Welcome to Summer!


Another very  pleasant weekend on the lake.
Just a few reminders.
SUMMER FUN
Next weekend (weekend of July 31) we have our (see attached posters) coming up :
Canoe Races Saturday am  – lead by Mary
Dress up your boat for fun -Saturday afternoon. – lead by MelSale Boat regatta Sunday afternoon  – lead by Alan
Please encourage friends and neighbors to sign-up in advance.

MEMBERSHIPPlease remember that your membership dues are very important to the well being of our community of lakes and allow such things as participation with FOCA and their contribution to our waters, membership in other associations vital to an ecologically sound water body, plus we would like to add one more AED on the lake.

LWRA membership dues  are $50 per cottage and can be paid by Paypal or e-transfer.  Cheques payable to Limerick Waterways Ratepayers Association or cash can be dropped off to Mary Argue at 135 North Shore.

A        Etransfer:  limerickwaterways@gmail.com

 B        Paypal for email link

LandEscapesWe have initiated dialogue with the new owners of the “Domtar” property and hope to get together with them soon – more to follow.  Nice to have environmentally conscious new neighbors.
ANNUAL   AGMOur AGM as previously announced is planned for Labor day weekend  to allow some social gathering and welcoming back our fellow cottagers from out of country- more info to follow. 
Thank you to those that have stepped forward to stand for election and participate in our board
Boat House clear-out’We have to clear our  stuff out of the boat house storage  building at the Marina. Some will go to the dump (I will need help  as I cant lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for most of the summer). If anyone has space, let me know 
WATER TESTINGOur annual water sampling for invasive species will be done over the weekend and submitted for testing
A special thanks to Kyle for his work in getting the preparing our new posters. 

Best Regards,Mike Douglas-HeckerPresident, LWRA

Tel: 647-290-1326

Email: 

mikedh@rogers.com  or mike@cathim.com

2021 page one.pdf
2021 page three.pdf
2021 page two.pdf

Community Dinner July 17

There will be a Roast Beef Take-out Dinner from the Limerick Community Centre on Saturday, July 17 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Money raised from the event will be used to show a young family the love and caring of their family and neighbours.

For just $15 you can get a roast beef dinner with all of the fixings: potatoes, gravy, veggies, coleslaw and dessert.
There will be draws … maybe several draws and tickets for them will be $5 each or 3 for $10.

Sponsored by: Limerick, Tudor/Cashel Volunteers
For information and orders call:

Dawn – 613-334-7237
Joan – 613-391-7840
Jo-Anne- 613-334-4194

FOCA June 2021 update

FOCA Elert ~ June 2021FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, the voice of the waterfront for nearly 60 years.Having trouble? View as a WebpageFOCA Advocates for Responsive GovernmentBorder woesFOCA is aware that many property owners from outside Ontario have struggled with the inability to enter the province to access their properties, due to the ongoing pandemic. Mindful of the need to keep everyone safe, FOCA has written to both the Province and the Canadian government, asking for direction on the plan to get our friends and neighbours back to the Ontario waterfront, as quickly as it is safe to do so. While FOCA was pleased to see the provincial borders open on June 16, we remain concerned there is no plan in place to allow U.S. owners of Canadian property to access and isolate at their waterfront homes. Read FOCA’s letters to the Premier and the Federal leadership (see June 4th posting), and get updates on the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our communities, here:https://foca.on.ca/covid-19-update-from-foca/Electricity PricingThis week the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) responded to Hydro One‘s submission of late May 2021 (which had provided responses to common customer questions about the elimination of the seasonal rate class), by asking for more clarification from Hydro One on certain aspects of the proposed implementation plan. For a summary of the outstanding details, and a link to the OEB’s full letter, visit FOCA’s webpage:https://foca.on.ca/electricity-pricing/FOCA’s Gold level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.FOCA Serves Lake & Road AssociationsRead about your provincial association2020 was a unique and challenging year, but FOCA and our waterfront communities emerged stronger and more committed than ever before. Find out how we did this, and learn more about our strategic priorities and how we serve you, including feedback from your fellow members about FOCA’s important role:2020 FOCA Year in Review
Please share this digital resource with everyone in your waterfront community!Association Members: Do your members know about ALL their FOCA benefits?All members of our Member Associations are entitled to access a series of discounts, special offers and other member benefits. Get the details (and login for information about the access codes), here: https://foca.on.ca/member-services/benefits/FOCA brandingA member Association recently asked: Can we use the FOCA logo on our Association communications to members, media, government, or partners?
Our response: Thanks for your pride in our organization! FOCA’s logo may be used with positioning words such as “member of” to clarify that the statement being made is from your Association, not necessarily FOCA. Where practical, please also include a link to our website: https://foca.on.ca 
For any co-branding requests, copies of the FOCA logo, or other marketing materials for your website, newsletter or social media posting, please connect with contact our Communications Coordinator: communications@foca.on.ca FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & RiversLake Partner Program updatesThe 2021 sampling season is underway, and the 2020 data has been released by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. If water samples or Secchi readings were submitted for your lake last year (many were not, due to COVID-19), you can access the results from links on our webpage: https://foca.on.ca/lake-partner-program/Webinar: Invasive Phragmites Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at noon
Last call to register! Join FOCA and Brooke Harrison from Georgian Bay Forever for a discussion about invasive Phragmites: its characteristics, its spread and its controls. Click here to register for this webinar.Missed a recent webinar? Members can access recordings:You’ll need your FOCA Member login for this and other member materials on the website. Don’t have, or can’t recall, the login? Email communications@foca.on.ca, and we’ll reply during business hours.Past Webinar: Invasive Species & Boater PathwaysJune 1, 2021 – A discussion with FOCA and the Invasive Species Centre about boats as a potential pathway of spread for invasive species, and the current review of the Invasive Species Act including the regulation of the movement of boats between waterways. FOCA Members can access the webinar recording here: https://foca.on.ca/invasive-species/Past Webinar: DataStreamJune 16, 2021 – A discussion with FOCA and the Gordon Foundation about the Great Lakes DataStream open access hub for sharing water data, set to come online this Fall. If you participate in water quality data collection in the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence region, you’ll want to hear about DataStream and the map and visualization tools that will make it easy to explore results and see where else monitoring is taking place around you. FOCA members can access the webinar recording here:https://foca.on.ca/citizen-science/Past Webinar: Creating a Cardiac Safe Cottage CommunityApril 21, 2021 – A presentation about emergency preparedness in rural and remote areas, and the importance of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), from our partners at Action First Aid.FOCA members can access the webinar recording here: https://foca.on.ca/emergency-response-in-remote-areas/Natural Shorelines Matter!Wondering about the reasons behind our love of “natural” shorelines and what we mean by that? Spend a couple minutes with FOCA’s Terry Rees in this video about the role of shoreline plants in water quality, fish habitat, goose deterrence and erosion control:Planting a Natural EdgeFOCA is often asked for native planting suggestions for cottage country. There are lots of great resources, and one of them is The Natural Edge online Plant tool, which has a “Zone map” prompting you to find the hardiness zone of your property, to generate a shortlist of appropriate plants, bushes, and trees! The Natural Edge is a project of Watersheds CanadaAccess the database and map here.FOCA Champions Affordable & Safe Rural LivingCottage Succession FOCA and estate lawyer Peter Lillico have been teaching families about cottage succession planning for the past decade! Our traditional in-person events have shifted to digital for 2021: 
PAST: June 15, 2021: “Targeting Tax” webinar for the Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners AssociationPAST: June 23, 2021: “Cottage Succession A to Z” webinar for the Mazinaw Property Owners AssociationAugust 14, 2021: “Cottage Succession A to Z” webinar for the Chaffey’s Area Lakes Association and the Buck Lake Association. TBD: “Cottage Succession A to Z” webinar for our Thunder Bay area associations (more news coming soon!)TBD: “Trusting the Cottage” webinar about trust techniques; this session will be open to ALL FOCA members, later this year.
Thank you to our member associations who are the local hosts of these seminars. The events are free as part of your Association’s annual membership in FOCA. For info & recordings of past seminars, visit: https://foca.on.ca/cottage-succession/Lyme Disease – be awareLyme disease is an infection caused by the corkscrew shaped bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. In Ontario, these bacteria are spread by the bite of blacklegged ticks.
Get a link to the updated map of risk areas across Ontario (pictured at the right), and more information about lyme disease risk prevention, here: https://foca.on.ca/lyme-disease/Fire SafetyThe Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management reminds everyone that it will soon be July, when the top fire safety concerns are:barbequescottage firessmoking-related firesforest fires.Learn about all kinds of summer safety in the Summer Smart handbook from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority. Download that handbook, as well as the Fire Marshal’s printable Cottage Fire Safety tips, from our webpage: https://foca.on.ca/fire-safety-overview/Boat WakeOur waterways are busy again this year! FOCA has heard from members concerned with the impacts of boat wake, and questions about signage that can be posted to remind boaters of their wake impact. Two great recent examples of signs created by our member Associations, along with other resources, are featured on FOCA’s webpage: https://foca.on.ca/watch-your-wake/left: Baptiste Lake Association; right: Muskoka Lakes Association & Safe Quiet LakesGypsy mothGypsy moth is a non-native forest defoliating pest that is found in Ontario. Outbreaks occur every 7 to 10 years – and many parts of south central Ontario are in the midst of one now. Get information, resources, and link to a recent webinar on the topic hosted by the Ontario Model Forest and Ontario Woodlot Association from FOCA’s webpage:https://foca.on.ca/gypsy-moth/
FOCA’s webpage also includes member access to our Gypsy moth webinar held last year, as well as an extensive “Q&A” list of common questions and concerns around management of the pest. Rental Boat safetyThere has been an update from Transport Canada (TC) about earlier proposed changes that would no longer recognize the Rental Boat Safety Checklist (RBSC) as a form of proof of operator competency. Following public consultations, TC announced it is NOT rescinding the RBSC, but another proposal will be considered for rentals of personal watercraft (PWC) to those under the age of 25. Details are posted on FOCA’s Safe Boating webpage (see June 9th posting).image: DiscoverBoating.caFOCA’s Silver level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.Partner Updates & Regional NoticesGreat Lakes water levelsThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported in May that precipitation over the Great Lakes basin was generally below average for six months in a row, leading to significant declines in water levels. The lake level forecast for each of the Great Lakes has been released, with water levels still above the long-term average, but much lower than the record highs of the past few years. Review the details, including graphs (Michigan-Huron is shown here), in the online article from Michigan Live.Upcoming webinar series:Ontario Biodiversity SummitFind out more about how nature can help us address climate change and biodiversity loss at the 2021 Ontario Biodiversity Summit! Virtual sessions run through September. FOCA’s Terry Rees will be moderating a session about ‘Restoring Aquatic Biodiversity’ that is now scheduled for Thursday, July 15th.Get details & register for sessions here.Source Protection VolunteerThe Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region is seeking a Source Protection Committee member interested in protecting municipal drinking water sources in the Mississippi and Rideau Valley watersheds. The committee is looking for one public sector representative for multi-year involvement, to liaise on behalf any of the following seats: environmental, non-governmental organizations, First Nations and general interest. Get general information and apply online by July 4, 2021.Fish Hatchery FundraiserThe North Hastings Community Fish Hatchery thanks those who contributed in 2020 to their fundraising efforts, and asks for your support again this year, as COVID-19 has curtailed their traditional fundraising events. This year will feature an on-line auction in July. Details are in in this information flyer.Boater Education OpportunityFOCA’s recent webinar on Invasive Species and Boater Pathways (above) included mention of a new Water Steward Program led by the OFAH’s Invading Species Awareness Program with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Grow Grant. The program is looking for volunteers in Durham, Haliburton, Kawartha, and Pine Ridge regions to be trained to engage boaters at your local boat launches on Clean + Drain + Dry messaging. Interested volunteers should complete an online survey to start the process! Water Funds Kawartha Conservation reports that property owners in the City of Kawartha Lakes, or Townships of Scugog, Brock, or Clarington can apply for financial assistance through the Scugog Water Fund (for 2021), Kawartha Water Fund (for 2022), or the Kawartha Community Grant for projects that contribute to the health of the watershed (including tree planting, shoreline naturalization, well/septic system stewardship and more, depending upon the particular grant/fund).Get details and apply online here.Bat TalksThe Willis Bat Lab at the University of Winnipeg is offering nature clubs, stewardship and naturalist groups across Ontario free bat webinars! Bats in Ontario face threats, including white-nose syndrome, and need to be better understood and protected. You are encouraged to participate in the Neighbourhood Bat Watch to report bats in Manitoba, Ontario or Quebec. Contact the Lab directly about availability for talks for your community: email batwatch@outlook.com or call 204-786-9433SQL survey: Your Lakes, Your ViewsSafe Quiet Lakes (SQL), in partnership with Algonquin College and local lake associations, invite those who use and love the waterways in the Muskoka and Georgian Bay regions to participate in their latest survey. Past survey data has been shared with Transport Canada, municipalities, the OPP, and boating organizations. Add your voice before Monday, July 12, 2021. Click here to reach the survey.Lakes AppreciationThe North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) reminds everyone to celebrate “Lakes Appreciation Month”in July. They’ve released the spectacular student poster contest winners for 2021! Check it out, plus get ideas for planning a local event (shoreline clean up? lake paddle or hike? septic system information blitz? it’s up to you!):https://www.nalms.org/lakes-appreciation-month/FOCA’s Bronze level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.Partner Highlights30 years of CSBCCongratulations to our partner organization, the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), which held its 30th Annual General Meeting this past month. That’s three decades of promoting safe and responsible boating across the country. The alliance was originally formed to prevent boating injuries and drownings. Their projects include championing Safe Boating Awareness Week each Spring, presenting the annual Canadian Safe Boating Awards, and managing the SmartBoater website. Check out SmartBoater.ca for lists of legally required & recommended safety equipment by boat type, together with rules, regulations, and aids to navigation.Also, the new “Weather to Boat” app has just been launched by CSBC! It is available for FREE download in online app stores. Powerful, dynamic … and it could save your life. In addition to marine and local weather forecasts, it provides pre-departure checklists, geo-referenced marinas and boat launches, video tips, and much more. Information & download links are online here.FOCA Staff UpdatesAward receivedFOCA congratulates Dr. Liz Favot, our Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator, who was part of a team whose lead author, Branaavan Sivarajah, was awarded best student paper at the recent 2021 Interdisciplinary Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms Workshop.Their paper, Eutrophication and climatic changes lead to unprecedented cyanobacterial blooms in a Canadian sub-Arctic landscape (published in the journal Harmful Algae) documents long-term environmental changes preceding a rare observation of recurring cyanobacterial blooms in a lake in Yellowknife, NWT over the last decade. Conclusion: both nutrient pollution and climatic changes could contribute to the manifestation of blooms. FOCA Fosters Community“New to cottaging” video resource from FOCAWe know lots of folks are having their FIRST cottage country experience this year, and may be thinking about buying or building a cottage. FOCA has created a video with key information about choosing an area, understanding the nature of your property, considerations for buying or building, and ways to get the most out of the experience including connecting with the local lake association! Click the image below to view: The video link is: https://youtu.be/degdS-i5hDk
Please post and share this information to help those in the early stages of their decision-making to start their waterfront experience sustainably and in harmony with their new community and the environment. 
This, and other important information for new cottagers is available on FOCA’s new webpage: https://foca.on.ca/cottage/ – share this!Final ThoughtsA message from FOCA:
While we have heard some communities are changing July 1st events, FOCA has not heard of a wholesale or widespread cancelling of events among our members. 
FOCA recognizes that many people feel a celebration of our country needs to be “reimagined” and we would encourage all our members to consider the best way to recognize our country and the many peoples who call Canada home.
~
Planning some reading time over the holiday? Enjoy this recent article from The WalrusBlue Space is the new Green Space: Why being near water can be a boon for our health and wellness.Find out more about YOUR ROLEtoday.info@foca.on.ca | 705-749-3622 | https://foca.on.caConnect with our channels: ‌  ‌  ‌Did someone forward this message to you? Join 12,000 fellow subscribers:Click here to get free FOCA Elerts delivered to your inbox, monthly
FOCA believes everyone has the right to hear about issues that affect waterfront Ontario. Those who have an existing relationship with FOCA may receive email from us, based on principles of Express or Implied Consent in Canadian Anti Spam legislation. You can unsubscribe from Elerts at any time, using the ‘Safe Unsubscribe’ link below.
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Board Meeting Update

Your LWRA Board of Directors was able to meet for the first time this year – via Zoom on Sunday, June 6, 2021.


We had a very successful meeting and the following will highlight the main topics of interest. It was exciting to get to see faces we hadn’t seen in some time and as we work our way through the covid-19 pandemic. We will adjust our activities to  ensure that we meet the protocols thus adopting a revised schedule.

 
Township updates:  Councillor Jan Mackillican shared updates from the Township of Limerick.  Most of the township staff are new and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience – which is great for Limerick.  The township continues to be diligent on the development of the Trident/Limerick Lake Estates project. Our Roads Department advises that dust suppression is in process.  It was also mentioned that the township has been asked about Gypsy moths and will discuss at the county level. The By-law for site plan has been repealed. There may be changes afoot for floating boathouses.


