FOCA Elert ~ September 2021
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations,
the voice of the waterfront for nearly 60 years.
Hang in until to the end of the Elert! You'll know you're there when you see this FOCA Fall banner again.

This edition of the monthly Elert includes priority updates under the following headings:
  • FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associations
  • FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & Rivers
  • FOCA Champions Affordable & Safe Rural Living
  • FOCA Advocates for Responsive Government
  • FOCA Fosters Community
  • Partner Updates & Regional Notices
  • Final Thoughts
FOCA Serves Lake & Road Associations
FOCA Fall Seminar for Associations

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

(Members $30; others $45. Includes link to event recording & slides.)

Join us for the annual Fall Seminar for Lake Association representatives. Topics include:
  • Feature Speaker: Dr. Norman Yan - protecting our lakes in the face of climate change and emerging threats
  • changing usage of rural roads - your questions answered by our partners at the Ontario Good Roads Association - submit questions to FOCA ahead of time
  • boating safety, etiquette and wake awareness
  • updates on FOCA programs, files and hot topics including invasives, Lake Partner Program water quality monitoring, looking ahead to the 2022 Ontario municipal elections, the changing use of waterfront properties (shorelines, land use, short term rentals...)

Read more and register here:
FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & Rivers
LAST call: Funding Opportunity
FOCA reminds our member Associations to submit a proposal for on-the-ground projects focused on controlling invasive Phragmites, to start as soon as possible and be completed by 2022.

Could your Association use some funding to assist with your local efforts? Contact us by September 30th! Get details and the application form:
LAST call: Photo Contest
You could win the draw for a cottage prize pack valued at over $175! 

Simply 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. (Never move firewood? Always clean, drain and dry your boat? Tell us!) Submit online by September 29th, 2021 for your chance to win.

IsampleON is a program with FOCA and our partners at the Invasive Species Centre.
NEW Survey:
Water Quality & Environmental Stewardship
How much do YOU know about what affects water quality?
Take FOCA's quiz about stewardship actions and water quality, and get YOUR personalized rating! Then share the link with others:
Please respond by October 30th.
image: Andy Metelka
webinar recap:
Protecting our Great Lakes from Carp Invaders
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Did you miss the webinar with FOCA and our partners at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, about the threat posed to the Great Lakes by Asian Carps?

Think you could identify a Grass Carp if you saw one? Learn how! Click here to watch a recording of the webinar and then share the information with others on the Great Lakes.
related - free materials:
Asian Carps Kits for Members
For the first 25 Association representatives who respond to this offer, FOCA has "Asian Carps Kits" available from our partners at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The kits include a grocery tote bag; Grass Carp postcard, infographics, stickers and fish tape measures; and small brochures with details about each of the four Asian Carps. Share these resources with others at your association on the Great Lakes. Interested in getting a free kit for your Association?
Send an email to with the Subject line: Asian Carps Kit

image: slide still from DFO presentation on Asian Carps; see webinar link above
FOCA's Gold level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Champions Affordable & Safe Rural Living
Video release:
CPR in Action: a 3D look inside the body
As rural and remote residents, FOCA encourages you to watch and share a new resource from our safety partners at Action First Aid, that explains the importance of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and tips to doing it right. This 3 minute animated video could make a difference in the life of someone you love:
upcoming webinar: 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 have been the local hosts of these seminars. One final event is planned for this year:
October 13, 2021: "Trusting the Cottage" This webinar will take a deeper dive into the subject of using various trust techniques as part of your family's cottage succession plan.

Attendance at FOCA's Cottage Succession webinars is free to FOCA members, and $10 for non-members.

Reach the registration link and learn more here:
Lyme Disease - tick testing change
If you were previously able to submit ticks for testing via your local Public Health Unit, that may have changed. FOCA received notice from Peterborough Public Health that the National Microbiology Laboratory is no longer accepting tick specimens for testing, effective September 20, 2021. The public is being directed to citizen-science initiatives such as for image identification instead. Details and links are here:
FOCA's Silver level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Advocates for Responsive Government
for our Municipal partners:
Take the FOCA/OGRA road survey
FOCA and our partners at the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) are conducting a survey of municipal government partners to help quantify the extent of private roads across Ontario. FOCA thanks all our municipal partners who already responded to this important survey!

If you are one of our valued Municipal partners and haven't yet, please participate in the survey as soon as possible:
for our member Associations:
Municipal Budget Planning - Your Role
In Ontario, the municipal level of government delivers some of our most valued public services including roads, policing and emergency response, land use planning, bylaw development and enforcement. 2022 budget planning is already underway in most Municipalities, and your property taxes pay for these services. Lake associations should pay attention to the Municipality’s priorities, and keep your members informed and engaged in the process.

