Events and Activities of 2012

December 17th - Opinion on the Changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act

Under Bill C-45, federal protection of navigable waters has been limited to only the largest commercial waterways. Our Association is very concerned that this change will seriously weaken the protection from harmful development previously provided to smaller waterways like Blue Sea Lake. To learn more about your Board of Directors’ position on this important issue, please click here.

December 17th - Publication of the 5th Issue of the News letter Shorelines


November 20th - Late Season Water Samples (Brrr)

At 10 o’clock on 20 November - with the ice fog lifting and the temperature hovering at 0° C - Don Karn and Dick Ryan canoed out to RSVL site 72D in the Messines sector of Blue Sea Lake to take three water samples. Later that same morning, they repeated this procedure in the Blue Sea sector at site 72B. They undertook this rather chilly expedition to see whether the inversion of the lake’s water - which occurs every year in the late Fall and again in the early Spring - would have any effect on the lake’s phosphorus levels. Based on the samples they took, the answer is “yes but not too much”. The average of the samples was 5.03 µg/l at site 72B and 5.1 µg/l at site 72D - only somewhat higher than the 4.4 µg/l and the 3.8 µg/l averages recorded at these sites in the summer of 2011. For more information regarding the RSVL water testing program, click here.

November 11th - Publication of the 4th Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines

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October 26th - Association’s Directors Impressed with Septic Tank Sludge Treatment Plant  

From left to right: Benoit Lacaille, operator at the Centre; Gilles Emond, chief operator at the Centre; Lucie Joanis; Don Karn; and Pauline Marenger, Acting Director of Environmental Services, in front of the tanks in which the sludge is stored until it is treated.

On Friday, 26 October 2012, four members of the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association's Board of Directors visited the MRC's Septic Tank Sludge Treatment Centre in Kazabazua. 

During their two-hour tour of the facility, they received a comprehensive briefing on the operation of the plant from Mr Gilles Émond. It was most interesting to learn how the technicians (Mr Émond and Mr Benoit Lacaille) use state of the art equipment and processes to convert the sludge into pathogen-free compost and water.

The directors were most impressed with the many safety procedures in place to prevent any degradation of the environment and with the very  professional manner in which the MRC team, led by the acting Director of Environmental Services, Ms Pauline Marenger, perform this very important function. Residents and cottagers should be very proud that our MRC is at the leading edge of safe and effective septic waste treatment. It is so nice to see that our region has adopted a YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) attitude instead of the unfortunate NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) approach so common in today's society.





The concrete slab upon which the compost is stored in windrows to mature.





Overview of the plant with the sludge intake facility to the left, the storage tanks in the centre, and piles of treated compost in the back right of the photo.






Settling pond #2, cell 4 - Note that marine lentils cover the surface of the pond; they are used to help reduce the level of phosphorus in the liquid component of the sludge.




The presses that separate the water from the sludge.






The equipment used for loading the dehydrated component of the sludge into a trailer.




Don Karn, the President of the Association, listens attentively to Gilles Emond, the chief operator, as he explains how septic tank sludge is processed.




The last delivery of septic tank sludge for this year.


Photos: Dick Ryan et Francis LeBlanc


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October 26th - Lac Laverdure Characterization Study Debriefing

On Friday, 26 October 2012, Don Karn, Dick Ryan, and Francis LeBlanc visited the offices of ABV des 7 where they were briefed on the recently completed Lac Laverdure study. The meeting focused on the report's findings, conclusions, and recommendations. The Board of Directors must now decide what action to take in light of this report. To read the report (French only), please click here  (7.1 MB).


From left to right: Giorgio Vecco, Don Karn, Claire Desjardins, Geneviève Michon, and Élodie Michon. The latter two are biologists and authors of the report.




August 18th - Workshop on Shoreline Revegetation

The Municipality of Messines invited riperian owners to a free workshop on shoreline revegetation with biologist
Andrée-Anne L-Paul. The event was sponsored by ABV des 7. To view the municipality's invitation, click here.

