FOCA Elert ~ August 2021
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations,
the voice of the waterfront for nearly 60 years.
underwater image by Andy Metelka
FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associations
FOCA 2021 Fall Seminar for Associations

"The Changing Face of Cottage Country" Saturday, November 6, 2021
by Zoom webinar (9:00am - 11:30am)

Join us for the annual Fall Seminar for Lake Association representatives. Get details, and the link to register, here:

(Member price $30; non-members $45.
Price includes link to event recording & slides.)
2021 Lake Stewards Newsletter
The annual Lake Stewards Newsletter is here! This year's edition is filled with hot topics including night light and boat wake concerns, association liability considerations during the pandemic, septic system tips, updates on invasive moths and carp invaders, ... and more.
Access the digital version (PDF) here:

All current FOCA Supporters, and the executive of each of our Member Associations (if we have your mailing address on file) will be mailed a copy of this newsletter, as well.

Please share these updates with others! Contact the FOCA office if you need alternate file formats, to reproduce one or more of the articles in your own Association Newsletter.
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:

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, and we'll reply during business hours.
FOCA's Gold level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & Rivers
last call: Photo Contest
Everyone is invited to submit a photo to the IsampleON Photo Contest for a chance to win. Your picture should show the Ontario waterbody you love, and your submission should briefly describe what you are doing to help monitor for and/or prevent the spread of invasive species. All entries with a photo will go in the draw to win this cottage prize pack valued at over $175! You could be the lucky winner:
Submit online now (or by Sept.29th, 2021 at the latest).
IsampleOn on the ground
FOCA's IsampleON volunteers have been busy sampling and sharing educational messages about preventing the spread of invasive species at the lake.

Kudos to the group on Big Cedar Lake, who enlisted North Kawartha Mayor Carolyn Amyotte to hang the new "Help Protect our Lakes" sign at the local boat launch, and to record a Facebook PSA about the importance of preventing the spread of invasive species.

(image courtesy Diane Trauzzi)
NEW Survey: Carp invaders
How much do YOU know about carp? We want to know.
Please take FOCA's quick survey:

If you take the survey by September 15, you could win the draw for a FOCA travel cooler on wheels (NOT for transporting carp...but we're sure you'll think of something else to use it for.)
upcoming FOCA Lunch-and-Learn webinar:
Protecting our Great Lakes from Carp Invaders Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 12:00pm
Join FOCA and our partners at Fisheries and Oceans Canada to learn about the threat posed by Grass Carp, Silver Carp, Black Carp and Bighead Carp. This event is open to all FOCA members and supporters. Pre-registration is required:
NEW Video release:
A Cottager perspective on Carp Invaders
FOCA's Terry Rees is featured in a new video from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, about the threat of carp invaders to waterfront users of the Great Lakes, and the important role that cottagers can play. Click the image of Terry at the side to launch the video, and be certain to share the link with others:
NEW call for proposals:
Green Shovels - Invasive Phragmites
Following successful pilot projects by FOCA member Associations undertaken earlier this year with Green Shovels Collaborative funding, FOCA is pleased to issue a new call for funding proposals from our member Associations for on-the-ground projects focused on invasive Phragmites, to start immediately and to be completed by 2022. Get details and the application form on our webpage:
Feedback on draft Phragmites Resources
The Green Shovels Collaborative, of which FOCA is a partner, has been working to develop important new resources to strengthen collective efforts to address Canada's 'worst' invasive plant: Phragmites. Public input is welcomed on 2 new draft documents:

We want to ensure these 2 documents are as useful to Ontario's Phragmites champions as possible, so let us know if you have any specific ideas on how we can improve them to support you better. All interested parties are asked to submit thoughts via email to:
New Online tool for Reporting Spills & Pollution
In addition to the existing Spills Action Centre call line, the public now has an online option to quickly report spills or pollution like illegal waste dumping, improper pesticide use, and pollution on land, in the water or air. Find out more, here:
FOCA Advocates for Responsive Government
ONCA Proclaimation Date Announced
As announced on August 17th, the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) will finally be proclaimed and take effect on October 19, 2021.

Is your nonprofit incorporated in Ontario? If yes, ONCA applies to you, and you will have 3 years after proclamation to transition to the new rules.

Visit FOCA's webpage for the updates, links to handy resources for the transition, and history on this topic that FOCA has been preparing members for, over many years now:
NEW Guide to Land Use Planning
FOCA is pleased that the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has recently posted a Citizen’s Guide to Land Use Planning. Learn about the rules and processes municipalities follow for community development and growth in Ontario, the role of the province, how the Planning Act works, about the Provincial Policy Statement, and how you can get involved in land use planning.

FOCA posts links to this and related Land Use Planning information here:
Species at Risk
The Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO) was established under the Endangered Species Act, 2007, as an independent body that assesses and classifies species at risk in Ontario. 

