FOCA Elert - March 2018
Recent Events
2018 FOCA A.G.M. & Spring Seminar - March 3, 2018

We had a full house and lots of active discussions at our all-day event on March 3rd in Toronto! Thank you to all the attendees, speakers, sponsors and partners who joined us to make this day such a huge success. 

FOCA will follow shortly with an event summary for members, including links to the day's slide presentations, videos, and materials circulated by speakers and project partners.

If you attended but have not yet completed your event survey, please take a moment to add your voice. Click here for the online survey

Association Successes

"And the FOCA Achievement Award goes to..." 
Congratulations to the Skootamatta District Ratepayers Association of the Township of Addington Highlands, the recipient of the FOCA Achievement Award as announced on March 3rd, 2018! Their slide presentation about association successes will be part of the event summary circulated to FOCA members soon.
Find out more about our great Associations, and the FOCA Award, here:  

You asked, FOCA answers
A member group recently asked, "How can our Association best use our FOCA membership and the great wealth of info that comes with it?"
Click to read FOCA's answer, with Top Tips for your own Association!

In related news, we extend a "thank you" to the Otty Lake Association, and all our other great member Associations who regularly re-purpose FOCA materials in their own print and digital newsletters. Click to download the February 2018 edition of "Captain Otty's Log" (PDF, 8 pages). 

FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors


Cottage Life
CottageLINK Rental Management
Sponsors support our work. Please, support them!
Policy & Programs Updates

Septic System Management
In February 2018, FOCA and the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association (OOWA) launched a formal Request for Review through the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, to challenge the current management and maintenance protocols under the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and the Ontario Building Code. Learn all about this request, and get lots of good information about onsite wastewater systems, here:

And don't forget to check out the new video:  Cottage Country Septic Systemsfor an overview from FOCA that you can share with friends and neighbours.  Click below to watch the video:
Please share this video! Here is a link you can copy and paste:

Vote for your Future
At the Spring Seminar on March 3rd, FOCA introduced Vote for your Future, our election-year project to engage rural voters in the October municipal elections. More info will be circulated by FOCA this Spring. 
In the meantime, you can ensure you are on your Municipal voters' list, here:

Fisheries Act & Navigable Waters Protection Act Reforms
image: A. Metelka
In February 2018, after extensive consultations pursuant to Canada's Review of Environmental and Regulatory Processes, the federal government tabled draft legislation intended to ensure that the Fisheries Act provides "strong and meaningful" protection for fish and fish habitat, and improves certainty for industry. Bill C-68 was introduced "to restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards." Learn more here:  

More federal environmental law changes, including to the Canadian Navigable Waters Act, can be found here: 

Economic Potential of Waterfront Owners
January 18, 2018 - Official notice was provided to FOCA of funding received through Ontario's Rural Economic Development (RED) program to gather data on the local economic potential of waterfront property owners in rural communities. Hundreds of respondents have provided their input to the project survey, and a final report will be released by FOCA this Spring. 

Pictured: Hon. Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, with Terry Rees of FOCA, and lead project researcher Katherine Howes. (image: FOCA)

RED is part of the province's effort to help rural Ontario generate investment and create jobs; find out more about the RED program, here:  

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors


Waterfront Living

Ice Fishing Hut Removal Dates
image: K. Doughty
We are reminded by the Province that all ice fishing huts on Ontario waterways must be removed before ice breakup, or at the latest by the dates listed here by Fisheries Management Zone

Rural Services - Broadband 
The Government of Canada created " Connecting Canadians" so that citizens in rural, remote and northern parts of the country can enjoy improved access to high-speed broadband access. Want to see what services are currently available in your region? Enter your cottage address on the service map, here: 

Lake Environments

Report on Phosphorus in Lake Erie 
February 2018 - the International Joint Commission has released a report on their extensive analysis of sources of excess phosphorus in the western basin of Lake Erie. Read more, and link to the report, from FOCA's Great Lakes webpage: 

Invasive Species Week: February 26 - March 2, 2018
FOCA took to Twitter to share messaging during #InvasiveSpecies Week. Find out what you can do to stop the spread, and get information and tips for cottage country, here:

Remember to connect with FOCA on social media!
Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    View our videos on YouTube
FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box

Cottage Dreams

Canadian Canoe Museum
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
Upcoming Events & Regional Notices

Spring Cottage Life Show
March 22-25, 2018 - Toronto. Don't miss this annual launch to the cottage season, now in a 4-day show. Get details here: 

Invasive Species Info Session
March 22, 2018 - Scarborough campus, University of Toronto. Bring your questions about Asian carps and other invasive species to the " Aliens Among Us" event. Space is limited - get details and register, here: 

Cottage Country Planning Seminar
April 5, 2018 - Bracebridge. Cottage Country Seminar Series: Planning and Environmental Issues. Topics for this all-day event include the District of Muskoka Official Plan Review, types of environmental reports, discussion of regulation of short-term accommodation, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, and more. Download the program and registration details (PDF, 8 pages)
Muskoka Summit on the Environment
May 24-25, 2018 - Bracebridge. Save the date for the next Muskoka Summit on the Environment, " Restoring our relationship with the natural world." FOCA is pleased to be sponsoring this event, once again. Details are here: 

Notice of Study: work near Port Perry
FOCA has received notice of the commencement of a study on resurfacing and structure rehabilitation at various locations in the Township of Scugog and Township of Brock. Interested parties are invited to comment to the Design and Class Environmental Assessment Study coordinators. Read the Notice (PDF, 2 pages) and review the map (PDF, 1 page) of the proposed work.

Municipal Partner Profile

New APP keeps Cottagers Connected
The City of Kawartha Lakes has a new website, and a new mobile app called Pingstreet that can deliver weather and emergency notifications directly to your phone.  "We would like as many people as possible to download the app before flood season arrives," notes Cheri Davidson, Manager of Communications for the City. "If the power is out or you're out of the area, you can still stay informed on your phone."  Get details by downloading the news release here (PDF, 2 pages) or visit the website:

Funding Opportunity

International Day for Biodiversity Grant Program 
The Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network (BEAN) reminds everyone that small grants are available to organizations holding events to celebrate International Day for Biodiversity (May 22nd). The 2018 theme is "Celebrating 25 years of Action for Biodiversity." Grants of up to $500 may be available for events, such as BioBlitzes, that take place between May 1 and June 30, 2018. Apply by March 23, 2018.   Click here for details from BEAN.

FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
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