Time: French, 9 AM to noon; English, 1 PM to 4 PM. Where: Messines Multiclutural Centre, 70, Principale St, Messines

August 11th - Workshop on Shoreline Revegetation

The Municipality of Blue Sea invited residents to a free workshop on shoreline revegetation with biologist Annie Parent. The event was sponsored by ABV des 7. The Municipality reminds us that natural or revegetated shorelines have a direct impact on the quality of our watercourses. Among other benefits, vegetation growing on shorelines filters runoff waters, cools watercourses by providing shade and reduces shore erosion by slowing down the flow of water. For these reasons, the Municipality of Blue Sea encourages all residents, lakeside or not, to assist in maintaining the good health of our precious water resources!

Time: French, 9 AM to noon; English, 1 PM to 4 PM. Where: Blue Sea Municipal Hall, 7, Principale St, Blue Sea.

August 6th - Association Board Designates Officers

The Board of Directors of the Association met on August 6th and designated its officers for the year 2012-2013: Don Karn is the new President; Dick Ryan is the new Vice-President; Lucie Joanis will continue as Treasurer and Marlène Thonnard remains Secretary.

Members of the 2012-2013 Administrative Council. From left to right: Dick Ryan (Vice-President), Marlène Thonnard (Secretary), Francis LeBlanc, Denis M. Côté, Denis Nadeau, Lucie Joanis (Treasurer), Don Karn (President) et Paul R. Ouimet. (absent: one member to be appointed)

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July 30th - In Search of Periphyton

On 30 July, four members of the Association set sail in search of periphyton, a slimy mixture of green/brown fresh-water organisms and debris that clings to submerged objects. In accordance with a new RSVL protocol, they visited 15 sites around the lake to measure the thickness of periphyton growth. Although it was a long day, the crew were buoyed by the fact that the data they collected will give us a better understanding of the health of our watershed. Periphyton growth is linked to an increase in a lake's nutrients which can be attributed to detrimental lakeshore practices (eg: poorly maintained shorelines, faulty septic systems, use of fertilizers on lakeside lawns and gardens, etc.). Many thanks to Sophie Thonnard-Karn, Lucie Joanis, Don Karn, and Dick Ryan for taking on this mission. For more information regarding the RSVL periphyton protocol, click here (not available in English).

July 28th - Association Recognizes Marc Grégoire’s Contribution on Occasion of his Departure as President

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Denis M. Côté, outgoing Vice-President, presents Marc Grégoire, with a plaque honouring his contribution as first President of the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association during its 4th AGM on July 28th. In his remarks, Denis praised Marc for the excellent leadership he had provided in helping to establish the Association as a vibrant organization with a clear vision and a long term commitment to the protection and preservation of our watershed. The inscription on the plaque reads, in French: “In appreciation to Marc Grégoire for his sustained leadership as founding President of the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association. Many thanks! July 28th 2012.”

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July 28th - Annual General Meeting

The Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association held its fourth Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 10 AM on 28 July 2012 in the Messines Town Hall. Doors opened at 9:30 AM.

The program was as follows: 9:30 - 10 AM: Registration and Coffee; 10 AM - Noon: General Meeting (Agenda); 12 PM: Informal reception and a light lunch

General Meeting

The AGM provides members an opportunity to hear first hand what the Association has done during the past year, and to elect new members to the Administrative Council. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, it gives everyone who is interested in the health of our watershed a chance to learn more about the challenges facing our beautiful lakes and to ask questions or to raise concerns about the best means of protecting it for future generations. It is only through hearing the environmental concerns of our fellow residents and cottagers can the Association ensure that it is setting the right priorities.

This year, the organizers have assembled a panel of four experts to respond to members' questions regarding environmental issues. This panel comprised:

  • Roch Carpentier, acting Prefect for the MRC de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau and Mayor of Ste-Thérèse;
  • Giorgio Vecco, Director of ABV des 7;
  • Kimberely Mason, Director of Environmental Services for the MRC de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau;
  • Annie Parent, a biologist with the Société Sylvicole de la Haute-Gatineau.

The meeting also dealt with various Association-related matters as per the agenda, including:

  • the approval of the minutes to last year's AGM (click here to view);
  • amendments to the Association's regulations (proposal)
  • the President's report on what the council has accomplished during the past year and its plans for the future;
  • the Treasurer's report on the state of the Association's finances;
  • a presentation on the Association's website; and,
  • the election of new members to the Administrative Council.

The AGM is a chance to meet the members of the Administrative Council and to share your concerns both with them and with the other members of the Association. You are urged to take advantage of this opportunity.