The special township ZOOM meeting of June 7th, concerning Limerick Lake Estates, was open to the public  – check the Township website to keep informed about ongoing developments. We had two of our LWRA members, who have extensive background knowledge, attend  this Zoom meeting.


In Memoriam – This spring saw the passing of Bruce Hamilton (Mel’s grandfather) who would have been 101 this year. Our sympathies go out to the family and all who knew him.


Local News – to catch up on some of our local news, please  check-out Limerick Lake News at Limericklake.com which George updates pretty much daily just like he used to do on the marina site when he owned it.


Mining:  As reported by Ed Offshack, who is languishing in the US Virgin Islands this summer because of Covid restrictions for Americans entering Canada, there is no evident activity although Dr. McBride has renewed his crown land mineral leases.

  
Invasive species monitoring and water testing will continue this year and we are just waiting for the kits to arrive now.

Gypsy Moths:  I had hoped we would get support from The Forest Lands Group which purchased the Longyear Forestry holdings in Limerick Township but they are now re-selling this property. The 64,000 acre parcel on the north side of Limerick Lake, which was owned by Domtar for many years, has been sold to a private owner and it appears to be destined to become a wilderness camping/conservation area according to this website sent to us by members of the Limerick Hunting and Fishing Club who have reported that all of their approximately 70 camps with about 1,200 members will not be allowed to continue operation. https://landescapes.org

BTK available from hardware stores is what is generally used even by the people that spray from aircraft. A number of Ontario municipalities and First Nations organizations have contracted for airborne delivery.  At this point Gypsy Moth abatement is pretty much passed their control period but if you need more information please go to:Gypsy moth caterpillars ‘virtually everywhere’ in SW Ontario, expert says | CBC News
Sarnia completes second annual gypsy moth spray | CBC NewsThe City of Sarnia completed its second annual gypsy moth spray on Friday, due to another severe outbreak of the…

Safe Quiet Boating / Decibel Level Coalition – Jillian O’Connell will report to membership on the ongoing activities of this group and how we can support their efforts.


Instagram – Jillian will initiate the process of an  LWRA Instagram account.


Summer activities (more details to follow from Alan, Mary and Mel):-

Sailboat Race will be on: Sunday, August 1st at 2 p.m. Twice around the Island Course.

Canoe races will be on: Saturday, July 31,  10 a.m. at Fraser’s Beach (Doug Ford allowing)

Since Covid is keeping us apart a Boat Rally and Best Dressed Boat Parade were suggested: date TBA.  If you want to help out please contact Mel.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)- Your LWRA is looking to add an AED to a spot more central on the lake and thus more readily available in emergencies.  There is currently one unit in the boathouse at the marina. This will necessitate the purchase of an additional unit and if we don’t have sufficient membership revenue, we will perhaps set up a “Go-Fund Me” or the like to raise the necessary funds.


Searching for new board members – If you are interested in being a board member please submit your application/email by August 1st to Mary at limerickwaterways@gmail.com. Please detail the lake you are on and what you would like to contribute in your involvement with LWRA. These will be reviewed and brought up at the AGM tentatively scheduled for Labour Day weekend. AGM – We are hoping that by labor day we will be able to have an in-person Annual General Meeting. Time, location  and detail to be advised. 


Membership dues: We look forward to receiving you annual membership dues.  You can pay either through the Paypal link on our WordPress site or contact Mary at limerickwaterways@gmail.com

