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LETTER: Water Stewards and Others Support Watershed Studies in Sudbury

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Council of the City of Greater Sudbury

P.O. Box 5000 Station A

200 Brady Street

Sudbury ON P3A 5P3


May 9, 2013


Dear Members of Council of the City of Greater Sudbury


As local water stewards, environmental organizations, and community groups, we would like to express our strong support for the proposed motion to immediately begin work on watershed studies.  Watershed studies are fundamental to healthy, swimmable, drinkable, fishable, and sustainable lakes and waterways in Greater Sudbury.   These studies are needed to make informed decisions that take into account the big picture, and assess the cumulative impacts of development.  Much of the background work has already been done – now is the time to complete these studies.


Water quality is a top priority and concern for residents in our ‘City of Lakes’.  Enjoyment of our lakes and waterways, and access to safe drinking water, are essential to our community.  Watershed studies provide the basic information needed to make appropriate planning decisions when it comes to water quality, and to protecting residents from flooding hazards.  This is why water stewards have consistently called for the need for watershed studies to be completed before development decisions are made.  


The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, in their stormwater management design guidelines, includes watershed studies as an essential part of stormwater management.  These guidelines state, “Urban development without watershed/subwatershed planning is discouraged”.  Without this information, we are placing greater stress on the health of our lakes and rivers.  Already, there are increasing numbers of beach closures, blue-green algae blooms and other serious problems that pose a threat to public health and safety.  As pointed out by local experts such as Dr. Gunn and Dr. Pearson, local conditions and the impacts of climate change make it even more imperative to be proactive in protecting water quality.  Acting now is much easier and less costly than trying to reverse more serious problems later. 


The City of Greater Sudbury was the first Ontario municipality to enact a phosphorus by-law to protect water quality.  This was a great step for our “City of Lakes”.  At the time the by-law was passed, many Councilors spoke about the need for further steps, especially to reduce the impact of development on our lakes.  Completing watershed studies is a crucial next step.  Watershed and subwatershed plans allow for smart development plans and decisions.   Ecosystem functions are protected, maintaining valuable natural services that are difficult and expensive to replace with built infrastructure.  Sustainable development is a matter of balance.  Watershed studies are needed to find that healthy balance for a sustainable future.


We, the undersigned, urge Council to take this next essential step in protecting Greater Sudbury’s lakes and waterways.


Thank-you for your attention.  We would be happy to discuss this further.

On behalf of the undersigned groups, please contact:


Lesley Flowers                                                 Naomi Grant

Greater Sudbury Watershed Alliance                Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury              705-673-1874,


Linda Heron                                                     Lilly Noble

Vermilion River Stewardship                           Ramsey Lake Stewardship Committee

705-866-1677,          705-691-5538,


Yours truly,


Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury


Fairbank Lake Camp Owners’ Association


Friends of Bennett Lake


Friends of the Roxborough Greenbelt


Greater Sudbury Watershed Alliance *


Junction Creek Stewardship Committee


Minnow Lake Restoration Group


Onwatin Lake Stewardship Committee


Ramsey Lake Stewardship Committee


reThink Green


St. Charles Lake Watershed Stewardship Association


Simon Lake Community Stewardship Group


Sudbury Cyclists Union


Vermilion River Stewardship


* The Greater Sudbury Watershed Alliance is an association of Lake, Creek and River Stewardship Groups in Greater Sudbury (currently 17 member groups)

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The Sudbury working-group of The Media Co-op was formed to create independent media in the North, to speak to our issues and outlooks on our communities as well as the world around us. Independent media provides an avenue for people who are wishing to gain critical perspective on the issues that matter most to us, and to give a voice to those people and stories that you won't find in the mainstream media.

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