Better Tomorrows from Yesterday’s Mistakes: Creating a Eutrophication Remediation Framework Through a Case Study of Lake Simcoe and Lake Erie Mitigation Strategies
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Lake Eutrophication is a rapidly emerging global issue that threatens both human and natural communities. While many attempts at lake remediation have occurred in the past, few have been truly successful. This may be due to the lack of an appropriate structure for conducting remediation. Through analysis and comparison of government documents and academic literature, this paper highlights the differences, similarities, successes, failures, strengths and weaknesses of the remediation plans of Lake Simcoe and Lake Eire, both of which have experienced eutrophication, in order to create a comprehensive framework through which lakes undergoing eutrophication could be analyzed and fitted with remediation strategies. The failure of Lake Erie’s remediation strategy highlights the importance of an organized understanding of phosphorus inputs and consideration of future changes. Lake Simcoe’s remediation strategy highlights the importance of sustainability as a concept and involvement of the community. The comparison between the two lakes indicates the importance of looking at geography and history of a lake in order to determine the extent of the damage of eutrophication and the types of communities that are most harmful to lakes. The comparison also helps identify the qualities of a lake are truly important when developing a remediation strategy. Through these observations the Lake Remediation Framework was formulated. Its underlying structure relies on three key values: sustainability, cost-efficiency and community involvement. With these values in mind, the framework guides the reader through a list of standardized and common sources of phosphorus loading, which is identified as a key component to successful remediation and to cataloguing of eutrophication in lakes. The Lake Remediation Framework then walks through important considerations that should be made before, during and after remediation. With critique and an input of various opinions, this framework could be a useful tool for creating effective remediation strategies for lakes facing eutrophication.