Best Wishes for a safe and enjoyable summer,

Mike Douglas-Hecker

A different 24 weekend

FOCA Elert ~ May 2021Having trouble viewing this email? Click to view as a webpage instead
Here’s your reading for the whole long weekend! Grab a drink, and settle in, as we have SO MUCH news to share with you.You’ll know you’ve reached the end when you get to the “Final Thoughts” heading.FOCA Banner people at lakeCOVID SafetyStay-at-home orderWith the long weekend upon us, FOCA has been fielding calls about whether it is OK to go to the cottage. Despite some exceptions announced May 20th that come into effect on May 22nd (including boat and watercraft launches), Ontario’s stay-at-home order remains in place until June 2nd.
During the stay at home order, the province advises, “do not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary.” The province’s rules say if you plan on going, it either has to be for less than 24 hours and for a necessary purpose such as emergency repairs or preparing your property for sale — or you must stay there for 14 days or longer. If isolating at your seasonal home, you should plan to bring all the supplies you need, and continue to avoid unnecessary contact and follow all other health precautions. FOCA posts related information here: https://foca.on.ca/covid-19-update-from-foca/“New to cottaging” video resource from FOCAWe know lots of folks are having their FIRST cottage country experience this year, and may be thinking about buying or building a cottage. FOCA has created a video with key information about choosing an area, understanding the nature of your property, considerations for buying or building, and ways to get the most out of the experience including connecting with the local lake association! Click the image below to view: Please post and share this information to help those in the early stages of their decision-making to start their waterfront experience sustainably and in harmony with their new community and the environment. The video link is: https://youtu.be/degdS-i5hDk
This, and other important information for new cottagers is available on FOCA’s new webpage: https://foca.on.ca/cottage/ – share this news!FOCA on CBC Radio’s “The Current”Don’t miss FOCA’s Terry Rees and other special guests discussing the prospects for the upcoming “one-shot summer” on The Current with host Matt Galloway, this Monday, May 24th, 2021 beginning at 8:30am. Tune in to your local CBC radio affiliate, or listen live using the online link on the top right of The Current’s webpage. FOCA Advocates for Responsive GovernmentElectricity Pricing – still pendingThe Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has still not announced any decisions about how and when to proceed with the elimination of the seasonal rate class for Hydro One customers. The OEB is currently reviewing Hydro One’s written response to ratepayer questions and concerns. We expect OEB will make decisions about the next steps in the weeks ahead, and FOCA will advise our members accordingly. Details and updates are always posted here: https://foca.on.ca/electricity-pricing/Stopping the spread of invasive speciesFOCA has written in support of regulating the movement of boats between waterways, as part of proposed amendments to Ontario’s Invasive Species Act. Read FOCA’s letter, and join our new email campaign to show your support as well. Links are posted here: https://foca.on.ca/invasive-species/. Also, register below for FOCA’s June 1st webinar on the topic of boater pathways. Funding for the Muskoka WatershedThe province of Ontario has announced a commitment of over $4 million to fund 16 projects to help reduce the impacts of flooding and address the watershed health of the Muskoka River Watershed. The projects were selected from the recommendations made by the Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group (MWAG) in their interim report delivered in the summer of 2020. FOCA contributed to the MWAG consultations. Read more on FOCA’s Water Management Plan webpage(image: MuskokaWatershed.org)Dock Foam Bill passesAs reported by our member group, the Georgian Bay Association:
Bill 228, Keeping Polystyrene Out of Ontario’s Lakes and Rivers Act, to ban unencapsulated dock foam in new docks and repairs has now completed its passage through the legislature [May 13, 2021]. This bill will help to reduce polystyrene pollution in Ontario waters.
MPP Norm Miller thanked GBA, along with Georgian Bay Forever, the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, the Townships of the Archipelago, Georgian Bay and Carling for supporting this bill. He also thanked everyone who wrote letters to their MPPs and sent in pictures of the dock foam they have personally collected.
FOCA posts related information on our Microplastics webpage.FOCA’s Gold level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & RiversIsampleONFOCA and the Invasive Species Centre (ISC) have launched a citizen science program called IsampleON (Invasive Species Awareness and Monitoring Program for Lakes Education Ontario) to collect and analyze water samples from 25 selected waterbodies, to monitor them for invasive mussels and spiny waterflea. Visit our program webpage: https://foca.on.ca/IsampleON/You can get involved with this program too, by participating in the IsampleON photo contest. FOCA and our partners at ISC are calling on Ontarians to tell us why you want to protect your waters from aquatic invasive species. Enter to win by explaining how or why you are preventing, detecting, and monitoring for aquatic invasive species in your favourite Ontario waterbody. Deadline is August 31st 2021 at 11:59PM and you must provide a photo. A winner will be randomly selected at the end of the summer from all entries received. Enter the contest via this survey link.Upcoming FOCA environmental webinars: Register to join us for 3 separate ‘lunch-and-learn’ sessions in June. Registration is open to all FOCA members. Each 1-hour event will be recorded, and the digital recording will be shared with all registrants. (Not yet a FOCA member? Find out why you should be.)1- Invasive Species & Boater PathwaysTuesday, June 1, 2021 at noonJoin FOCA and Colin Cassin of the Invasive Species Centre for a discussion about boats as a potential pathway of spread for invasive species. FOCA will speak about the review underway of the Invasive Species Act including the regulation of the movement of boats between waterways. Click here to register for webinar #1.2- DataStream hub for the Great Lakes regionWednesday, June 16, 2021 at noonFOCA will introduce our colleagues from the Gordon Foundation to speak about the Great Lakes DataStream open access hub for sharing water data, set to come online this Fall. Lake Partner Program data will be on DataStream. If you participate in water quality data collection of any kind in the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence region, you’ll want to hear about DataStream and the map and visualization tools that will make it easy to explore results and see where else monitoring is taking place around you. Click here to register for webinar #2.3- Invasive Phragmites Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at noon
Join FOCA and Brooke Harrison from Georgian Bay Forever for a discussion about invasive Phragmites: its characteristics, its spread and its controls. Click here to register for webinar #3.As part of the Green Shovels Collaborative, FOCA is working with conservation partners and our members on the issue of invasive Phragmites, to protect nature and the economy. Find out more about Green Shovels and the work being done, including a new Best Management Practices Guide from the Ontario Invasive Plant Council, on our webpage: https://foca.on.ca/phragmites/FOCA Champions Affordable & Safe Rural LivingBoating SafetyOn behalf of our partners at the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), FOCA reminds everyone that Safe Boating Awareness Week starts this weekend and continues to May 28, 2021. Share the Canadian Safe Boating Campaign’s 5 key messages:wear your lifejacketboat soberbe prepared – you, and your boattake a boating coursebe aware of cold-water risks.CSBC also reminds you to keep in mind recommendations related to physical distancing, and who should – and should not be – on your boat at this time. Here’s to a great season on the water! FOCA posts related resource links here: https://foca.on.ca/safe-boating/Upcoming webinars: Cottage Succession FOCA and estate lawyer Peter Lillico have been teaching families about cottage succession planning for the past decade! Our traditional in-person events have shifted to digital for 2020 & 2021. 
Thank you to our member associations who are the local hosts of these seminars. To see our 2021 event schedule, and for recordings of past seminars, visit: https://foca.on.ca/cottage-succession/Event recap: Cardiac Safe Cottage Community On April 21st, more than one hundred attendees participated in our ‘lunch-and-learn’ webinar about sudden cardiac arrest, Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), and how to create a cardiac safe cottage community. The event was sponsored by Action First Aid.Missed the webinar? Members are encouraged to visit FOCA’s Emergency Preparedness webpage to:> watch the digital recording (1 hour) > access the extensive Q&A with questions posed by event attendees, and all answers provided by the experts.You’ll need your FOCA Member login for this and other member materials on the website. Don’t have, or can’t recall, the login? Email communications@foca.on.ca, and we’ll reply during business hours.Cottage Country Fire SafetyWith recent stretches of dry weather, some parts of cottage country are already under fire bans this May. Seasonally, it’s time to think about fire safety in your cottage, around your property, when BBQing, or having a campfire. 
