Federation of Cottagers

FOCA Elert – October 2016
Political Affairs & Policy Updates
 
Invasive Species & Cottage Country Utilities – FOCA Asks

This summer, FOCA wrote to Hydro One to enquire about their boat-moving practices in rural Ontario, with concern for the potential spread of invasive species between waterbodies. We were pleased to receive a response detailing Hydro One’s practices for boat and trailer washing, and their intentions to comply with the draft regulations for Ontario’s Invasive Species Act. Read FOCA’s letter & Hydro One’s response, here

A similar letter to Bell Canada has, as yet, gone unanswered. FOCA will keep you updated with any developments. This follows FOCA enquiries to the Ontario Provincial Police Marine Patrols last year, on the same subject; read the 2015 OPP response here.

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Lawsuit Launched over Water Management

A group of Muskoka residents have announced a class-action lawsuit against the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) over water management and damage to property during spring 2016 flooding. The suit seeks damages of $900-million. For more on the issue of water management, including a link to a new post about the lawsuit from Water Canada Magazine, featuring FOCA’s Executive Director, visit:

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EBR Under Review
Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights is under review. FOCA will be providing comments on this important tool, and we encourage our members to have their say as well. Comments are due by November 8th, 2016. Get details here:  https://foca.on.ca/environmental-bill-rights-review-2016/

You are invited to join the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Dianne Saxe, for a webinar on October 27, 2016 for highlights of her first Environmental Protection Report, “Small Steps Forward.” The report assesses government action on several issues that are of interest to FOCA members, including biodiversity threats and forest fire management. Register for the webinar by clicking here. For more about biodiversity, see the recent State of Ontario’s Biodiversity Report.

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Green Energy Announcement
September 27, 2016 – Ontario is halting the procurement of over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, wind and hydroelectric projects, which is projected to save the typical residential electricity consumer $2.45 per month on their electricity bill, compared to previous forecasts. Get more info:  https://foca.on.ca/approving-green-energy-projects/
Other Upcoming Events
 
Great Lakes Public Forum

October 4-6th, 2016, Toronto – FOCA’s Executive Director will moderate a panel on Thursday, October 6th, titled “Celebrating Success,” about projects contributing to the health of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Public Forum brings together leaders from Canada and the United States to assess the state of Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health, share actions being undertaken and consider future priorities. For an excerpt from the conference program about Thursday morning’s schedule, click here. (PDF, 1 page)

In related news: TVO is running a series of programs on the Great Lakes all week:

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Kawarthas, Naturally Connected
October 19th, 2016, Bridgenorth – Associations and interested residents of Kawartha-area lakes are invited to the official launch of the Kawarthas Naturally Connected Natural Heritage System and mapping tools. Click here for the event details. (PDF, 1 page)
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Lake Links Workshop
October 22nd, 2016, Perth – FOCA’s Executive Director will be one of the featured speakers at this year’s Lake Links event which is titled“Every Waterfront Matters. You can make a difference.” FOCA is a proud supporter of this annual event, which brings together a network of eastern Ontario lake associations, government and non-governmental organizations, citizens and other stakeholders. Click the event poster at right for details (PDF, 1 page), or visit  https://foca.on.ca/lake-links-2016/. See you there!
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Fall Cottage Life Show
October 21-23, 2016, Toronto – Get a head start on your 2017 cottage plans at this annual event featuring over 200 exhibitors. Details are here.
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image courtesy SPARC

SPARC Symposium

October 27-30, 2016, Haliburton – Keen on being part of a rural performing arts community network? Plan to attend this biennial event, being held at Pinestone Resort. Click the image at right to link to online details about the symposium.
FOCA’s Gold-level Sponsors
Cottage Life
CottageLINK Rental Management
OPG
Lake Environments
You asked: 
A FOCA member asked us this summer: “Is there any documented link between water quality and property values?”
FOCA answers:

There’s no quick or comprehensive answer here, because so many factors affect property prices. FOCA can report that a 2014 study in applied economics (by Julia Clapper and Steven B. Caudill) used Lake Partner Program (LPP) data along with real estate transaction data, to try to determine the effect of clearer water on waterfront property sale prices.

Their results indicated that lakeside homeowners paid around 2% more for each 1-foot increase in water clarity as measured by Secchi depth. While water clarity is not always the same as waterquality, FOCA is intrigued to see this example of the LPP data being used in other ways!

Associations: Can this help your members understand the importance of water quality in cottage country? Want to pass along practical ideas that support healthy waterfronts? Get tips from FOCA in the Shoreline Owner’s Guide to Healthy Waterfronts.

