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Letter: Drinking water threats may increase with the sale of LU trail land

'Let’s be sure Laurentian University does not put this vital Ramsey Lake watershed land on the chopping block'
Sunlight glints off of Laurentian University's Parker Building over Lake Ramsey at sunset on June 5.

There are many environmental pressures on Ramsey Lake. Some are historical, from mining, and some ongoing, as an urban lake. The Ramsey Lake Stewardship Committee has advocated for protection and enhancement of Ramsey Lake for over a decade.

The Greater Sudbury Drinking Water Source Protection Committee (DWSPC), of which I was a member for 12 years, is tasked with looking for sources of contamination that might pose a threat to drinking water sources like Ramsey Lake, which provides clean drinking water to over 60,000 Sudburians.

I, and other advocates for a healthy Ramsey Lake, are shocked to hear that a real estate firm is conducting a review of Laurentian University property with the intent of possibly monetizing LU’s land, which is part of the Ramsey Lake watershed.  

We always assumed these hundreds of acres of land would be kept as greenspace with the many volunteer-made winter and summer trails winding through natural heritage features of woodlands and wetlands. It is this very land which naturally protects Ramsey Lake from further degradation and it helps keep the lake clean for us to enjoy.

But if this land is sold off to private developers and paved over, then there will be an increase in the known threats to Ramsey Lake, which include more road salt runoff, phosphorus runoff with associated blue-green algae blooms, E. coli contamination, road grease/rubber pollution, organic solvents, snow storage contaminants, and an increase in the lake temperature from loss of trees.

The ability of Ramsey Lake to remain a viable drinking water source and provide year-round enjoyment through the LU trail system is at risk through any sale and development of these LU lands. 

Let’s be sure Laurentian University does not put this vital Ramsey Lake watershed land on the chopping block.  

Lilly Noble


Ramsey Lake Stewardship Committee