Get links to important Spring and Summer tips from the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, a map of current fire hazard levels across the country, and much more on FOCA’s Fire Safety Webpage.FOCA Serves Lake & Road AssociationsVirtual meetings can continue through 2021FOCA members are advised that the Ontario government has confirmed that corporations governed by the Corporations Act (Ontario) can continue to hold meetings virtually until December 31, 2021, despite any provisions in their letters patent or by-laws to the contrary. See more information here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-changes-meetings-and-business-operations. The Ontario Not for Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) (not yet in force) will have the same provisions, should it be proclaimed this year. Do your members know about ALL their FOCA benefits?All members of our Member Associations are entitled to access a series of discounts, special offers and other member benefits. Get the details (and login for information about the access codes), here: https://foca.on.ca/member-services/benefits/FOCA’s Silver level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.Partner Updates & Regional NoticesParks Canada remains closedFollowing the advice, guidance, and requirements of public health authorities and to align with measures introduced by the Province of Ontario to limit the spread of COVID-19, Parks Canada has announced that the Rideau Canal National Historic Site, and the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site will delay the launch of most visitor services including lockage, overnight mooring and camping until at least June 2, 2021. Visit https://www.pc.gc.ca/ for current information.TSW boat viewCanada Census – last callStatistics Canada reminds all Canadians to complete their 2021 census form, if you haven’t already. Use the online portal, or call 1-855-340-2021. You’ll need the secure access code that was included on the letter mailed to your permanent residence, earlier this spring.Upcoming webinar series:Ontario Biodiversity SummitFind out more about how nature can help us address climate change and biodiversity loss at the 2021 Ontario Biodiversity Summit! Virtual sessions run from May to September and FOCA’s Terry Rees will be moderating the June 17th event about aquatic biodiversity. Get details & register for sessions here.Drought possible for some, this SpringWith an early freshet this year, and recent hot and dry weather in many parts of Ontario, there is a potential for drought and low water levels in some areas. “In my 20 years, not issuing a Flood Warning during the annual spring freshet is unprecedented,” noted Gordon Earle, Water Resources Technologist of Otonabee Conservation. Link to this, and related information, on FOCA’s Low Water webpage(historical image: QuinteConservation.ca)Great Lakes lower food webs reportThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a report about the Great Lakes that is filled with interesting data and analysis of changes over the past decades. Some excerpts: Lake Erie is currently the only Great Lake in which total phosphorus concentrations consistently or intermittently exceed water quality objectivesrapid shifts in the lower food web in Lake Huron in the early to mid-2000s are showing signs of moderationLake Superior has exhibited the least change over the past decade and is consistently classified as ultra-oligotrophic based on phytoplankton and nutrient conditions. Visit FOCA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research webpage for a link to the full report.Volunteers sought for Loon SurveyBirds Canada is seeking volunteers who can participate in the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey this year, health restrictions and guidelines permitting. Learn more here. (image: Kirk Doughty)Kenora Forest Management PlanningFOCA’s western-most member association, the Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association (LOWDSA), is currently involved in the public consultation phase of the Forest Management Plan (FMP) for Kenora area for the coming decade. LOWDSA is represented on the Local Citizens Committee of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; however, additional public comment can be provided as part of the process through the Environmental Registry of Ontario. Get information in the press release from LOWDSA by clicking here#AlertMuskokaThe District Municipality of Muskoka recently announced they have selected a communication service provider, Voyent Alert!, whose application can provide area residents and visitors with timely and important safety information. Register for free to receive notifications in a variety of ways (including by app notification, text, email or voice call). Read the District notice and find a link to register for the app, by clicking here.Upcoming webinars:Lake Huron Coastal Webinar SeriesFOCA’s colleagues at the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation have launched their 2021 webinar series lineup for important issues threatening water quality and ecosystem health along the Lake Huron shoreline. You are invited to participate! The ongoing summer series includes webinars about:plastics, coastal ecosystem shorelines, development, plants, shorebirds, and species at risk. Get details and links to register, here: https://www.lakehuron.ca/upcomingeventsHuron Shores & Manitoulin Island – improving internetResidents in this region can learn more on FOCA’s Rural Utilities webpage, and lend your support to a project being proposed by Huron Shore and Manitoulin Island Community Owned Fibre Infrastructure to build a high speed broadband network for the area.Recent event & Upcoming webinars: KawarthasFOCA recently attended the Spring meeting of our member group, the Kawartha Lake Stewards Association (KLSA) where they released their annual report (soon to be posted here). FOCA also learned of the announcement of dates for a Summer 2021 webinar series presented by the Starry Stonewort Collaborative (SSC) – register for the monthly webinars (May to July) from links on the SSC Facebook PageWildlife Sanctuary – Parry Sound-MuskokaFOCA has been contacted by the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (AVWS) in Rosseau, which has dedicated over three decades to the rescue of injured, sick, nuisance or orphaned wildlife. Annually, AVWS responds to hundreds of public enquiries. Property owners in Parry Sound-Muskoka are encouraged to call them at 705-644-4122 for expert wildlife advice, or visit https://www.aspenvalley.ca/ for information. Great Lakes survey: aquatic invasive species knowledgeFOCA has been asked to help find survey respondents located on the Great Lakes for a research project being conducted at the University of Toronto. The survey will gauge public knowledge about 3 particular aquatic invasive species, how people learn about them, and how that information affects public perception of invasive species management. The survey should take about 5 minutes; results are anonymous. Access the survey online here. Please share this invitation with others in communities along the Great Lakes!Upcoming webinar: Libraries Love LakesWednesday, June 2, 2021 at 2:00pm (ET) – Librarians, lake scientists, lake conservation organizations, community outreach educators and other interested folks are invited to register to attend a virtual information session about a new initiative, “Libraries Love Lakes” and its related website of online resources. The goal is to celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month (July) with programming in your local community! Get details and the link to register in this info sheet (download PDF, 1 page).Recent webinar: Life in the ‘Weeds’Earlier this month, FOCA attended a great webinar about aquatic plants (spoiler: for the most-part, they’re not ‘weeds’ and should be left as is, to do their job). Learn about the important role of these plants, and how to identify many of the common varieties! Watersheds Canada has posted the video recording to YouTube – access it here.FOCA’s Bronze level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.FOCA Fosters CommunityCelebrating VolunteersFOCA sends congratulations to Terry Kennedy of our Member Association the Kennebec Lake Association, who recently received a 10-year Ontario Volunteer Service Award from the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. 
FOCA nominated Terry K. for his decade of volunteer service with our organization, most recently as Past President of our FOCA Board of Directors, in addition to his contributions to his local lake association. Terry is wearing his Volunteer Service Award Pin in the image. Way to go, Terry! and thanks for your ongoing service on behalf of your waterfront community. 
Find out how to nominate great volunteers in YOUR area, here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/honours-and-awards-volunteering#section-1 Final ThoughtsA message from FOCA to the hundreds of volunteers who organize events, keep our waterways safe, and monitor lake and river health, as well as on-land flora and fauna: 
FOCA wants to ensure your health and well-being remain top priority during the current health crisis. We all want to get back to our on-the-ground work making waterfront Ontario safe, healthy and sustainable; but, first and foremost, we need to be certain we are all doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following prevailing health directives.
We look forward to being able to resume all our great community work in the weeks and months ahead. For now, continue to practice safe distancing and follow all other recommended guidelines. Please do your part! 
We learned to ‘Zoom’ our way through 2020 and – at least for the next little while – we’ll have to continue using these alternative types of engagement to keep our community spirit and connections thriving.
We remind members that material about volunteering during the pandemic is posted here: https://foca.on.ca/toolkit-overview/FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, the voice of the waterfront for nearly 60 years.Find out more about YOUR ROLEtoday.info@foca.on.ca | 705-749-3622 | https://foca.on.caConnect with our channels: ‌  ‌  ‌Did someone forward this message to you? Join 12,000 fellow subscribers:Click here to get free FOCA Elerts delivered to your inbox, monthly
FOCA believes everyone has the right to hear about issues that affect waterfront Ontario. Those who have an existing relationship with FOCA may receive email from us, based on principles of Express or Implied Consent in Canadian Anti Spam legislation. You can unsubscribe from Elerts at any time, using the ‘Safe Unsubscribe’ link below.
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Can I go to the cottage?