The AGM is open to both members and non-members. The latter were able to join the Association both before and after the meeting.

The meeting was conducted in both French and English.

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July 20th- 22nd - Initiative to Curb Eurasian Milfoil

"You Hold the Key!" is the title of the Association’s latest initiative to help curb Eurasian milfoil, an invasive plant species that spreads through fragmentation (eg: when chopped by a boat’s propeller or turbine propulsion system).

Our volunteers went around the lake, leaving 470 floating key rings and plasticized information cards in as many boats tied to the docks of our lake. Thank you for helping us fight this invasive species!


July 15th - Publication of the 3rd Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines


June 26th - Publication of a Brochure on Safe, Courteous, and "Green" Boating

Recreational boating is a very popular activity amongst watershed residents and cottagers alike.  To get the most out of this activity while at the same time minimizing its potentially negative impact on our friends, neighbours, and environment, we urge you to follow the guidelines outlined in the brochure prepared by the Association.


June 16th - Training Session at Lac Profond


Lac Profond Joins the RSVL Program - From left to right, Dean Ducharme - President of the Lac Profond Cottagers Association - and Don Karn after an RSVL training session at Lac Profond.  Photo Dick Ryan 

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June 1st to October 15th - Sampling and Testing

Between 1 June and 15 October, volunteers conducted RSVL water sampling and transparency testing on Lac Profond, Lac Allard, Lac Grant, and Lac Laverdure. During the same period, they conducted transparency testing on Blue Sea Lake.



June 1st - One Year Old - On June 1st, our website celebrated its first anniversary.  Over the past year, the site has received 2,753 visitors, who together have viewed a total of 15, 287 pages.  Although the vast majority of these visitors have been from Canada (2, 429), over three hundred have been from 58 other countries.  At present, the site comprises more than 50 pages in both official languages and is a valued source of practical information for members and non-members, and for residents, cottagers, and tourists visiting our beautiful region.  Thank you for your support.

Training Sessions at Messines Public Wharf. Photo Paul R. Ouimet 

May 31st - Youth Awareness Day, an Unforgettable Experience

On Thursday, May 31st, the Association held - in partnership with local primary and secondary schools - a youth watershed awareness day during which local students were instructed on the need to protect our lakes and the environment.

It was an unforgettable day for all participants. To learn more about it, see a detailed account of the day  and view Radio-Canada's report on this event (French). Also available for consultation the original concept of the event   

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May 26th - Distribution of trees

To promote the reforestation of our shorelines and improve the health of our lakes, the Association is involved with the ABV des 7, the MRC and our municipalities in a tree distribution program. In the context of this program, a distribution organised by the Association took place from 9 AM to noon on the morning of May 26th in front of the Reine-Perreault School in Blue Sea and adjacent to the Messines Town Hall. In each location, there were 75 trees of each of the following species: white spruce, Eastern white pine, red pine, yellow birch, black cherry, bur oak and American white ash. As such, more than 1000 trees were distributed by the Association's volunteers in Blue Sea and Messines.









Blue Sea, from left to right : Mme Henri, the first person to visit, and volunteers Don Karn, Marc Grégoire, Célyne Malette, Stéphane-Albert Boulais et Nathalie Boileau. Photo Éric Lacaille


Messines, from left to right : volunteers Louisette Verreault, Denis-M Côté, Francis LeBlanc, Pierre Boissonneault et Denis Nadeau, while a new member fills a registration form. Photo Marc Grégoire




More pictures at Messines...

            ... and Blue Sea










         Photos Paul R. Ouimet




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May 5th - Meeting with the Lac St-Pierre Association
On 5 May, Don Karn, Dick Ryan and Francis Leblanc met with the President and three other directors of the Lac St- Pierre Association. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange ideas, discuss issues of mutual interest, etc... It was a very productive session as our Association's representatives learnt how their Lac St Pierre confreres are dealing with such challenges as the noise and erosion caused by wakeboats and PWCs, the spread of Eurasian milfoil and other invasive species, and the prospect of significant development in the local area.

May 4th - Publication of the 2nd Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines


Season - Notice of Inspection

During the 2012 summer season, the MRC de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, in cooperation with your municipality, was to conduct an audit of the shoreline adjacent to your property. For more details, please see the notice provided by the Municipality of Blue Sea »»»»


March 5th - Publication of the 1st Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines

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