monitoring are a critical component of policy implementation and the adaptive management approach; monitoring information feeds directly into the policy cycle by helping to identify the need for new or adjusted management actions, measuring policy outcomes and helping to ensure that policy is evidence based. The adaptive management approach of the LSPP requires feedback on performance in order to measure its effectiveness. For ecological and environmental focussed policy and management, this feedback comes from the repeated monitoring of indicators over many years (i.e., long term), the proper management of the data collected, and prompt reporting to inform watershed partners on the findings of the monitoring results. As such, the LSPP called for a comprehensive monitoring strategy (CMS):

    “collaborate to design and implement a comprehensive monitoring strategy for the Lake Simcoe watershed. The Plan also provides for the development of new, or the enhancement of existing monitoring programs needed to fill current monitoring gaps. A comprehensive coordination strategy will help to ensure that required data are available in a