FOCA notes that COSSARO has invited the public to share their comments and perspectives on the species being assessed by the Committee. Information on species abundance, distribution and threats to the species being assessed is particularly helpful. The current (11) species under consideration include the Barn Swallow and the Five-lined Skink, among others. Information about the upcoming meetings (September 28-29; and November 18-19) and how to get involved is available here:
FOCA Champions Affordable & Safe Rural Living
Cottage Succession
FOCA and estate lawyer Peter Lillico have been teaching families about successful cottage succession planning for the past decade! Our traditional in-person events have shifted to digital for 2021. Thank you to our member associations who are the local hosts of these seminars. Upcoming events include:
  • September 14, 2021: "Camp Succession A to Z" webinar for our Thunder Bay area associations, hosted by the West Loon Lake Campers' Association
  • September 21, 2021: "Cottage Succession A to Z" webinar for members of the Chandos Lake Property Owners Association
  • October 13, 2021: "Trusting the Cottage" webinar about trust techniques for ALL FOCA member associations and our current Supporters.

Attendance at FOCA's Cottage Succession webinars is free to FOCA members, and $10 for non-members. Find out how to register, and get more info on this subject:
FOCA's Silver level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
Partner Updates & Regional Notices
Gravenhurst - "Be a Good Renter"
August 26, 2021 - the Township of Gravenhurst has produced a new educational brochure titled Be a Good Renter, and is also seeking public input about short term rentals in an online survey; respond by September 30th.

FOCA posts related information and news about municipal responses to short term rentals, on our webpage:
upcoming webinars:
CSBC Cold Water Workshops
As members of the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC), FOCA encourages your participation in upcoming CSBC workshops on cold water immersion: how to survive an accidental exposure, and also how to help others who may have become hypothermic. Choose one of three webinar dates from September to November. These are paid online workshops, and participants will receive a certificate of completion.
last call: Lake of the Woods survey
Lake of the Woods area property owners affected by low spring water levels have until August 31, 2021 to respond to a survey from the Lake of the Woods Control Board. Click here to reach the survey.
30 years of GBLT
Congratulations to the Georgian Bay Land Trust (GBLT), celebrating 30 years of conservation in Georgian Bay. FOCA has been a long-standing friend with the land trust movement. Find out more on our webpage:
event recap:
CELA "Making the Links" in Northern Ontario
The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) Northern Services presented “Making the Links” in Northern Ontario on August 10, 2021. The webinar highlights the connections between environment, health and industry in Northern Ontario, and demonstrates how you can use the law to prevent harm to you, your community, and the environment. Visit to review the webinar recording.
FOCA's Bronze level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Fosters Community
FOCA on the Road
We'll admit it: we've missed being on the road attending our members' events over the past year and a half. We've had lots of "Zoom visits" but have also manage to attend a couple of recent in-person events, following all Public Health protocols. Here are some highlights:

  • Thanks to our Board President, Ian Crawford, who represented FOCA at the late July meeting of the Dunchurch Estates Cottagers' Association, a long-time FOCA member group on Whitestone Lake, Parry Sound. (top image at right)

  • In early August, FOCA's Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator, Liz Favot, presented about the Lake Partner Program of community science water quality monitoring, for the Ogimaa Binesiiyog Stewardship Youth Ranger Program (Treaty #3; Fort Frances & Kenora region) (middle image at right)

  • FOCA's E.D. attended the August 14th Watershed Discovery Day in Perth. This event, hosted by the Friends of the Tay Watershed, was a chance to share information about watershed health and to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of caring for the Tay Watershed, and was an excellent spot to pick up fresh local produce, at the Perth Farmer's Market! (bottom image at right: Glenn Tunnock, Chair of the Friends of the Tay, with Terry at FOCA's display)
Association success stories to share (& adapt!):
Halls & Hawk Lakes adapt 'community scavenger hunt' idea
FOCA's members on Little and Big Hawk & Halls Lakes have just wrapped up a month-long "Get to Know Your Lakes Challenge" as part of their 75th Anniversary celebrations (our congratulations on the anniversary). This free event provided 20 clues to locations on the lakes, with 5 weeks to decipher the clues (answers required a visit to the various locations) and log entries online. Check out the details.
Apply for the FOCA Achievement Award
Yes - we're talking to you.

We look forward to hearing all your association success stories so we can share great ideas with your fellow members! Apply today for the FOCA Achievement Award on behalf of your great lake association, and tell us how you made the most of the summer of 2021.

Applications will be accepted until November 30th. The recipient will be celebrated at the 2022 FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar next March. Details and the nomination form are online here:
Final Thoughts
Be #WakeAware
In response to ongoing member comments and concerns about the effects of boat wakes, FOCA is very pleased to announce the release of a new video and companion website: with information for all water users about the impacts of wakes, and educational resources to use and share.
The Be #WakeAware campaign is a joint initiative of the Muskoka Lakes Association, Safe Quiet Lakes and FOCA. The video YouTube address can be copied and pasted:
and lots of additional resources are posted on the dedicated webpage:

Please share the website information and the video link with your waterfront community!
Find out more about YOUR ROLE, today.
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