Lake Health & Restoration


Lake Erie, Lake St Clair and the Detroit River are the major water bodies forming the Lake Erie Watershed.  Our Lake Erie watershed has been suffering from it’s own Covid-19 crises for many years.  We have reached that point where a form of “social distancing” is needed to restore health to the Lake Erie watershed.  This is where we live. This is our watershed and our responsibility. 

My2Lakes are Your2Lakes and we need to defend our Lakes with the same persistence and determination that we are now defending our own health.

Over 12 million of us live within this watershed.  11 million of us eat, drink, bathe, cook, clean, swim, fish and enjoy all sorts of recreation on these lake waters and the land that surrounds them.


We are responsible for lands producing billions of dollars food, feed, fuel and other agricultural products.

We are responsible for the maintenance and future existence of a major shipping lane providing transport for billions of dollars in products from the US and Canada which are exported other parts of the world.

We are responsible for the maintenance and improvement of the source of millions of tourism dollars added to our economy each and every year.


If each of us devoted 30 hours a year, that is only 5 minutes a day; doing something sustainable like clean up litter, switch to biodegradable plastic, install a water recycling system in your home, improve or protect the soil bordering drainage channels that direct ground water into the lakes. In just 5 minutes a day we could reverse 50 years of damage in less than 5 years and restore the lakes and our lands to their natural health.

“Thousands have lived without love – not one without water”

– w.a. auden

Consumer Pollution

The results of littering and care less living

It is imperative that we connect the dots between our health and our children’s future with our lifestyle habits. We must make our habits sustainable.

The loss in revenue from fishing and tourism added to clean up costs are in the billions of dollars annually in our Lake Erie basin.

Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution is one of the most environmentally damaging, difficult, and expensive to clean up.  The Canadian government has pledged to ban single use plastics by the end of 2021.  This is a great opportunity for us to change the way we manage single use plastics and convert our system over to biodegradable plastics and composite fiber alternatives. Composite fiber materials made from wool and plants like hemp, bamboo and other grasses with rapid growth rates and high fiber content. 

The ability to grow fiber crops exists across Canada from coast to coast and our agricultural sector is more than ready with abundant capacity to produce all the raw material to support an industry.  All Canadians need is the manufacturing infrastructure that would not only provide products to replace single use plastics but many other plastics, fiberglass, oil-based fabrics, aluminium, and steel products as well.

This infrastructure could easily be supported initially by our government with a recycling and disposal fee of 15% on all IMPORTED single use plastics and single use plastic packaging.  The revenue would be more than enough to initiate facilities in every province that will eventually employ 1/4 million Canadians and eventually over 2000 products for domestic use and for export markets.  There would be enough revenue left over to eliminate sales tax on Canadian made products from this industry plus eliminate the sales tax on restaurant meals, food service meals and our seniors could also be sales tax exempt.  There will be politicians that will say this is not possible and have all kinds of reasons that support their claim. We need to gently remind them that they work for us and this is what we want.



One of the ways we can dramatically reduce the amount of water that needs treatment before being released into the lake.

We could reduce the volume of micro plastics going into the lake by more than ½.

water recycled from sinks, showers, baths & dishwashers would be used to water our lawns, landscaping and vegetable gardens greatly reducing the nutrient over loading of our water source.


Phosphorous is one of the main building blocks for life itself.

It seems we are always looking to blame somebody or something when the real culprit is us.

By deflecting blame all we will accomplish is the creation of legislation restricting the use of phosphorous. This will result in unhealthy soils and economic losses to farmers – we will spend more on lawn maintenance chemicals resulting in a greater risk to the environment than ever before.



Healthy soils produce healthy feed and food. The secret to healthy soil is to protect and exercise it by keeping our soil covered with living plants for the frost free season.


Photosynthesis only takes place in the presence of living plants.  Plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to make sugar and release oxygen back into the atmosphere. Continuous crop production ensures cleaner air.


Healthy soils covered with plants can absorb excess water reducing runoff and soil erosion. Surface water runoff carry’s nutrients and sediment to the tributaries feeding the lake.  Soil erosion accounts for 70% of the nutrient and sediment overloading in our water supply.



