FOCA Elert ~ October 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 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 6th, 2021
by Zoom webinar: 9:00am - 11:30am

Members $30; others $45. Includes link to event recording & slides.
* Registration closes on Wednesday, November 3rd at noon.

Join us for the annual Fall Seminar for Lake Association representatives. Topics include:
  • Feature Speaker: Dr. Norman Yan - Imagining a Good Future for our Lakes Despite Climate Change.
  • changing usage of rural roads: your questions answered by our partners at the Ontario Good Roads Association - submit questions to FOCA ahead of time
  • updates on FOCA programs, files and hot topics including invasive species, the Lake Partner Program of water quality monitoring, the changing use of waterfront properties (shorelines, land use, short term rentals...)
  • "So you want to run for municipal council?" - what waterfront property owners should know about getting directly involved in local decision-making in 2022
  • boating safety, etiquette and wake awareness.

Read the agenda and register here:
Apply Now:
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 fellow members. Apply today for the FOCA Achievement Award on behalf of your great lake association, and tell us how the association and the community made the most 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:
FOCA Promotes Healthy Lands, Lakes & Rivers
Photo Contest winner
Congratulations Jade, the IsampleON Photo Contest winner! And thank you to the more than 100 entrants who are doing their part to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Although the contest is over, you can still help stop the spread of AIS. Learn more here:

IsampleON is a program with FOCA and our partners at the Invasive Species Centre.
Phragmites Funding
As part of the Green Shovels Collaborative, FOCA would like to support your efforts to control invasive Phragmites. FOCA still has some funding remaining for local on-the-ground Phragmites control projects by our member Associations. Contact FOCA as soon as possible to discuss!
Grass Carp impacts
Love your Ontario shoreline as much as we do? Invasive Grass Carp eat aquatic plants, and their foraging can disturb lake and river bottoms and uproot large areas of vegetation. This feeding behavior may cause erosion to shorelines, and the lost sediment could reduce the size of your waterfront property and damage nearshore habitats.
Become a part of early detection efforts on Ontario’s Great Lakes, by learning how to identify Grass Carp and how to report sightings to the Invading Species Hotline (1-800-563-7711) or at

For more information, visit:
image courtesy Invasive Species Centre
FOCA's Gold level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
FOCA Champions Affordable & Safe Rural Living
webinar series recap: Cottage Succession
FOCA and estate lawyer Peter Lillico brought cottage succession planning seminars to our members across the province over 2021, by webinar!
This year we helped our member associations deliver sessions on:
  • Cottage Succession A to Z
  • Cottage Sharing Agreements
  • Targeting Tax, and
  • Trusts.
Read about the seminars, purchase access to digital recordings, and find out how your association can host one of these popular events in your area (or by webinar) in 2022:
FOCA Advocates for Responsive Government
Trailered watercraft - now regulated under
the Invasive Species Act
The Ontario Invasive Species Act, 2015 has been amended and now regulates the movement of watercraft as a carrier of invasive species. The new rules are based on "Clean, Drain, Dry" practices, as supported by FOCA and others. Find out more about the implications for the overland movement of watercraft, on FOCA's Invasive Species webpage under "News" - October 2021:
image: OFAH
update: Muskoka Bin Site Transition Plan
In response to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks' earlier mandate that The District Municipality of Muskoka must remove all unlicensed waste bin sites by 2023, the 2021 Annual Report (outlining progress made to date and plans for 2022) has been approved and released by the District this week. FOCA's local lake association members in the region are engaged in the ongoing process. In particular, properties requiring winter access to waste disposal on Riley, Leech or Pine Lakes must sign up for continued service, using links available on the District webpage, where you can also download the 90 page Annual Report and read the results of recent community surveys on waste servicing:
other rural Waste Management news:
Thousand Islands - Survey
FOCA's many members in Leeds and the Thousand Islands are reminded that the Township wants residents' feedback on their Waste Management Survey. Some of the interesting questions posed:
  • Would you support at-home composting if the Township provided the units?
  • How/where do you currently dispose of your yard waste?
  • Would you support implementation of mainland curbside waste collection for a fee?
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:
FOCA's Silver level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
Partner Updates & Regional Notices
upcoming event: Lake Links 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 10am to 12:30pm by webinar.
This year's theme is "Take the Challenge! Connecting what we say and actually do in order to protect our lakes and rivers." FOCA is once again proud to be an event sponsor in support of our many member groups in eastern Ontario. The agenda and link to register is online here:
upcoming series: Georgian Bay Extreme Water Levels - Impacts and Strategies
October 23, November 13, December 4 2021 - Are you worried about unpredictable extreme water levels, the damage they can cause, and what to do about it? 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:
event recap: Great Lakes Water Levels Webinar
In late August, the three International Joint Commission (IJC) water levels boards hosted a joint webinar, sharing an overview of current and forecast conditions of the Great Lakes, and water levels throughout the system. Watch the webinar recording online here:
more news from the IJC:
Tracking Wetland Conditions from Space
A binational group of agencies, organizations and universities has been developing a method of tracking the health of Great Lakes wetlands from space. The monitoring can help identify and track the locations of Phragmites, Eurasian watermilfoil or other invasive plants for control measures, or to see how wetland borders are shifting during high or low lake levels. The satellite monitoring project is run by the Great Lakes Alliance for Remote Sensing (GLARS). Read more online here:
upcoming event: Forest Health
October 28, 2021 by webinar - Forests Ontario, Natural Resources Canada, and the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry will host the Forest Health Review 2021, an information session on recent Ontario forest health topics.
upcoming event: Fall Cottage Life Show
November 12-14, 2021 - The annual Fall Cottage Life Show returns as an in-person event at The International Centre.

