Todd Sellers with the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation says he 'absolutely applauds' Ontario's new plan for water protection.

"What it is is a clear statement of priority from the province in their environment plan that they intend to take action to protect the quality of Lake of the Woods," he said yesterday.

The plan released last week includes a specific mention of Lake of the Woods. Cottagers on the lake are concerned about algae blooms, and they expressed their impatience in a meeting with federal representatives last August.

"I think this is a clear indication the ball is going to get pushed forward, and I think it's the kind of action -- although it's early days -- that the public was looking for," he said.

The State of Minnesota has already introduced plans for reducing phosphorous. Sellers noted 60 per cent of water in the watershed comes from the American side, and they are ahead of the Canadian side, when it comes to identifying specific targets and plans for meeting them at specific sources.

After approval by the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S., the Minnesota plan will go to public consultation. This process is in partnership with a similar process in Ontario, Manitoba and Ottawa.

"The feet are in the starting block," Sellers added, noting the details to flesh out the plan for the watershed are still to come.

Will encouraged, Sellers noted it was too early to talk about timelines for implementing targets and strategies for reductions.

For more information:

A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan

Impatience at water quality meeting

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