FOCA Elert - October 2017
Waterfront Living

Cottage Closing Tips & end-of-season updates
The past few weeks in Ontario have seen wild swings from hot to cool and back again. FOCA's Terry Rees was on the water on one of the warmest recent days, with some quick tips and important updates for waterfront property owners as we head into Thanksgiving. Click the image to view the video:
FOCA wishes you and yours the very best for the holiday weekend!

Check out all our cottage closing tips, here: 

FOCA Event Registration 

2017 FOCA Fall Seminar: Strong Associations for Future Generations
Join us on Saturday, November 4th, 2017 in Toronto, for the latest and greatest edition of the annual FOCA Fall Seminar for Lake Associations. 
For full event details,  click here  or the image at the side. 

Our keynote speakers will be  The Water Brothers, Alex and Tyler Mifflin.  The afternoon panel features tips to find volunteers and engage younger generations in your lake association.  We will also launch FOCA's new video about lake associations, created through a collaboration with the Environmental Visual Communications Program of Fleming College and the ROM.

Don't miss this event -  Register now ! 

FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors


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

Public Input requested on the Algonquin Land Claim
For a number of years, Canada, Ontario and the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) have been negotiating towards a land settlement in eastern Ontario. Following the signing of the Agreement in Principle in October 2016, the process to transfer approximately 117,500 acres of provincial lands to the AOO began. In order to transfer provincial lands, public consultation on the proposed Environmental Evaluation Report is now underway. You can comment online until October 17, 2017, or attend one of the remaining public meetings:
> Pembroke - October 5, 2017
> Toronto - October 11, 2017
For details, links, and background on this issue, visit FOCA's webpage: 

Call for Floodplain Mapping
FOCA member, the MLA (Muskoka Lakes Association), has urged the province to step up for floodplain mapping in the region. Read media coverage by

Gaps remain in Binational Approach to Eliminating PCBs, Flame Retardants in the Great Lakes
Several chemicals of mutual concern to the U.S. and Canada need better management, policy and oversight, according to a recent letter to Environment and Climate Change Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sent by Canadian Environmental Law Association and signed by over 40 interested organizations, including FOCA. Read more, here:  

Lake Environments

Secchi Trends 
The Lake Partner Program and FOCA have released a new fact sheet about water clarity and the role of the Secchi Disk. Thank you to Rebecca Rossi, who has now finished her time as the Lake Partner Program Assistant, and who authored the Secchi update.  Some k ey findings: while Secchi depths of the majority (65%) of lakes studied between the years 2000 and 2014 did not change significantly, over the last 10 years there has been a 19% decline in the number of Secchi depth readings collected per year
This is a concerning trend! Please visit FOCA's Lake Partner Program webpages to read the new fact sheet, and to find out how you can help:  

image: Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program
Asian Carp Update
October 2, 2017 - genetic tests have confirmed Grass carp eggs have been found in the Maumee River, along the U.S. side of western Lake Erie.  Get the link to the latest news, plus tips about your role in preventing the spread of invasive species across Ontario cottage country, here:  

Making Navigation Markers
FOCA member group, the Haliburton Lake Cottagers' Association, has posted a YouTube video about making navigation markers. Well done! Click below to watch the video:

FOCA reminds members that any private markers should adhere to Transport Canada guidelines, and Associations considering the implementation of rock, shoal or navigational  markers should first discuss the plans with their Insurance broker. Get tips about shoal and hazard marking for lake associations, here:  

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors

Survey Reminder

Recreational Lakes & Algae Survey
Hundreds of responses have been received, but we still need you!  Please participate in the 2017 Ontario Recreational Lakes and Algae Survey, and share the link with everyone at your lake:  

If you complete the survey by October 9th, 2017, your responses can be incorporated into preliminary results which will be presented as part of the North American Lake Management Society conference this November. 

FOCA's Terry Rees with the survey lead, Carmen Pereira
This survey is being conducted as a partnership between Queen's University, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, the Muskoka Watershed Council, the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations (FOCA), and Nipissing University. 

Thank you to all our lake association presidents and lake stewards who have circulated the survey link! Please prompt your contacts to complete the survey, so the researchers can get a good representation of perceptions about algae on our lakes, in comparison to the similar survey from 30 years ago.   

Safety & Risk Management

End of Season Draw Down
Parks Canada reminds boaters that the Trent Severn Waterway, and the Rideau Canal's 24 lockstations located between Ottawa and Kingston will close for the season on October 10, 2017, following the Thanksgiving long weekend. The public is reminded to use caution in and around canal structures and channels over the winter months. Read the notice from Parks Canada, including water level information, by clicking here (PDF, 1 page). Note that, across Ontario, water managers lower water levels in October, in advance of winter and sometimes to facilitate the Lake Trout spawn.

