FOCA Elert - May 2019
Spring flooding 2019 - the aftermath

High Water Events and Response
It has been another extremely wet start to spring across waterfront Ontario. Reports from areas of Muskoka and around the Ottawa River in particular, suggest that flood damage to waterfront structures will surpass 2013 and 2017 high water events. 
image of 2017 flooding levels on Stoney Lake

The Ontario Premier has toured some of the affected areas, and recently committed to strike a " Flood Resilience Task Force" and undertake a review of Muskoka's water management. FOCA and our regional partners have been calling for many years now for a review of the 2006 Muskoka Water Management Plan, and we look forward to further developments.

In related news, FOCA's partners at the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association recently posted a link to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's tips for what to do after a flood event, if you have a septic system. 

For more on all these topics, including updates and useful links, visit:

Flooding and your Electrical Services
Hydro One will waive their connection fees/delivery charges for the disconnection period, for customers affected by flooding. Please call 1-800-434-1235 to have power safely disconnected. For information, visit:

Delayed Start for TSW Navigation Season
Due to unsafe boating conditions (high water levels and flows), Parks Canada has announced it is delaying the start of the 2019 navigation season for the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) until Friday, May 24, 2019. The TSW is closed to all boat traffic, and all forms of water-based activities are discouraged, to ensure boater safety and help to mitigate shoreline erosion and property damage experienced by local residents and businesses. More info: 

Note: the Rideau Canal WILL be open for the season on-schedule, at 10:00am on May 17, 2019. More info:

Navigation Restrictions lifted in Muskoka
Effective May 15, 2019, Transport Canada has lifted its previous order that had restricted navigation on Lake Muskoka, the North and South branches of the Muskoka River and the Moon River. However, the OPP advise that waterways affected by flood conditions continue to have hidden dangers. Fast-moving water and unexpected debris floating on top, and just under the surface, of the water will continue to pose a serious risk. Get boat safety tips and links, here:

Cottage Opening and Safe Boating
Safe Boating Awareness Week starts this Saturday, so spend a minute with FOCA's Executive Director, as he prepares his boat for the season. Also, find a link to additional cottage opening tips, in the video:

Boating Tips - May Long Weekend Update 2019
Boating Tips - May Long Weekend Update 2019

Advocacy & Policy Updates

FOCA's Municipal Primer for Lake Associations
FOCA is proud to release a new resource for member Associations: "A Guide to Municipal Engagement" as a one-stop reference about:
  • the important role played by municipalities in issues that are key to waterfront residents
  • how, and why, to engage with your municipal partners, year-round
  • additional notes and partners' tips and resources for public participation in municipal politics.
FOCA is sending a letter to the Council of each cottage-country Municipality, and we   encourage your lake association to do the same   with your local Council(s), to open or to reinforce a line of communication, and remind them of the importance of timely and appropriate public engagement. Find tips for your own letter in the FOCA Municipal Guide, available for download here:

NOTE: you will need to have your FOCA Member Login handy, to access the Municipal Guide, and other members-only resources on the FOCA website. Can't find or don't have your Login? Contact us by email , and we will reply during regular business hours.  (The FOCA office will be closed for the May long weekend, from Friday 5pm, until Tuesday morning at 9am.)

FOCA's Gold-level Sponsors:     

CottageLINK Rental Management

FOCA Programs

FOCA's Cottage Succession Seminar Series
Plan to attend an in-person event with estate lawyer  Peter Lillico this summer at  the 2019 FOCA Cottage Succession Seminars. Our first stops are:
  • Coboconk on June 1st - co-hosted by the Balsam Lake Association
  • Ramara on June 22nd - as part of the North Mara Beach Residents Association AGM
Other sessions this summer will take us to Buckhorn, Perth and Haliburton.  For more details and how to register:  

Lake Partner Program 
FOCA is pleased to confirm that the Lake Partner Program (LPP) will be in full operation for 2019, and our many volunteers are encouraged to begin your sampling for this season. Many thanks to all the Associations and individuals who answered FOCA's call to write letters and otherwise make their interests known to the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) and to the Premier. The MECP decision to continue funding the program through 2019 was aided by the strong community support for this vital long-term monitoring program! Find out more:

LPP Volunteers are reminded to review FOCA's sampling tips video:

Also, when you're out sampling this season, FOCA and the LPP encourage you to bring along a daughter, son, or grandkids to help out and to learn a bit about what you're doing, and why the lake matters to you. 
Then, send a picture of your "Water Sampler Assistant" in action to to be entered into the running to receive a boating safety prize from FOCA! The prize draw will take place on the Civic Holiday weekend in August 2019. 

Recent Events & Regional Notices

Muskoka Stewardship Conference
April 26, 2019 - Huntsville. FOCA was proud to once again participate and be a sponsor of this excellent event. This year's theme was "Your Watershed: Connecting the Drops." One of the day's presenters was Emily Shapiera, FOCA's Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator. A resounding theme of the Conference was the interconnectedness of uplands (forests, wetlands, streams) to the state of our water quality, aquatic environments, and biodiversity. R eview the day's slide presentations, here:

Kawartha Lake Stewards 2019 AGM
May 11, 2019 - Bobcaygeon. FOCA joined the great Kawartha Lake Stewards Association ( KLSA) volunteers at their annual event at the Bobcaygeon Community Centre. The event featured "Lake Ice Dynamics and the Kawarthas: Climate Change at your Dock." Click the image at the side to download the full 2019 KLSA report (PDF, 72 pages).

