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.
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
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
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:
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,
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
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
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:
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:
FOCA's Cottage Succession Seminar Series
Plan to attend an in-person event with estate lawyer
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
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: https://foca.on.ca/lake-partner-program-overview/
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 (
) 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
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:
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:
Saturday, June 1, 2019
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).
Saturday, June 15, 2019
- Havelock-Belmont-Methuen. This meeting of local
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
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
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:
Planning your Association AGM or Newsletter?
FOCA can help with that.
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:
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
Stay Connected with FOCA:
Didn't receive this message in your Inbox?
Join thousands of Elert subscribers:
FOCA believes everyone has the right to hear about issues that affect waterfront Ontario.
Those who have an existing relationship with FOCA may receive email from us,
based on principles of
Express or Implied Consent
in Canadian Anti Spam legislation.
You can unsubscribe from Elerts at any time, using the 'Safe Unsubscribe' link below.