6 episodes

The Lake Simcoe Sessions Podcast is a listenable learning journey, where you will have the chance to hear about how climate change is impacting us locally here in the Lake Simcoe Region. Our host Katie will be having conversations with climate change experts from different fields in conservation, with the goal of learning more about local climate change and how we can act now to build a resilient future for the land and the lake.

Lake Simcoe Sessions Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

    • Science

The Lake Simcoe Sessions Podcast is a listenable learning journey, where you will have the chance to hear about how climate change is impacting us locally here in the Lake Simcoe Region. Our host Katie will be having conversations with climate change experts from different fields in conservation, with the goal of learning more about local climate change and how we can act now to build a resilient future for the land and the lake.

    E5: Changing Communities

    E5: Changing Communities

    How does climate change impact human health and well-being? How is climate change posing new health risks today and into the future? Special guests Asim Qasim and Sonia Sanita from York Region Public Health join host Katie Biddie to talk about how climate change and human health are linked and how local greenspaces can be used to enhance overall wellness and wellbeing. They’ll talk about the cascading effects of climate change, the importance of healthy built environments, and how vulnerability assessments are being used to better understand the health impacts of climate change.

    York Region Healthy Built Environment Webpage   

    York Region Climate Change and Health Webpage

    Key take-aways for this episode:

    · There are some new health risks posed by climate change. More extreme heat events lead to more cases of heat stroke and heat illnesses. We are expecting to see more frequent air advisory days. Ticks which can carry Lyme disease are becoming more widespread.

    · Climate Change does not impact everyone equally. People have unique vulnerabilities based on their individual lived experiences that need to be considered during climate conversations.

    · Greenspaces can significantly benefit our physical and mental health, and the physical and social development of children. We need to keep our environment healthy to stay healthy ourselves.

    What can you do?

    · Learn more about the Healthy Built Environment, and read the York Region Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment here.

    · Spend some time outdoors and in nature. Reflect upon how you feel before going outside and after. Do you notice any improvements in your mood, energy levels or focus?

    · Give Forest Bathing a try. For more information about the practice of forest bathing, read M. Amos Clifford's simple yet inspiring book on the subject, “Your Guide to Forest Bathing”

    · Make friends with winter – don’t let the weather stop you from getting outside.

    · Sign up and participate in a Conservation Day Program.

    • 25 min
    E4: Changing Ecosystems

    E4: Changing Ecosystems

     What are the long-term benefits of restoring and transforming spaces into more naturalized areas? What role do grasslands and wetlands play in climate change? What is carbon sequestration? Special guest Lori McLean joins host Katie Biddie as they discuss how restoration projects positively impact climate change. From deep root systems in meadow plants, to carbon sequestration, learn about the benefits of native species and restoring the natural environment as a proven solution in mitigating climate change.

    Key take-aways for this episode:


    Habitat restoration benefits us in many ways; natural habitats sequester more carbon and mitigate climate change, they promote biodiversity, and they make our public greenspaces more beautiful and enjoyable for recreation.
    Small actions can build up; by creating a small habitat on your property, you can join a network of small habitats that make a big difference for wildlife.

    What can you do?


    Reflect upon what gives you hope for the future of our planet and watershed. If you need inspiration, visit the meadow restoration in progress at Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area.
    Organize a Community Project, like creating a pollinator garden, or removing invasive species.
    Plant your own mini-meadow. Even a small space on your urban or suburban lawn can be sectioned off and turned into a mini-meadow, where you can help rebuild nature. A small native plant garden is as easy to maintain as a lawn, is far more beautiful to look at (increasing your property’s curb appeal) and will do so much more for our local environment because it has a lower carbon footprint than a lawn. Lawns require mowing, watering and fertilizing whereas native plant gardens, once established, require very little effort. Want to try creating your own Meadow? Check out our Less Lawn webpage​ for access to resources and support including tips for buying native plants.
    Help grow the wetlands in our watershed.

    • 25 min
    E3: Changing Waterways

    E3: Changing Waterways

    How are changing temperatures and weather patterns impacting Lake Simcoe? How sensitive are our water systems to climate change? Can we protect freshwater of Lake Simcoe and ensure the lake stays healthy and clean for generations to come? Dr. Brian Ginn joins host Katie Biddie to talk about climate change as one of the top three environmental stressors on Lake Simcoe, how nutrients like phosphorus and salt threaten lake health, and the effects of rising water temperatures on cold water fish populations. Learn more about how we can join together to fight and tackle climate change in the Lake Simcoe watershed.