Loss 56 cu yard = cost $4,760


Zero loss + gains in organic matter



Soil Loss
Loss of 7 cu yard in 610 m.  = $650.00.
Plus ditch clean out costs.



No soil loss
No clean out cost

¾ ac. buffer annual cost to net income = $187.50




1,600 CU YD soil loss = $136,000 annually


Annual cost to net income $275. No soil loss!



Average erosion protection


Zero chance of erosion.


During the 1950’s & 1960’s agriculture shifted towards mechanization and forage fed confined livestock instead of hay and pasture feeding roadside fences, which were a man-made barrier to soil erosion, disappeared along with wildlife habitat. Millions of tons of soil and nutrients find their way to the lakes because of this change in management practice. The loss of wildlife habitat came at a high price with significant reductions in pollinator habitat. Reductions in bird populations including the disappearance of some bird species from the region.


78 cu yard soil loss = $6,630 – not counting ditch cleanout costs. This loss alone would pay for 3000 ft. of fence in one year.



Zero soil loss + natural wildlife habitat



BRING LIVESTOCK BACK!  Livestock utilized as a tool to improve photosynthetic efficiency brings back fencing which is a barrier to edge of drain erosion.

Livestock will convert cover crops immediately into an economic benefit as well as improve long term soil benefits

More plant species are introduced to our crop rotations improving soil health, plant health, our health and the health of our local economy. Soil erosion would be zero and carbon sequestration would reach 100% on these hay and pasture acres

The roadblock to the livestock benefit’s are the start up capital cost and that is where our governments need to get involved. Farmers need support for the rebirth of pasturing livestock. These costs are far below clean up costs and losses in fishing and tourism sectors.



Inter-planting or inter-seeding of a companion crop into our commercial crops is a method of extending the growing season for fall planted crops. Improving soil health, reducing erosion and potentially harvesting a second crop or providing late season livestock feed are IMMEDIATE BENEFITS.

There are some costs and risks involved in adopting this advanced method which governments need to support initially.

Carbon tax revenues should be used to support practices like this to become common practice. This method can reduce soil erosion by 80% and increase our carbon sequestration potential to 80% compared to our current 40%.


Relay cropping takes a couple of forms but the most practical is inter-planting of a biennial cereal or oil seed species into bean crops. This method allows for the selection of a long season bean varieties and the planting of the biennial crop before harvest.

There are some costs and risks involved in adopting this advanced method which governments need to support initially.

The carbon tax revenue should be used to support practices like this to become common practice as this method can reduce soil erosion by 80% and increase our carbon sequestration potential to 90% compared to our current 40% of potential.


Bio strip cropping is a relatively new method of improving soil health and eliminating soil erosion. This practice involves combing a blend of biennial species with blend of annual species planted in rows.  The annual blend winter kills and the grower then no till plants in these rows while the biennial species continues to grow.

There are some costs and risks involved in adopting this advanced method which governments need to support initially.

The carbon tax revenue should be used to support practices like this to become common practice as this method can reduce soil erosion by 100% and increase our carbon sequestration to 100% compared to our current 40% of potential.


Double cropping can be successful in most of the Lake Erie watershed states & provinces.  It is not common practice because this method has not fully evolved to achieve its full potential.

There are some costs and risks involved in adopting this advanced method which governments need to support initially.

There is no need for a carbon tax as it is the most inappropriate solution for the size and population density of Canada. The net effect will be to increase the cost of living. Carbon taxing Canadians will ultimately result in higher emission output simply because the working sector will need to work ever harder to be profitable. 

Having said that, it seems like our politicians and advisors can not grasp the benefits of alternative proposals that are already approved within th COP21 agreements.  If we do finally approve a Carbon Tax these revenues should not go back to taxpayers who don’t buy fossil fuels for business.  The carbon tax revenue should be used to support practices which sequester carbon. These cropping practices need to become common practice as this method can reduce soil erosion by 80% and increase our carbon sequestration potential to 90% compared to our current 40% of potential.