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Mapping Stressors on Inland Lakes
Lake Partner Program (LPP) data is also contribuing to FOCA’s project with science partners from Ryerson University, Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, to assess effects of multiple stressors on inland lakes over time.
The program partners met in September to review program progress to date. You will hear more about this geospatial database program at FOCA’s Fall Seminar on November 12th, 2016. In the meantime, visit the program webpage byclicking here.
This is another example of how the long-term citizen science of the LPP can be used to help us understand trends on the landscape over time. Thank you once more to all the dedicated volunteers who make the LPP possible each year! Your work is invaluable.
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Public Health and Blue-Green Algae 
Click below for a brief video discussion with FOCA and Peterborough Public Health about algae, and what to do if you spot a suspected blue-green algal bloom.
Recent Publications from FOCA
Copies of the Climate Guide have arrived!

FOCA is very pleased to announce that we now have printed copies of Managing Your Waterfront Property in a Changing Climate available for FOCA members. Thank you to our project partners at MNRF for helping us bring this guide to print.

NOTE: All attendees at the FOCA Fall Seminar will receive a copy of the guide. If you would like to collect a few extra copies while you are at the event, please alert the office ahead of time.
For a digital copy of the climate change guide, click the image at right, or visit: https://foca.on.ca/managing-your-waterfront-property-in-a-changing-climate
Learn more about climate impacts to Ontario’s freshwaters, and get recent news and links, here:  https://foca.on.ca/climate-change-and-waterfront-ontario/
Regional Notices & Opportunities
 
Sign Says…
The County of Peterborough is currently reviewing their Sign By-law, which regulates the placement of signs or other advertising devices on County roadways. County residents and businesses are encouraged to provide feedback by October 30th via the online survey, or by email, letter or phone to County staff. Read the County’s notice by clicking here. (PDF, 1 page)
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Project Funding Announced 

FOCA’s member group, the Scugog Lake Stewards, took to social media on September 15th to announce a $200,000 donation from the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation for the Lake Scugog Enhancement Project (a Township project, with the Scugog Stewards and Kawartha Conservation). “Please share with us our very happy news!” they posted to Facebook.

Reminder: Connect with FOCA on Facebook, and many of your fellow member groups while you are at it!

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Funding for Association Projects
Planning for a 2017 project? See the Stewardship Network of Ontario’s handy Scan of Granting Resources. Access the list of public and private grants, here:  https://foca.on.ca/stewardship-funding-for-stewardship-projects/
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Restoration Project Funding

Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change has called for applications to the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund, which provides up to $25,000 per project to restore and protect the Great Lakes, and the lakes and rivers that flow into them. Past recipients include FOCA member group, The Kensington Conservancy, who received funding for species inventories in wetlands along the North Shore of Lake Huron, as well as public education workshops. Apply to this fund by December 1st, 2016. Details are here.

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Could the Canada Goose really beat the Loon?
FOCA is intrigued to see that one of the most iconic birds of cottage country, the Common Loon, is in final contention for consideration as Canada’s national bird, alongside one of the birds in cottage country we most often hear complaints about: the Canada Goose! (OK, it could have been a cormorant…)
Have an opinion on the matter? Voting in the Canadian Geographic National Bird Project has ended, but you can still weigh in on social media while the panel makes its final decision (to be announced November 16th). Use the hashtag #canadabird on Twitter or Instagram to join the conversation.
 
At right, our September 20th tweet on the topic of loon vs. goose

Reminder: while you’re on Twitter, connect with FOCA. Our feed is filled with current news on water-related topics, big and small. 

FOCA’s Silver-level Sponsors
HydroOne
AVIVA
Partner Profile
 
Stewardship Network of Ontario 
FOCA is a member of the Stewardship Network of Ontario (SNO), formed in 2004 as a collaborative of non-government and government stewardship organizations.
Amongst their many online resources, SNO has just announced the launch of an online directory of current and former Stewardship Councils, including links and contact information, where available. Explore the map by clicking the image at right, or visit:  http://stewardshipnetwork.ca/resources/directory-of-ontario-stewardship-councils/
FOCA Member Benefits
Benefit Highlight: Credit Card Renewals for your Association! 
Still looking for dues, but away from the lake for the next few months? FOCA hosts a secure online portal where your association can take credit card payments for your members’ fees. Since January 2016, we have processed over $20,000 in payments on behalf of our member groups! Get details on this FOCA member service, here:  https://foca.on.ca/member-services/membership-payment-processing/
Note: The 2-page sheet about FOCA Benefits (click the green box above) makes great content for your Association Newsletter. Contact the office if you’d like a different file format. We encourage you to share FOCA information with your members!
End of Season Thoughts from FOCA
 
Lock it or Lose it, and other Cottage Closing Tips
Spend one minute with FOCA’s Executive Director on the water, with late season cottage country tips. Click the image below to link to his most recent video blog:
 