Fire & Carbon Monoxide Safety
October 8-14th, 2017 is Fire Prevention Week, and this year's theme is Every Second Counts: Plan 2 ways out! (PDF, 1 page).

FOCA reminds everyone that Fall is a particularly important time to be aware of carbon monoxide safety, as many of us start up woodstoves and other heating appliances that may have been unused for many months. Learn more, here:
Sponsor Feature 

Welcome, Action First Aid
We are very pleased to welcome Action First Aid, an industry leader in First Aid, CPR and AED training, as FOCA's newest Silver Sponsor! 

Action First Aid's motto is "empowering people to take action," and cottage associations are turning to Action First Aid for AEDs (Automated external defibrillators) and training to be  ready for emergencies such as cardiac arrest in cottage country. 

"We support FOCA's work for healthy, thriving waterfronts," says Deb Hennig, founder of Action First Aid. "We are thrilled to see so many cottagers beginning to invest in these life-saving devices, and we are here to support and strengthen your emergency response any way we can."  Click here for a quick video  about the value of preparedness at the cottage.

Check out the Action First Aid website,  featuring product and training information:  
Recent Events 

NORKLA Meeting
September 23, 2017, Apsley. FOCA participated in the North Kawartha Lakes Association (NORKLA) meeting,  which included discussion of results from the 2017 lake monitoring through the Frost Laboratory for Freshwater Ecology, and   Dr. Peter Sale  speaking about "Humanity in the Anthropocene."  Many FOCA member lakes are included in this vibrant regional group.

Ontario East Municipal Conference (OEMC)
September 13, 2017, Kingston. FOCA was at t he OEMC, the largest annual regional municipal and economic development conference east of Toronto, to connect with municipal leaders from across eastern Ontario to share best practices and to discuss priority topics of interest for our communities. Since 1993, the Ontario East Economic Development Commission and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing have partnered to deliver programs that build strong community partnerships and enhanced economic opportunities.

Cade's Corner

Understanding your Insurance
Insurance can be complex, but it only takes a few moments to familiarize yourself with the key features of insurance coverage. There are several resources available to you, including the new "Know your Policy" campaign from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

For an overview created specifically for waterfront property owners, click here. (PDF, 2 pages)

FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box


Cottage Dreams

Canadian Canoe Museum

Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
Upcoming Events & Regional Notices

Lake Links 2017 - Beyond the Shoreline: Science to Stewardship
Saturday, October 21st, 2017 - Perth. FOCA is proud to again be a sponsor of the annual Lake Links conference in eastern Ontario. Scientists, lake associations, and municipal representatives will come together to provide their perspectives on cooperative lake protection.  Click here to register online, or call 1-613-264-1244.

Fireworks Discussion
Hastings Highlands Council is considering whether and how to limit the use of fireworks in the Municipality. Read media coverage of the issue (My Bancroft Now).

Cottage Dreams - Fall Season
Cottage Dreams
Our friends at Cottage Dreams Cancer Recovery Initiative have had another successful year, having placed  159 applicants this program season, with over 50 applications already processed and approved for 2018.  If you are celebrating the end of cancer treatment, and looking for time away this fall or early winter (to mid-December), please submit your application as soon as possible.  If you are a cottage owner, and have some time available to donate, please let the program know!  

Association Tools & Success Stories

Gold Star for Elert List sign ups!
FOCA extends thanks and congratulations to the Otter Lake Landowners Association, who have added a check-box to their own annual membership renewal form, as follows:
       "Please send me the FOCA Newsletter by email:  YES / NO"
Over the past year, we have recorded 37 express consents for the FOCA Elert from OLLA members. That's a 58% sign-up rate for their association! Thanks, OLLA, for helping FOCA to spread the word about the Elert.  Want to know how your Association is doing, on the Elert sign-up challenge? Get in touch with FOCA  for an update, and a link you can circulate to your members.

Member Benefits
Do your members know about all their FOCA benefits?  There are discounts, special offers and more! Review the full information online, here: download a  print version . (PDF, 2 pages)  

NOTE: to print a copy of the Benefits sheet that includes the  ACCESS CODES for these offers, you will need to use your FOCA web Login  on the Benefits webpage, or  contact the office for assistance.

FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
the voice of the waterfront for over 50 years     |    705-749-3622    |  
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