The Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative (PRC) initiative is a project aimed at installing and testing technologies that intercept and remove phosphorus from agricultural runoff. Phosphorus entering the system contributes to the growth of harmful algal blooms in the Thames River and Lake Erie.
Since June, recordings have shown that, while phosphorus levels themselves have bounced up and down, the amount being extracted has averaged about 75 per cent, with fluctuations between 60 and 90 per cent.
Over the past four years, the Thames River PRC has set up testing sites in several agricultural fields in the Thames River watershed, the Lake Erie Basin and in two municipal pumping stations – the one near Chatham and one in London. The research into different technologies that intercept and extract phosphorus from runoff will continue through the next two years.
The Thames River PRC was cited in the Canada Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan which is aimed at contributing to the commitment made in 2016 between Canada and the U.S. to a 40 per cent reduction in the total phosphorus entering Lake Erie.
The group represents agricultural organizations, municipalities, conservation authorities, First Nations, 4R Nutrient Stewardship, the drainage sector, and environmental non-governmental organizations. It is co-chaired by Mark Reusser, Vice-President, OFA and Clare Latimer, South Kent Councillor, Municipality of Chatham-Kent.
The Thames River PRC is administered by OFA and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative www.glslcities.org.
This project is funded through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Great Lakes Protection Initiative.
Details of the collaborative, its work, and a full list of steering committee members are at www.thamesriverprc.com