FOCA Elert ~ April 2021Having trouble viewing this email? Click to view as a webpage insteadFOCA Champions Affordable & Safe Rural Living
Stay at home order: Can I go to the cottage?With Ontario under a stay-at-home order that will last until at least May 6th, FOCA has been fielding calls about whether it is OK to go to the cottage. 
FOCA recommends following all public health and provincial guidelines. The stay-at-home order directs all Ontarians to remain at home except for essential purposes. If you choose to self-isolate at your waterfront home, you should stay there for at least 14 days and bring all supplies you might need during that time. FOCA posts related information here: https://foca.on.ca/covid-19-update-from-foca/last call to register: WEBINAR: Creating a Cardiac Safe Cottage Community Wednesday, April 21, 2021 from 12:00pm-1:00pm
Register to join us for a one-hour “lunch and learn” with FOCA and our partners at Action First Aid, about Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and how to create a cardiac safe cottage community. Highlights:> hear a story from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) survivor> understand the difference between SCA and Heart Attack, and when to use an AED> learn how to use crowdfunding to place 24/7 accessible AEDs in your cottage community.Sign up for the webinar here
Registration is open to all FOCA Association Members, and Individual/Family Supporters. There is no charge to attend; the event has been sponsored by Action First Aid.
BONUS: Everyone who attends the April 21st event will be entered into a draw to win one of 3 seats in Action First Aid’s new on-line training program: CPR/AED & Basic First Aid Awareness.
Associations: Please share the registration link with your members: http://bit.ly/cottage-safetyEnhanced emergency response coming to rural and northern Ontario?Seven years ago, FOCA sought assurance from the Province that the health and well-being of northern and rural Ontario residents is a priority of the provincial government, and that effective communications and coordination are in place to respond to emergency situations. 
Recently, the Ministry of the Solicitor General and Ministry of Heath established the 9-1-1 Emergency Response Inter-Ministerial Task Force in response to recommendations of a 2018 Coroner’s Inquest. This task force is exploring a provincial framework for 9-1-1 and emergency communications service delivery in Ontario. 
In related news, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissionhas directed all telecommunication service providers to change their networks to be ready to provide Next Generation 9-1-1 services. This will ultimately enable the public, 9-1-1 call centres and emergency responders to transmit and receive text, images, video and data. 
Read more about emergency response here:https://foca.on.ca/emergency-response-in-remote-areas/FOCA Advocates for Responsive GovernmentElectricity Pricing updateApril 12, 2021 – the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has released “Procedural Order #1” in connection with the elimination of the seasonal rate class of Hydro One electricity customers. FOCA has posted an overview, and a link to the full document, here:https://foca.on.ca/electricity-pricing/Cell Gap Project, Enhanced Broadband in eastern OntarioFOCA was pleased to be part of last month’s announcement from the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) about a significant investment in cellular coverage in Eastern Ontario, which will see immediate improvements and a full roll-out by 2025. 
Now, your help is needed: EORN has asked FOCA to circulate a call-to-action to our eastern Ontario lake Associations, to write the Ministers responsible for supporting EORN’s Gig Project, which would bring speeds of up to 1 Gigabyte per second to residents, cottage owners and businesses across the region. Access to high-speed broadband services will meet our collective needs and support the local economy, long into the future. Find details and a template letter you can use, here: https://foca.on.ca/utilities-and-rural-services-overview/FOCA’s Gold level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & RiversFocus on plastic wasteApril 2021 – the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) has announced the creation of Circular Great Lakes, a regional initiative focused initially on keeping valuable plastic materials out of the waste stream and the environment. Link to the new initiative, and find out more about plastics and microplastics, on FOCA’s webpage: https://foca.on.ca/microplastics-at-alarming-levels-in-canadian-lakes-and-rivers/recent event: Plastic Pollution webinarIn related news, on April 9, 2021 FOCA attended a webinar hosted by Ohio Sea Grant about plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. The speakers confirmed that our plastic waste is entering aquatic ecosystems at alarming rates. While slides from the webinar were not circulated, FOCA has posted some highlights from the event on our Plastics webpage (see: April 2021 webinar posting).Invasive mussels found in aquarium products!FOCA’s partners at the Invasive Species Centre (ISC) reported this month that invasive Zebra and/or Quagga mussels have been found in moss ball products sold in Canada for use in aquariums. Read more from ISC here.  (image from invasivespeciescentre.ca)
As part of FOCA’s ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of invasive species in Ontario, FOCA will be working with our invasive species partners and some lake association members this year on selective monitoring to target Zebra mussels and spiny water flea. Stay tuned for further details.Modelling the effects of Asian carp on the Great LakesComputer modelling has been used to predict the impacts of bighead carp and silver carp on Great Lakes ecosystems including Lake Erie and Lake Huron. Get a link to the study, published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, here: https://foca.on.ca/asian-carp/
image: Predictions for Lake Erie from Supporting Info Doc. #3 of American Fisheries Society posting
upcoming webinar series: Love Muskoka – Sustain MuskokaThursdays @ 5:00pm from April 22 to May 27 (virtual) – The Muskoka Steamships & Discovery Centre and regional partner organizations are hosting a digital webinar series on sustainability with a roster of great speakers and important topics of interest to viewers in Muskoka, and beyond:
Apr.22 – Climate change and policy tools with Dr. Dianne SaxeApr. 29 – Watershed Management and how cottage owners can be nice to Mother Nature May 6 – Protecting green spaces, riparian zones and education May 13 – Climate change impacts for Muskoka with Dr. Peter Sale & Dr. Richard LammersMay 20 – Indigenous Perspective: reconnecting with the natural worldMay 27 – The future of our lakes despite climate change with Dr. Norman Yan
Click the image at the side to download the series poster (PDF, 1 page). Register for one session, or all six, here: http://realmuskoka.com/sustainability/upcoming webinar: Life in the “Weeds”Wednesday, May 5, 2021 @ 2:00pm (virtual) – Join Watersheds Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife – Michigan State University for a webinar about the critical role of native aquatic plants in our lakes. Register for the webinar here.
With so many new folks having purchased waterfront property over the winter, FOCA believes it is going to be critical to welcome them early in the season, and help them understand the value of a natural shoreline – before the “weeds” start getting ripped out. We look forward to this webinar, and hope it gives some good ideas for ways to share the importance of aquatic plants with new cottage neighbours!FOCA Serves Lake & Road AssociationsFOCA helps with Member Association AGMsAt this point, it seems inevitable that lake association events such as Annual General Meetings will be digital again this summer. If your lake association is wondering what to do about your AGM, contact FOCA for an information sheet with notes about phone or webinar or even Facebook Live options. FOCA may be available to provide some up-front advice for your group to set up your own Zoom event. We also have a limited number of slots available to host member AGMs on FOCA’s Zoom platform, for a members-only price. For details, email: communications@foca.on.caFOCA’s Silver level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.Partner Updates & Regional NoticesLake of Bays Short Term Rental ReportApril 6, 2021 – a new staff report to Council was released about short-term rental (STR) regulation in Lake of Bays. The report includes a detailed overview of issues, potential costs to administer licenses, and feedback from public consultation. Other areas may find the report interesting as an example.Download a copy from the “News” section this FOCA webpage: https://foca.on.ca/responsible-cottage-rentalLake Huron Management Plan: input invitedThe next Lake Huron Lakewide Action and Management Plan(LAMP) is being developed this year by the Lake Huron Partnership in order to meet Canada and the U.S.’s commitments under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and public input is invited.
Want to participate? First, review the 2017-2021 Lake Huron LAMP (download PDF, 105 pages), then submit suggestions or questions by April 30, 2021 to the Canadian Great Lakes Executive Committee Secretariat (Environment and Climate Change Canada) by email: ec.aqegl-glwqa.ec@canada.ca. A draft plan will be made available for further comments, later this year.Real-time water levels in MuskokaA new tool is available through the Muskoka GeoHub that allows residents to see flood plain mapping and real-time water levels: www.muskoka.on.ca/gis
While many of the layers contain datasets specific to Muskoka, the difference in daily average water level data is province-wide, from Natural Resources Canada.Lake of the Woods water quality: input invited Last call to provide input to Environment and Climate Change Canada on its proposals for phosphorus reduction options to manage algae blooms on Lake of the Woods. FOCA’s partners at the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation encourage everyone with an interest in Lake of the Woods to get involved and have their say in the proposed lake ecosystem objectives and phosphorus reduction options. The public comment period ends April 30, 2021. Participate online here: PlaceSpeak.com/lakeofthewoods Kawartha & Scugog Water FundsProperty owners in the City of Kawartha Lakes, or Townships of Scugog, Brock or Clarington are invited to apply to Kawartha Conservation for funding for projects that contribute to the health of the watershed. Projects could involve shoreline naturalization to prevent erosion, tree plantings, well or septic system stewardship, and more. Get details, and apply by May 12, 2021, here: https://www.kawarthaconservation.com/WaterFundHaliburton webinar on environmental threats Our members at the Lake Kashagawigamog Organization have asked us to share information about their upcoming webinar, which is open to all:
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 7:30pm (virtual) – Stayin’ Alive: Environmental Threats to our Lake and Forest Creatures – a presentation on the effects of pollution on freshwater molluscs (clams, snails and slugs), how they are adapting to environmental change, and what us humans can do to help. Register via the LKO website.FOCA Fosters CommunityFOCA at the Virtual Cottage Life ShowFOCA’s booth had over 1000 “visits” during the inaugural Virtual Cottage Life & Outdoor Living Show (March 26-28), and our Executive Director Terry Rees spoke each day on the Main Stage about what to consider if you’re thinking of spending more time at the cottage this year. (Yes please!)
Although the Show is over, you can still register to listen to recordings of all the great content including Terry’s talk, as well as our partners speaking about cottage succession planning, responsible cottage rental, boating and cottage safety, and much more. You can continue to visit the Virtual Show as often as you like until May 31st!
Access the Virtual Cottage Life Show & recordingsFOCA’s Bronze level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.Final ThoughtsTurtles are on the move! Our member groups have started reporting seeing turtles on the move already, which means it’s time for a refresher on what to do if you encounter a turtle crossing the road or digging in gravel at the road’s edge. 
Here’s some help:
click to watch a video about how to move a turtle safely, and download an infographic from the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre with lots of important tips for turtle encounters.FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, the voice of the waterfront for nearly 60 years.image: Andy MetelkaFind out more about YOUR ROLE today.info@foca.on.ca | 705-749-3622 | https://foca.on.caConnect with our channels: ‌  ‌  ‌Did someone forward this message to you? Join 12,000 fellow subscribers:Click here to get free FOCA Elerts delivered to your inbox, monthly
FOCA believes everyone has the right to hear about issues that affect waterfront Ontario. Those who have an existing relationship with FOCA may receive email from us, based on principles of Express or Implied Consent in Canadian Anti Spam legislation. You can unsubscribe from Elerts at any time, using the ‘Safe Unsubscribe’ link below.
Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations | #201-159 King St., Peterborough, ON K9J 2R8 CanadaUnsubscribe alancoxwell@gmail.comCustomer Contact Data NoticeSent by communications@foca.on.ca powered byTry email marketing for free today!

