Update: May 5, 2020 – Lab services at the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP) Dorset Environmental Science Centre are on hold. The Ministry is currently assessing the safest way to continue the Lake Partner Program for 2020 while keeping volunteers and ministry staff safe. During this time, we ask that volunteers do not gather or submit any samples to the Ministry lab in Dorset. Click here to see the full letter from MECP to FOCA.
Update: May 1, 2020 – the Lake Partner Program’s province-wide sampling results from 2019 are now available for download:
- Total Phosphorous results (Excel; 2.1 MB)
- Average Secchi depth (water transparency) results (Excel; under 1 MB)
- Calcium results (Excel; under 1 MB)
Contact the Lake Partner Program Coordinator if you cannot access your lake’s results.
Find out if your lake is being sampled and if so, review past results on the interactive online map which is maintained by the Ontario Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks
No results listed for your inland Ontario lake? We might need a volunteer in your area! Could it be you? Find out more about the program here: Lake Partner Program – OVERVIEW
April 28, 2020 – Following many months of productive conversations with our partners at MECP, FOCA was looking forward to a continuation of the important citizen-led province-wide Lake Partner monitoring program this year.
Despite FOCA’s best intentions to continue with the Lake Partner Program (LPP) in 2020, the volunteer sampling and sample submission, plus any laboratory work by the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP) has to be postponed indefinitely. Given the many closures, particularly the lab services at the Dorset Environmental Science Centre, it will be impossible to deliver this program.
Many of you are already in receipt of your sampling packages, and we ask that you please hold on to these for when the program eventually resumes.
Note: though the LPP water sampling/submission/testing is on hold until further notice, secchi readings can still be taken and recorded for your sampling locations WHEN AND IF CONDITIONS ARE SAFE TO DO SO.
April 28, 2020 – [see update, above, dated May 1, 2020] An important part of this program has been the communication of the water sampling results, which are a vital resource for the hundreds of groups that support the program through their citizen science/sampling and related stewardship activities. For some inexplicable reason, the Province of Ontario has not been willing or able to release the data for the 2019 sampling season. FOCA believes it is not only appropriate but in fact imperative that this public data be made public. Notwithstanding the current pandemic situation, this information should be released immediately, as part of the MECP mandate and the Made in Ontario Environment Plan. FOCA and others have been requesting action from Ministry officials on this matter for months, with no response.
We encourage any of our volunteers or other program partners to reach out to their Member of Provincial Parliament to get their support to have this data released to the public. You can find your local MPP along with their contact information, here.
September 2017 – Secchi Trends Across the Province (PDF, 2 pages) – Read the new fact sheet from the Lake Partner Program and FOCA, about water clarity and the role of the Secchi Disk!
Key findings: while Secchi depths of the majority (65%) of lakes studied between the years 2000 and 2014 did not change significantly, over the last 10 years there has been a 19% decline in the number of Secchi depth readings collected per year. This is concerning. Read the fact sheet to find out what you can do to help!
Lake Stewards: Need a sampling refresher course? Use the following tools, and watch the short video, below.
- Guide to Interpreting Total Phosphorus and Secchi Data (pdf; 4 pages)
- Sampling Instructions from MOE (pdf; 2 pages)
Lake Partner Program Sampling Video
Find out more about FOCA’s work with the Lake Partner Program and lake stewardship, using the links below.