Find links to your Ontario Municipality here: and learn more about budgets (how and why to get involved) in FOCA’s Guide to Municipal Engagement:
reminder: ONCA Proclamation Approaches
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 association 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 links to handy resources for the transition and history on this topic that FOCA has been preparing members for, over many years now:
FOCA's Bronze level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
Partner Updates & Regional Notices
last call to register:
'New to Boating' Symposium
Friday, October 1, 2021 - the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) invites everyone to resister to participate in the CSBC 2021 Annual Symposium by webinar. This year's theme is, "Welcome to new boaters: how can we help?" Attend to get ideas and tips to share at your own waterbody next year. Check out the Agenda and register here:
The Bay Studio Tour 2021
October 2-3, 2021 - artists throughout Tiny Township and Penetanguishene are once again opening their studios for the 12th year of The Bay Studio Tour, and you are invited to visit at your own pace, from 10am to 5pm each day. See artist spotlights, get a map and more information from the Tour's Facebook page:
upcoming event: Lake Links 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 10am to 12:30pm - this annual collaborative workshop will be held by webinar this year. The theme is "Take the Challenge! Connecting what we say and actually do in order to protect our lakes and rivers." Watersheds Canada will be promoting their Lake Protection Booklet with a session that will focus on what some property owners have achieved on their own properties because of the booklet. The event is free to attend, with donations gratefully accepted. FOCA is once again proud to be an event sponsor in support of our many member groups in eastern Ontario. The link to register is online here:
Zebra Mussel Larvae in Rainy Lake
As reported by our partners at the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation (LOWWSF), the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of Zebra mussel larvae in Rainy Lake water samples from this summer, although adult colonies have not yet been located. Rainy Lake flows downstream via the Rainy River to Lake of the Woods. Read more from LOWWSF here.
Aquatic Invasive Species Guide(s)
If you live or play in the Lake Simcoe watershed, this new guide from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters will be invaluable to you, illustrating species already present or threatening to become established, with images and detailed description of each. Download a free digital copy of the Lake Simcoe Aquatic Invasive Species Guide.

This guide was patterned after the existing Lake Superior Aquatic Invasive Species Guide.
webinar series: Georgian Bay Extreme Water Levels: Impacts and Strategies
October 23, November 13 & December 4 2021 - register to attend 3 digital sessions in the H2O webinar series from the Georgian Bay Association and Georgian Bay Forever. Get details and the registration links here:
Great Lakes Water Quality
More than 100 years after the original 1913 study monitoring untreated sewage pollution in the boundary waters of the Great Lakes, the International Joint Commission's (IJC) Health Professionals Advisory Board has concluded that an updated basinwide water quality survey – using cutting-edge DNA technology – is both feasible and necessary. The Board is now working to develop an implementation plan for the proposed study. Access the link to this, and other Great Lakes research updates, here:

image above: "Zones of Pollution” identified in the 1913 IJC study.
share this news with your local municipality:
Municipal Award for Saving Local Turtles
The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) has presented the Township of the Archipelago with a Municipal Innovation Award for its "Tale of a Thousand Turtles" project, an effort to protect local species-at-risk including turtles and snakes, during municipal roadwork projects. Read more online from AMO.
FOCA Fosters Community
a success story to share:
Bonnechere River WMP amendments approved
A "good news" story after 15 years of efforts: on behalf of two of our large member groups in the region, the Round Lake Property Owners' Association and the Golden Lake and Bonnechere River Property Owners Association, FOCA was pleased to learn that recent amendments to the Bonnechere River Watershed Management Plan (WMP) have received approval for revised draw-down limits by Renfrew Power Generation (RPG). As reported in an August article in the Eganville Leader, this result is the culmination of ongoing efforts and collaboration between the property owners' associations, the staff and council of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Township, RPG, and other stakeholder groups. Find a link to this article and related WMP information here:
another success story to share:
The Belmont Expedition 2021
FOCA's members at the Belmont Lake Cottagers’ Association adapted the "Kahshe Quest" (a COVID-safe event shared in a presentation at the 2020 FOCA Fall Seminar) to create “The Belmont Expedition 2021”. Missions were set by boat, car and on foot at a variety of locations around the lake. To promote engagement and sharing of entries in real time, a smartphone app called GooseChase was used. Teams had 6 weeks to complete missions and submit their responses. With 25 teams of two to fifteen people each, it was a fun multi-generational activity and participants discovered a lot about the area. Well done all!

This sounds like a great community event that YOUR association could adapt for your own cottage community next year.
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
2021 Lake Stewards Newsletter
The annual FOCA Newsletter 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:

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.
Find out more about YOUR ROLE, today.
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