FOCA Spring Update

FOCA Elert ~ March 2021FOCA’s Strategic Plan 2020-2023As presented by the Board of Directors at the FOCA Annual General Meeting earlier in March, a refreshed Strategic Plan will guide our organization through the coming years.
Please download and share FOCA’s new Strategic Plan:FOCA’s Strategic Plan (download PDF, 1.4 MB)The Elert sub-headings below have been updated to reflect the 6 priority areas of FOCA’s new Strategic Plan:promoting healthy lands, lakes and riversadvocating for responsive governmentserving local lake and road associationschampioning affordable and safe rural livingfostering community, andbuilding FOCA’s capacity.We hope you see your concerns addressed in these priorities. Find out more about FOCA’s work, here: https://foca.on.ca/about/our-work/FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & RiversWelcoming new waterfront owners!As discussed at FOCA’s AGM & Spring Seminar earlier this month (more on that, below), Ontario cottage country was hugely popular in 2020 as the pandemic and travel restrictions led people to isolate at their waterfront properties. We know there will be new owners and visitors this year as well, and many may be having their first cottage country experience. What might they not know about the special considerations of living at the waterfront? How will you welcome then, and shepherd them into the community of lake stewards and waterfront enthusiasts? FOCA has great publications like A Shoreline Owner’s Guide to Healthy Waterfrontsthat we encourage you to share. 
Also, see the Event Summary from the Spring Seminar (below) for a “Welcome Binder” or “Welcome Sheet” template your association can adapt.recent event: Ontario Invasive Species ForumMarch 1-4, 2021 (virtual) – FOCA participated in the Forum, and presented during the “Community Action” session on March 2nd about the great work being done on-the-ground across the province, by lake and cottage associations to prevent the spread, and mitigate the effect, of invasive species. 
Visit FOCA’s Invasive Species webpage.upcoming event: Abandoned Boats webinarWed., April 7, 2021 from 4-6pm (virtual) – our partners at Boating Ontario are hosting a webinar about abandoned boats, including Transport Canada speaking about the ‘Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act’. No registration is necessary for this free event.
Click here to join the webinar at the start time aboveFOCA Advocates for Responsive GovernmentDock Foam Bill moving forwardMarch 22, 2021 – FOCA spoke to the Ontario Legislative Committee in support of the Private Member’s Bill 228, ‘Keeping Polystyrene Out of Ontario’s Lakes and Rivers’. This would apply to new docks, not existing structures. Learn more about the Bill, and the plastic problems it seeks to address, here: FOCA Microplastics webpageimage: Georgian Bay Association websiteupcoming event: Drinking Water Source ProtectionMarch 24, 2021 (10am-noon) – Join legal counsel from the Canadian Environmental Law Association and FOCA’s Terry Rees, for the launch of CELA’s quarterly “Water Conversations.” In the March edition they will discuss the state of legal protections for our drinking water, and the steps required to make the Clean Water Act more effective to serve the needs of First Nations and rural residents.Register for the webinar here.FOCA’s Gold level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associationsevent recap: 2021 FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar for Lake AssociationsWe went virtual on March 6th, and had our largest FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar of the past decade, with over 140 of you in attendance! 
Instead of a full day of seminars, we enjoyed a whirlwind 2.5 hours of updates on FOCA’s files, programs and Strategic Plan, Lake Partner Program, Phragmites update, and a presentation about pandemic volunteer considerations (including liability issues) for lake associations in 2021. 
All FOCA members are welcome to download the extensive Event Summary which includes links to the slides:https://foca.on.ca/2021-agm-spring-seminar/
NOTE: You’ll need your Member Login for this. Don’t have, or can’t recall the Login? Contact us for assistance.
Members who did not register to attend the 2021 AGM & Spring Seminar, but want to watch the full webinar recording, can still purchase digital access here.2020 FOCA Achievement AwardCongratulations to the Long Point Ratepayers’ Association(LPRA) on Lake Erie, the recipients of the 2020 FOCA Achievement Award, which was presented at the 2021 AGM & Spring Seminar event on March 6th.
LPRA was nominated under the category “political involvement” – read all the details in the Event Summary (see the link in the item above), or an overview on the FOCA Achievement Award webpage.
image: John Henderson of LPRA receives the Award from Tony Lepine, Chair of FOCA’s Member Services & Benefits CommitteeFOCA Champions Affordable & Safe Rural LivingSeasonal Rate reclassification: Got questions?If you received a letter from Hydro One over the past month, indicating you will be one of the 147,000 families moved out of the collapsing ‘Seasonal Rate’ class and into one of three existing density classes, you may have questions.
Whether you think you should be moved to an alternate rate classification, or you’ve changed your usage and need to update Hydro One that you’re living there year-round (and therefore eligible for the RRRF subsidy that is NOT available to seasonal residents), call the Hydro One Contact Centre to discuss your concerns: 1-888-664-9376.FOCA has submitted to be an intervenor at the next Ontario Energy Board hearing about the implementation of the elimination of the Seasonal Rate Class. Get background on this file here: https://foca.on.ca/electricity-pricing/Fire & carbon monoxide safety reminder“When 2 of my smoke/carbon monoxide alarms started to ‘chirp’ within hours of each other this past week, I realized I had forgotten the rule to replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, each time the clocks change!”, says Michelle L, FOCA’s Communications Coordinator.
Have you changed your batteries yet? Please, do it today.FOCA posts related safety information here.EORN Announcement: Better cellular services coming to Eastern Ontario residents & businessesFOCA was pleased to be part of a press conference held by the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) on March 19, 2021 to announce a significant investment in cellular coverage in Eastern Ontario. Improvement will begin immediately, with a full roll-out by 2025. Read more from EORN here.Watching for high water this SpringOntario cottage country communities must be especially vigilant in Spring as melting snow and ice, heavy rainfalls, and high water flows on lakes and rivers can make for rapidly changing conditions. Preventative action can minimize loss to buildings, docks and boathouses, but overland flooding remains a real risk for those located in or near a flood plain. FOCA posts related info, including links to emergency messaging and regular water bulletins for the Great Lakes, Trent Severn & Rideau waterways, and from the Ontario Surface Water Monitoring Centre, here:Links to Water Maps & BulletinsFOCA’s Silver level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.FOCA Fosters Communityupcoming event: Creating a Cardiac Safe Cottage Community Wednesday, April 21, 202112:00pm-1:00pmRegister to join us for a one-hour “lunch and learn” with FOCA and our partners at Action First Aid, about the importance of 24/7 access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and how to create a cardiac safe cottage community. Highlights of the agenda:hear a story from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) survivorunderstand the difference between SCA and Heart Attack, and when to use an AEDlearn how to use crowdfunding to place 24/7 accessible AEDs in your cottage community!Registration is open to all FOCA Association Members, and Individual/Family Supporters. There is no charge to attend, as the event is sponsored by Action First Aid.
Register for the webinar now
BONUS: Everyone who attends the April 21st event will be entered into a draw to win one of 3 seats in Action First Aid’s new on-line training program: CPR/AED & Basic First Aid Awareness.FOCA at the Virtual Cottage Life ShowFOCA’s Terry Rees is speaking THIS WEEKEND at the Virtual Cottage Life & Outdoor Living Show (March 26-28). This year, you can attend for free to hear expert speakers, view DIY presentations, and connect with cottage country product and service providers, all from the comfort of your own home. Register for all the fun, and start planning for brighter days, here: 
Free registration for the Cottage Life Show!Terry will present “Top Tips for extending your time at the lake this year.” Ready to ‘make the jump’? Here’s what you need to know. Plan your virtual visit to the show to coincide with one of Terry’s talk times:Friday, March 26th at 11:00am EDTSaturday, March 27th at 11:00am EDTSunday, March 28th at 11:00am EDTFOCA is Building our CapacityWelcome, Kirk!With FOCA’s Membership & Programs Coordinator Deanna Forgie away on maternity leave, FOCA is pleased to welcome Kirk Kuipers as our Membership Coordinator
Kirk is a graduate of McMaster University with a degree in History, and in 2019 he complete the accelerated Paralegal degree program at Seneca College. Kirk has worked in inventory management and in immigration law before he moved to Peterborough and began his new role with FOCA. 
Kirk has enjoyed many summers at his family’s cottage at Crow Lake in South Frontenac. Kirk can be reached at the main FOCA email address: info@foca.on.caPartner Updates & Regional NoticesOntario WaterpowerCoincident with the Ontario Waterpower Association‘s (OWA) annual Queen’s Park Day on March 24, MPP Mike Mantha (Algoma – Manitoulin) is introducing a private member’s bill that would see June 20th in Ontario declared as “Waterpower Day“. Fully one quarter of the province’s electricity comes from this renewable source. FOCA recently wrote about waterpower and our data sharing partnership with OWA, to map where waterfront property owners and the waterpower industry overlap on the landscape. Read the article in the 2020 Lake Stewards Newsletter (page 15), or contact the office if you have local questions, as the map is not posted publicly, but is accessible by FOCA.Kawartha Conservation Mapping ToolMembers in the Kawartha Conservation (KC) region can now consult an online mapping tool to see if your property is in a regulated area or impacted by source water protection considerations. If so, you will need to apply for the appropriate permit or Source Protection Notice before any development, construction or site alteration such as grading, fill placement or excavation. Visit the online map.Short Term Rental Survey: Tiny Twp.The Township of Tiny is in the process of developing a licensing framework for Short Term Rental (STR) properties in Tiny, and is seeking feedback from residents to guide the process. Click here for information and a link and remember to take the survey by 4:30pm on April 2, 2021.Lake of the Woods water quality Tuesday, March 30, 2021 – You are invited to have your say about the future of Lake of the Woods water quality! Take part in an online webinar meeting and town hall discussion, organized by the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation in partnership with the Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association, to connect you directly to the Lake of the Woods policy team at Environment and Climate Change Canada. Click the appropriate link to register for your preferred time: midday: March 30/21 at 12pm (CT)or evening: March 30/21 at 7pm (CT)Unavailable to attend either webinar?Visit the website launched by Environment and Climate Change Canada, instead:www.placespeak.com/lakeofthewoodsto join active discussions, get notifications, and share relevant materialsWaste Bin Site Transition ongoingThe District Municipality of Muskoka released its 2020 annual report on the status of the removal of all unlicensed waste bin sites by 2023, as mandated by the Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP). FOCA has several member associations affected by the removal of these waste bins, which have especially served island cottages at landing points. The plan was modified in mid-2020 due to the pandemic and “on-going waste operations challenges” and is now a multi-year effort of transition planning for each community. Read the full 2020 Report online, or jump to the community-by-community summary from the Appendix.Tackling climate change in eastern Georgian Bay ICECAP (the Integrated Community Energy and Climate Action Plans) reached a milestone in its first year, recently releasing a model to help participating Georgian Bay municipalities inventory carbon emissions. To assist in the calculations, the Georgian Bay Biosphere (GBB) developed a ‘Carbon Calculator‘ online tool which can be used by anyone. Among other things, the results underscore how important boating transportation is to the region. The next steps involve working with each community to set targets to model achievable greenhouse gas emissions and consulting with councils and community members of Local Climate Action Plans. Learn more from GBB here.FOCA’s Bronze level sponsorsSponsors support our work, please support them.Final ThoughtsEnjoy every season!Thanks to Jennifer K. who shared these spectacular pictures of her family’s lake ice curling rink on Round Lake in Havelock, from earlier this season. She wrote: “I used flour and food colouring for the rings and a cement mold with epoxy for my rocks.”We love it! Thanks for sending us the pictures. Share your own seasonal updates with FOCA!FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, the voice of the waterfront for over 55 years.Find out more about YOUR ROLE today.info@foca.on.ca | 705-749-3622 | https://foca.on.caConnect with our channels: ‌  ‌  ‌Did someone forward this message to you? Join nearly 12,000 Elert subscribers:Click here to get free FOCA Elerts
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What FOCA is up to in 2021


What a fellow member had to say, about a recent FOCA webinar:“I want to say, I have been trying to attend your seminars for several years, can never make it. JUST LOVE THE WEBINAR! And I’m not a kid, I’m 68, it was my first time attending a webinar, and it was so simple and informative. Thanks!”

