OFA comments on the science task team’s assessment of Lake Ontario’s interim phosphorus targets under the Canada–U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
OFA believes that actions to address excessive nutrients in any of the Great Lakes must be science evidence based. This includes recognizing and accounting for the delays in response time from the introduction of management practices to observing nutrient reductions in the lakes. We are also supportive of the use of voluntary measures that are accompanied by cost-share dollars if management activities are ever identified for agricultural practices, along with consultation with the agricultural community.
OFA is in support of the recommendations and next steps for Lake Ontario nutrients contained in the science task team’s assessment. The recommendation is that “the Nutrients Annex does not recommend a revision of the Lake Ontario phosphorus targets, at this time.” Next steps for 2023-2025 Science and Action include continuing monitoring, updating estimates of annual phosphorous loads to the lake, and identifying locations where management actions may be needed to address nearshore algae issues in Lake Ontario.