FOCA members can access a cottage closing tip list from FOCA!  https://foca.on.ca/cottage-closing-checklist-members-only/  NOTE: You’ll need your Member Login to access this resource and others on the FOCA website. Start here if you haven’t got yours, yet:  https://foca.on.ca/get-login/
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Boat Hibernation
It’s hard to believe, but it’s already time to talk about putting the boat(s) away for the winter. Get all the tips you need in some handy infographics from
Boats & Places, covering preparation steps as well as storage decisions.
Click the image at right to link to the online article, or visit:  http://www.boatsandplaces.com/hibernation-preparation/
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Invasive Watch

Remember to keep an eye out for any signs of invasive species, as you close out your boat and cottage for the season. Get your Cottager Invasives Plan here: http://bit.ly/28OZDAW and report any sightings!
End of Season for Rideau Canal operations
Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy

September 27, 2016 – FOCA has received an Information Bulletin from Parks Canada about end-of-season operations on the Rideau Canal, including water level decreases to winter storage levels, starting October 11th. Read the notice by clicking here (PDF, 1 page).

Cade’s Corner
Our friends at Cade Associates Insurance Brokers also have some important tips for this time of year. Cottagers can read about heat, water and roof considerations, in the Cade blog:
Members in more than four dozen FOCA member Associations have already taken advantage of this FOCA benefit: access to the CottageFirst group insurance package.
When will you get your quote, to find out if you could be saving too?
Recent Events

Kawartha Lake Stewards

October 1st, 2016 – FOCA participated in the Kawartha Lake Stewards Association Fall Annual General Meeting. The meeting included updates on the 2016 KLSA summer water testing program, and the aquatic plant inventory project on Boyd Island.
Public Forum about Asian Carp

October 3rd, 2016, Toronto – FOCA attended a public forum about Asian carp, hosted by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The forum included discussion about the current status of Asian carp, strategies to prevent invasion, and Canada’s contribution to the effort to manage this invasive species. Follow this topic, here:  https://foca.on.ca/asian-carp/

Municipal Matters
Review Council Meetings on YouTube
September 2016 – The Township of Scugog has announced that video of Council, General Purpose and Administration Committee Meetings will now be posted to the Township’s YouTube Channel, the day following a meeting. Subscribe to the Township’s channel for notifications.

Reminder: Connect with FOCA on YouTube! Review our video posts about safety, shorelines and much more. Subscribe to our channel to receive notice when new FOCA material is posted.

FOCA’s Real Estate Champion
Meet “The Paddling Realtor”
FOCA is very pleased to announce our first FOCA Real Estate Champion!
Andrew Marshall and FOCA are working together to promote local lake associations in Ontario. Andrew has pledged to gift his clients with a membership in a lake association, when they purchase a cottage country waterfront property. We applaud his dedication to the principle of sustainability and thank him for his support. Get details about this new FOCA initiative, and connect with Andrew, here:  https://foca.on.ca/real-estate-champion/
Association Tools
Member Question: 
What’s up with ONCA? And what should our Association do about our By-laws in the meantime?
 
FOCA Answers:
Hold tight. For the past three years, FOCA has been tracking developments with Ontario’s Not-for-profit Corporations Act 2010 (ONCA), which passed third reading in the Legislature, but has not yet been proclaimed, due to ongoing technical amendments and technological issues, according to Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO). The government has promised to give 24 months notice to the non-profit sector before ONCA takes effect, and CLEO’s most recent update (Sept.21, 2016) stated:
“Most organizations should not make changes to comply with the ONCA yet, as possible amendments, if passed, will change some details.”    
In the meantime, the Ontario Corporations Act remains the governing legislation for not-for-profit corporations registered in Ontario. For more information about ONCA, including a link to FOCA’s By-laws (as a possible sample for associations, in the meantime), see:  https://foca.on.ca/onca-on-hold/
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A Two-Way Conversation
What have you done lately to keep existing members and to attract new ones? We want to know! Please send FOCA an email update with your success stories and case studies.
 

We want you to share FOCA news updates and fact sheets.  Members are always welcome to reproduce FOCA materials from ElertsNewsletters and our extensive online resources. Please credit FOCA as the source, and include our web address, where possible:  https://foca.on.ca.  There are lots of additional resources from FOCA that are tailored to lake associations’ needs. Start your online search here: 

FOCA’s Bronze-level Sponsors
OOWA
Sunspace
Dock in a Box
Cottage Dreams

Canadian Canoe Museum
Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
EORN
Apply now!
recipients of the Award & Honourable Mentions, March 2016

FOCA Achievement Award for Associations

Apply by November 30th: Nominate your local lake association for this annual award which celebrates the successes of FOCA member associations. Small and large groups are invited to share their accomplishments! Get details, info about past recipients, and a link to the application form, here:  https://foca.on.ca/member-services/foca-achievement-award/

Happy Thanksgiving, to all our friends and partners!
With any luck, may you spend it in nature…
click above to link to Ontario Parks’ Fall Colours Map
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations,
the voice of the waterfront for over 50 years

info@foca.on.ca    |    705-749-3622    |    https://foca.on.ca

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