Mapping Natural Heritage Systems 
May 14, 2019 - Bridgenorth. FOCA has been one of the key stakeholders in the 'Kawarthas Naturally Connected' initiative. The final product is an interactive map of natural heritage systems that span the Kawarthas region. Lake Associations and community organizations are encouraged to zoom in, apply the layers, and identify priority target areas for conservation near you! Get details and a link to the map, here: 

FOCA's Silver-level Sponsors




Cottage Life

Waterfront Living

Great Lakes Water Levels Predictions
On May 8, 2019, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) released their prediction that several Great Lakes water levels will reach record highs this year. Get details:
  (Great Lakes image reproduced from the NOAA website) 

Fish Information for your Lake
Find your local fish information, from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Fish ON-Line website by clicking here. Zoom in and choose layers to see where fishing is allowed and prohibited, to find public boat launches and local fishing regulations, as well as licencing information and links to local weather information. 

Remember: if you are moving a boat between waterbodies, it is imperative to be part of the effort to PREVENT the spread of invasive species by cleaning and draining and drying your boat. Get more important information from FOCA here:

Upcoming Events 

Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC)
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - Toronto. FOCA will attend the CSBC Annual General Meeting. The CSBC was organized in 1991 to improve communications about safe boating issues between government departments and agencies servicing recreational boaters' interest, and private companies and organizations in the field of recreational boating. Learn more: 

Sustain Algoma 
Saturday, June 1, 2019 - The Sustain Algoma Expo promotes exciting environmental projects, products, and services in the Algoma District. The event is family-friendly and takes place at the Johnson Township Community Centre, Desbarats, Ontario. Details are here:

Teeny Tiny Summit
Friday, June 7, 2019  - Haliburton. Join FOCA at this final event in the  2019 "Teeny Tiny Summit" series, which is focused on local issues, success stories, and networking opportunities. This event is titled "Unlocking the Potential of Youth." Details and registration link are here:

Septic Savvy Seminar 
Saturday, June 8, 2019 - Plevna. This event is being organized by the North Frontenac Lake Association Alliance, with support from FOCA and other regional partners. Details are in the event poster: click to download (PDF, 1 page).

Road Summit 
Saturday, June 15, 2019 - Havelock-Belmont-Methuen. This meeting of local road associations will be the third gathering  since 2013. H osted by Belmont Lake Cottagers' Association, the event will take place at the Round Lake Hall, north of Havelock. FOCA's Communications Coordinator is on the agenda, speaking about preliminary results from FOCA's 2019 Road Survey. Get event details, and how to register to attend (space is limited), by downloading this information sheet (PDF, 1 page).

North Kawartha Lakes Association Meeting
Saturday, June 22, 2019 - Northey's Bay Road. Spread the word and plan to attend the NORKLA Spring Meeting at the Wilson Park Community Centre. The topic is "Lake Health: What you need to do." Click here to download the event poster with speaker details (PDF, 1 page).
Safety & Risk Management

Lyme disease and Ticks
Click the image above to download the new 2019 Lyme Risk map (PDF, 5 pages of info)
Our partners at regional Health Units have been in touch with FOCA, to remind all outdoor enthusiasts about the risk of Lyme disease in Ontario.  "Mosquitoes and blackflies aren't the only pests," to watch for in cottage country, said  Bill Eekhof of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit . "Lyme disease can be a serious illness spread to humans by the bite of an infected blacklegged (or 'deer') tick." 
Public Health Ontario has updated the "risk map" for the province; click the map image above, to download an updated copy. 

Also, our partners at Peterborough Public Health have brought to our attention a new website, which includes images to help the public identify ticks, tips for safe tick removal, and mapped  data about tick sightings. 

Get all this, plus links to your local health unit, and more information about Lyme disease, from FOCA here:
FOCA's Bronze-level Sponsors


Dock in a Box


Nature Clean New Logo 2013


Canadian Canoe Museum

On a light note... 

Signs of Spring
This excerpt from the Weekly digest for Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol, on May 13, 2019 struck us as topical:

"Signs of Spring: the snow is almost gone from the Seven Generations parking lot on Veteran's Driver, the trees are finally starting to leaf out, and Safeway has put the 'take-a-number' dispenser back up at the deli. Seriously. They only use it in the summer."

Yes, it's that time of year again! 

Learn more about important events and programs in northwestern Ontario from FOCA member, Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association: 
Association Tools
Planning your Association AGM or Newsletter? 
FOCA can help with that.

ot an Association meeting coming up? Please include a quick update from FOCA for your members. Share information from the  2018 Year in Review , or 20/20 Vision: Strategic Framework .

Have a 5 or 10 minute spot on your meeting agenda? Show one of FOCA's videos! Stream them on YouTube if you've got internet access, or contact us for tips on downloading to a laptop:
Need an article for your Newsletter? Consider reproducing an article from FOCA's last Lake Stewards Newsletter on lyme disease, cyber safety, or other topics. Or visit the FOCA website to search for other articles, by topic:  

Got some extra space in your Newsletter? Please include this little FOCA ad (click the image at the side to download a PDF - reproduce at 4" width, maximum) to remind your members about our work and all the benefits they receive, as
 FOCA members! 

Contact the office for any assistance with any of these materials or file formats.

FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, 
the voice of the waterfront for over 55 years     |    705-749-3622    |  
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