 Advocacy & Policy Updates
Fair Electricity PricingHydro One Networks has written to all 147,649 seasonal class electricity customers to explain how they will be moved to one of the three residential density-based classes. The notice includes Hydro One’s estimate of your average monthly electricity use over the past 12 months, in kWh, so you can compare your new estimated rate at the same consumption level. 
It is the approximately 78,000 seasonal customers moving to the Low Density (R2) class that will see the largest bill impacts, with total bill increases of up to 100%. The seasonal rate class may be eliminated as early as January 1, 2022.
1. Check your notice, and if you think your classification is incorrect, call the Hydro One Networks Customer Service line: 1-888-664-9376. Areas with 100 or more customers, and at least 15 customers for every kilometer of power line used to supply energy to the zone, are intended to become “Medium Density” but FOCA has already heard of cases where the designation on the Notice was incorrect.
2. Contact your MPPAlthough the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is an independent public agency, FOCA encourages everyone to contact their Ontario Member of Parliament to provide first-hand feedback to our politicians about the negative impact of this change on your household budget. More than 1,200 actions have already been undertaken by you and your fellow waterfront property owners, including:emailing the MPP of your seasonal property calling the MPP of your seasonal property (speaking notes provided) emailing the MPP of your permanent residence.It only takes a moment to input your address and use the online software to automatically find your MPP. We have provided a template message to make it quick and easy. (Pro tip: customize the subject line and first paragraphs to ensure your message gets read!) Join over 1,200 other concerned citizens and take action, here:  https://foca.good.do/fair_electricity_pricing/FOCA continues to post background on the subject, here: Electricity webpage.   Winter Safety
Bubblers: what you need to knowFOCA was recently asked by a member about the implications of using a “bubbler” to keep winter ice away from docks or in-water boathouses. We referred them to this handy overview (download the PDF, 1 page) from our colleagues at Cade Associates Insurance Brokers, who manage the FOCA Association Liability Program. Program Updates
Lake Partner ProgramDespite the ongoing upheaval of continued pandemic restrictions, the Lake Partner Program (LPP) of water quality monitoring on Ontario’s inland lakes is currently gearing up for the 2021 season. Results from 2020 sampling will be available later this Spring. 
Dr. Liz Favot, FOCA’s Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator based at the Dorset Environmental Science Centre, will speak about the LPP at FOCA’s AGM & Spring Seminar on March 6, 2021. Lake Stewards can register to attend the Spring Seminar.
Lake stewards may be particularly interested in the Troubled Waters ForumWebinar Series mentioned above, whose speakers have been referencing the LPP data, and the important annual work of volunteer citizen scientists across the province. Thank you for your ongoing efforts! 
Find out more about the LPP here:  https://foca.on.ca/lake-partner-program-sampling-assistance/_______________
Invasive Species Awareness WeekFebruary 22 – 26, 2021 – if your Association has a social media presence, and is involved in efforts to prevent the spread of invasive species, FOCA and our partners encourage you to participate in this year’s Invasive Species Awareness Week! Post and share with the hashtag #InvSpWk on your social media platform of choice. FOCA’s posts are on Facebook and Twitter. Recent Events & Partner Updates
ROMA ConferenceJanuary 25-26, 2021 – FOCA and municipal partners from across rural Ontario participated in the annual Rural Ontario Municipal Association(ROMA) Conference, held digitally this year. ROMA is the rural arm of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). ROMA supports strong and effective rural governments, and brings priority issues affecting rural and northern communities to the attention of the provincial and federal governments. Learn more about the importance of municipal government to our lake communities, here:  https://foca.on.ca/municipal-government-partners/_______________  
Asian carp partners webinar February 17, 2021 – FOCA and our partners at the Invasive Species Centre, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority, and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters shared information about collaborative efforts to reach key audiences in preventing the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.Watch the webinar here.
Coming up next:
March 1-4, 2021 – Ontario Invasive Species Forum. This forum will feature discussions about best practices in invasive species management and strategies to implement going forward. FOCA will speak about the great work underway by lake and cottage associations during the “Community Action” session from 3:00pm to 4:30pm on Tuesday, March 2nd. Register by end of day on February 26th, by clicking here. ($25 or contact events@invasivespeciescentre.ca for a no-charge code) More Upcoming Events & Regional Notices
Virtual Spring Cottage Life Show March 26-28, 2021 – Join us at the Virtual Show. FOCA’s Terry Rees will be speaking on the “main stage” with Cottage Life, talking about: Top 5 considerations for those thinking about making the jump to spending more time at the cottage this year!Register to attend for free, by clicking here._______________
Long Term Management of Nuclear WasteThe Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) wants Ontario residents’ input in a survey to understand current community awareness and thoughts about the way NWMO and communities communicate and engage with the siting communities about Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel. Read more online from NWMO, the Township of Ignace, and the Municipality of South Bruce. The survey is open to all Ontario residents until February 26, 2021
NOTE: earlier this month, FOCA was one of over 100 public interest community groups who signed a joint letter setting our expectations for a nuclear waste review that must be transparent, and independent of the nuclear industry. Read the letter, posted here: https://foca.on.ca/nuclear-waste-management/_______________
Polystyrene Dock Foam BillFOCA’s member group, the Georgian Bay Association, has launched a campaign to support MPP Norman Miller’s Private Member’s Bill 228, Keeping Polystyrene Out of Ontario’s Lakes and Rivers Act, which is being presented for second reading in the Ontario Legislature on February 23, 2021. You can write your local MPP in support of the bill; information is posted here: https://georgianbay.ca/water/water-quality/dock-foam/_______________
Lake of the Woods island preservation announcedimage of Town Island_ CBC.caThe Nature Conservancy of Canada has announced a deal to buy a mostly undeveloped 70 hectare island, instead of having it sold by the City of Kenora to developers, as long as the group can raise $2.85 million by summer 2022. Read the CBC news item here._______________
Haliburton Animal TracksThe Haliburton Highlands Land Trust‘s (HHLT) discovery days “Animal Tracks and Signs” continues through February. Post your pictures and sightings on the HHLT’s Facebook page or submit via email to admin@haliburtonlandtrust.ca with the subject line #MyBackyardChallenges._______________
Kawartha SurveyDo you spend time in the Kawartha Lakes watershed: Balsam, Cameron, Sturgeon, Pigeon or Scugog Lake? If so, Kawartha Conservation‘s Watershed Management Department wants to hear from you. They are undergoing a review of their current monitoring programs and need your input. Help shape the science that protects your environment. Click here to take the survey by February 28, 2021. FOCA’s Silver-level Sponsors





Lake Environments
Blue Green Algae webinarFebruary 9, 2021 – enjoy the recording of the Environment Haliburton talk by Dr. Liz Favot, FOCA’s Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator, about algae: the good, the bad and the ugly. The 45 minute presentation is followed by a panel Q&A session, with Professor Barb Elliot and Dr Norman Yan. Click here to view the recording on YouTube._____________
Invasive quagga mussels and phosphorusimage: https://twin-cities.umn.edu Researchers from the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota Duluth have released a study of their analysis of the cycling of phosphorus in lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario, showing that the concentrations of phosphorus are now regulated by the population dynamics of the invasive quagga mussel. Read the research brief online here._____________
Mercury Poisoning among North Ontario AnglersThis recent CBC story is a graphic example of why monitoring and reporting environmental conditions is so critical. A Sault Ste. Marie tournament angler who ate his catch several times a week developed dangerously high mercury levels with serious physical effects. The Province posts a map searchable by waterbody, where you can review sport fish consumption advisories by species and size. Click here to visit the map. FOCA’s Bronze-level Sponsors
 






Statistics Canada is hiring 
The next Census will take place in May 2021.
Statistics Canada is temporarily hiring approximately 9,000 people across Ontario to assist with aspects of the census process. The job start and end dates vary by position and location, but will be part-time between March and July 2021.
Find out more here: https://census.gc.ca/jobs-emplois-eng.htm   Your Role: FOCA 50K 
We are very proud of FOCA’s Elert subscription list, which is now over 11,800 strong, and growing every week. Will you help us achieve our ambitious goal of increasing that to 50,000 subscribers? 
We know there are folks out there who love waterfront Ontario as much as you do. Please encourage your waterfront neighbours and fellow association members to sign up directly for these monthly e-news updates from FOCA. 
You can help us by sharing this message:
The “Elert” is FOCA’s free monthly e-newsletter, filled with cottage country updates on waterfront living, environmental and policy developments, and so much more. Subscribe to the free FOCA Elert, today:   https://bit.ly/FOCAelert50K  
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, the voice of the waterfront for over half a century
 info@foca.on.ca    |    705-749-3622    |    https://foca.on.ca