FOCA will not have a booth at the event, but our supporters can still access a special discount: $3 off adult admission. Use this link to purchase. Your ticket also provides access to the concurrent Seasonal Christmas Show (limited tickets + time slots available). Enjoy the show(s)!
ongoing series: Latornell Symposium
The 2021 Latornell Conservation Symposium is taking place by webinar in 6 sessions happening September through December this year. Visit the webpage for slides and recordings of past sessions, including the September 29th event: "The Other Watershed Cycle - Monitoring, Planning, and Restoration":
ongoing webinar series:
Lake of the Woods "Ask an Expert" Series
The Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation (LOWWSF) is holding a weekly series of lunchtime webinars from October 12 through November 9, with a variety of subject experts discussing nutrient export, phosphorus loading, algal blooms, pollution recovery, and climate change. Review the roster, view past recordings, and register for upcoming sessions (space dependent) via the LOWWSF webpage.
Gravenhurst - Online Permit System
In September 2021, the Town of Gravenhurst’s Building Division launched Cloudpermit, online software that residents and industry professionals can use to: make permit applications or inspection requests, seek approvals, submit questions, or make direct payments. Find out more online.

Members outside Gravenhurst: Does YOUR municipality offer a similar digital service? Be sure to bring this example to their attention!
Sustainable Great Lakes
This new report from the Council of the Great Lakes Region outlines a common ‘sustainability’ purpose in the binational Great Lakes region. It describes the direction and targets required to monitor progress on biophysical indicators like climate change and pollution, as well as important socio-economic considerations. It should help to provide the path to a more sustainable, prosperous Great Lakes region. Read more, and download the report:
FOCA Fosters Community
congratulations to the TLA: Celebrating 90 Years
FOCA was pleased to participate in the Annual General Meeting of our member group, the Temagami Lakes Association (TLA) on October 19th, where they celebrated 90 years as an association. This active community group was formed in 1931, and supports hundreds of Canadian and American waterfront property owners in the area through municipal advocacy and engagement in land use planning, water quality stewardship and island cottage access considerations, among many active files. Here's to the next 90 years! Find out more about TLA on their website:
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 [email protected], and we'll reply during business hours.
FOCA's Bronze level sponsors
Sponsors support our work, please support them.
Final Thoughts
Know a boating hero in Canada?
Nominate them for a CASBA!
Each year, the Canadian Safe Boating Council acknowledges individuals and organizations that have worked to improve boating safety or lead the way in environmental stewardship. Here are just some of the categories for the Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs):
  • top volunteer dedicated to boating safety
  • best boating safety initiative
  • Stearns Rescue of the Year.
Nominations close on October 31st and the awards will be presented in the early new year. Get details and the nomination form here:

Find out more about YOUR ROLE, today.
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