    Key take-aways from this episode:


    Lakes are a “downhill ecosystem”; everything that happens on the landscape that surrounds it will eventually impact Lake Simcoe.
    Lake Simcoe is already facing several challenges because of climate change, including the threats posed by road salt and phosphorus in run-off water.
    The warmer temperatures that are projected for our region due to climate change will pose a risk to the fish that live in Lake Simcoe and rely on cold water habitats.

    What can you do?


    Consider how you can help keep the water where you live clean. Use household products that are phosphorus-free.
    Divert water that runs off your property onto soil or grass and away from paved surfaces. Position downspouts from your home away from the driveway or install a rain barrel to collect water from your roof.
    Install low impact development features like green roofs, or rain gardens on your property to allow rainwater to infiltrate into the ground. Check out our Low Impact Development webpage for more ideas on what you can do.
    Be careful not to over-salt your driveway or walkway in the wintertime.
    If you live on the shore or bank of a stream, naturalize the area to prevent erosion and improve water quality. Learn more about Improving Streams & Retrofitting On-line Ponds
    Be an invasive species fighter! Clean, drain and dry your boat, watercraft and gear between trips to bodies of water to prevent spreading invasive species.

    • 29 min
    E2: Changing Forests

    E2: Changing Forests

    What changes has the Lake Simcoe watershed seen in its forests over the years? What did forests look like in the past? What do they look like now? And what changes can we expect to see in our forests in the future? Special guest Phil Davies joins host Katie Biddie to better understand the threats our forests face in the future as they discuss the special role trees play as both adaptations and mitigations to climate change. They look at how trees and forest composition will change over the next several decades in response to climate change and rising temperatures.

    Key take-aways from this episode:


    Forests help to mitigate climate change by serving as an important greenhouse gas sink that absorb and store carbon dioxide.
    Some tree species, like the White Spruce, are predicted to be pushed out of this area by 2050 because of climate change.

    What can you do?


    Learn how to identify a tree in your neighbourhood or at your local conservation area. Use our dichotomous tree key, or the app Seek by iNaturalist to learn a new species of tree.
    Plant for the future. If you’re planting a new tree, pay attention to what you’re planting. Pick a species that will thrive in the future and select native plants as much as possible.
    If you own a woodlot or forest on your property, think about the composition of your trees. Learn more about Grow Your Legacy program from the Regional Municipality of York's Greening Strategy where landowners in northern York Region are eligible for additional funding to increase forest cover. The Simcoe County Tree Planting Program seeks to increase tree cover in high priority areas such as marginal farmlands and along streams in Simcoe County.
    If your property is suitable, our experts are happy to help you establish a new forest, connect or enlarge your existing forest, or establish a windbreak. Our team of experts will help you every step of the way from funding and planning to planting and tending your new trees. We may cover 50% to 90% of the costs. Check out or Full-Service Tree planting webpage

    • 28 min
    E1: Climate Change in the Lake Simcoe Watershed

    E1: Climate Change in the Lake Simcoe Watershed

    Welcome to #LakeSimcoe Sessions! This episode provides an overview of climate change and includes our local climate projections. Host Katie will be interviewing Fabio Tonto, who is the Climate Change Specialist at LSRCA.

    Conservation Ontario's Conservation Authority Map: https://conservationontario.ca/conservation-authorities/find-a-conservation-authority
    Lake Simcoe Watershed Trends and Projections: https://www.lsrca.on.ca/Pages/Watershed-Trends-and-Projections.aspx
    LSRCA's Adaptation Strategy: https://www.lsrca.on.ca/AdaptationStrategy
    LSRCA's Mitigation Strategy: https://www.lsrca.on.ca/Shared%20Documents/reports/Climate-Change-Mitigation-Report.pdf

    A transcript for this podcast is available on our website: https://www.lsrca.on.ca/Podcasts

    • 35 min
    Trailer - Lake Simcoe Sessions

    Trailer - Lake Simcoe Sessions

    Katie Biddie explores the impacts of climate change in the Lake Simcoe watershed with local experts. Learn more the climate change crisis that is unfolding today, and what you can do right now to help build a resilient future. Visit https://www.lsrca.on.ca/Podcasts to learn more!

    • 1 min

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