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The Lake Simcoe Environmental Management Strategy (LSEMS) studies were initiated in 1981 in response to concern over the loss of a coldwater fishery in Lake Simcoe. The studies concluded that increased urban growth and poor agricultural practices within the drainage basin were filling the lake with excess nutrients. These nutrients promote increased weed growth in the lake with the end result being a decrease in the water's oxygen supply. The "Final Report and Recommendations of the Steering Committee" was released in 1985. The report recommended that a phosphorus control strategy be designed to reduce phosphorus inputs from rural and urban sources.

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