Covid-19 and its variants have stressed our society and our economy. It has taught us a lot about the need for strong local economies built on small business platforms which means looking at place or country of origin before looking at the price tag. Pay a little more, expect higher quality, experience the value of personal service and ensure strong local communities with the ability to deal with events beyond our control.

What can we do. The small efforts today with big payback for our Canadian future.

As I said – Shop Local. Check country of origin first before price. Seek out locally produced and locally grown products first. Ask the “Big Box” store to start choosing Canadian products first and if they are not willing put them into second or third choice on your shopping list. I am not saying this will be easy and for some people simply not affordable however over time if we all make an effort our Canadian prices will be able to come more in line and more price competitive against overseas products which are for the most part selected on price, and in the example of food not only price but storage and shipping characteristics with little or no selection based on nutritional value or taste. Be aware that some Canadian companies import goods and then repackage them listing Canada as country of origin. These companies must be reported and dealt with accordingly.

 The Bigger Picture

Our leadership needs some leadership from us. Don’t be satisfied with just posting about this on social media but make an effort to write and also call your constituency offices for all parties. Let them know what you will support in terms of new business and industry.

For example:

1) Grants for in home and business water recycling systems “made in Canada”  A number of excellent systems are being manufactured in Canada and your local plumber can also design a system for you that can be used for lawn and landscape watering, car washing and house washing.

2) Grants for backyard composting systems and instruction on how to use them easily and effectively. Composting can greatly reduce the nutrient loading of the lake especially the composting food waste and tree leaves.

3) We have already invested $500 million dollars in the development of a Canadian Electric car being designed and prototyped with Ford Motor company in Windsor. The word on the street is that it may not be manufactured in Canada.. We must insist that this car is built in Canada by Canadians for use by the world.  This effort requires all of us to speak our mind to our leaders. Our green energy plan proposals for Canada should be fulfilled by Canadian home grown labour and materials. This will only happen with our insistence.

4) The industrial hemp industry has been hobbled by legislation that was designed to ensure that the crop was below narcotic THC levels. The red tape has handcuffed the growth and development of an industry that can provide over 2000 household products which can all be manufactured right here in Canada. Uses include the replacement of many plastic products, paper products, cardboard, and the list grows on as the hemp fibers can be used to replace fiberglass, some steel and aluminum products and the oils can be used in cosmetics, lubricants, and medicines.  Hemp plays an important role in carbon sequestration as it is capable of sequestering carbon at rates of up to 10 tonne per year. It also can be used as a cover crop and buffer zone boundary crop which increases carbon sequestration potential of the acres where commercial crops are not using the full season to sequester carbon. Used as a boundary or buffer strip crop it can improve wildlife habitat, pollinator habitat and wind erosion protection. Government help is needed to kick start this industry. They need to reduce the red tape and unreasonable limits set by standards that were set more out of fear and ignorance than science.

This is potentially the fastest economic recovery tool we have that also has significant environmental air and water quality benefits. In the current plan, the government is planning to spend $3.6 billion to plant new trees. It will take an acre of newly planted trees up to 20 years to sequester as much carbon as an acre of hemp crop can sequester in its first season. We already have programs in place to encourage and support the forestry industry to maintain and improve our forests so this money needs to go to developing new industries that are productive right out of the gate.

In  2015 Canada committed to a 5 year program costing over $5 billion dollars for other countries to help them reduce their carbon footprint. That same amount of money invested in agriculture and industry here in Canada could help us exceed our carbon commitments that we agreed to in the Paris accord.

A company in Waterloo Ontario has made a good start and leading the way – check them out at

We are all responsible for our environment

We are all responsible for our environment. Together we can be a significant force in restoring our natural resources and exceed sustainable levels. We have the knowledge technology and tools to be regenerative so lets each make a commitment to be regenerative in our daily lives. Small things like composting food waste in your garden can make a big difference.

Note:  all figures are general estimates which are subject to local conditions such as rainfall, heat units, length of growing season, elevation, topography, soil health, soil type, soil management practices,existing crop rotation practices and crop input management.