Events and Activities of 2014


 

Entête bulletin December 18th – Publication of the 18th Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines

 

December 10th - Meeting with the Mayors

On December 10th, Don Karn and Dick Ryan met with the Mayors of Blue Sea and Messines to discuss a wide range of watershed issues. Principal amongst these were the the Association's recommendations that ice-fishing on Blue Sea Lake be banned for this year and that the municipalities implement a mandatory boat rinsing program. See the 19th edition of Shorelines for a detailed update on both issues.

Other matters discussed included the emptying of septic tanks on the islands, the monitoring of Blue Sea Lake water levels, the status of the Blue Sea Creek dam, the RSVL water quality monitoring program, and the "Leclair Report" on beaver management.

Entête bulletin November 3rd – Publication of the 17th Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines

 

October 28th - Briefing on Exotic Invasive Species

Image5bA year ago, the Association asked the municipalities to consider implementing a mandatory boat washing/rinsing program on Blue Sea Lake in an effort to prevent the introduction of exotic invasive species like Zebra mussels. Last June, the municipalities started to study this issue and, as a first step, sent representatives to Lac Cayamant to look at the boat rinsing program in effect at that municipality. Subsequent to that visit, they asked our Association to provide them with more information on exotic invasive species and the threat they pose to our region. In response to that request, we put together a slide package on this subject which Don Karn presented to officials from both municipalities on 28 October. This presentation was very well received and will, we hope, help the municipalities in their deliberations on this very serious issue. To view this presentation, please click here.
 

September 23rd – Press Review of the ROBVQLien ROBVQ en

The press review of the "Regroupement des organismes de bassins versants du Québec" ROBVQ – Quebec Association of Watershed Organisations) is now available on their web site at www.robvq.qc.ca/nouvelles. This press review deals with a wide variety of subjects of potentialLien ROBVQ en interest to associations such as ours. For easy access, we have added a direct link in the left column of our home page.

Entête bulletin September 2nd – Publication of the 16th Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines

 

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August 20th and 22nd  Installation of Yellow Buoys
On August 20th and 22nd, Dave Maclaren, Bernard Asselin and Dick Ryan laid down the last of the 50 yellow buoys marking milfoil beds the Association had planned for installation this year; many thanks to these three volunteers for their remarkable work. The Association takes the opportunity to remind boaters of the importance of avoiding these areas of high density of this invasive plant. For more information on this project, please click here.
 
Carte Lac Paquin enAugust 10th – Outreach – Lac Paquin
 
On Sunday, 10 August, Dick Ryan had an informal meeting with Scott Lawrence, President of the Lac Paquin Lake Association. Prior to the meeting, Scott had just completed a two-day, door to door campaign for his association. Scott mentioned that in the information package he distributed, he had included a copy of our Association's brochure.

In their discussion, Scott gave an overview of his lake and his association, noting that Lac Paquin was a charter member of RSVL and that it had recently won a "Secchi Award" for the number of water transparency tests it had effected since the start of the program. He added that his association had joined the "Regroupement" and that he was a big advocate of sharing best practices and taking a collective approach in addressing issues that can't be dealt with at the local level.

Dick shared some of the things our Association was doing as well as the challenges we face. He emphasized the fact that we take a watershed approach and would gladly share our knowledge, experience and information products with other associations like Lac Paquin's.

July 26th Annual General Meeting

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The Association held its 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on July 26th at the Municipal Hall in Messines. The more than 90 people who attended the meeting got to hear some of what the Association was doing to address the various threats facing our watersheds. In particular, they learnt that our Association was one of only three in all of Quebec who in 2012 had adopted the most effective technique developed thus far for assessing the health of a lake (ie: periphyton measurement) when the RSVL protocol detailing that procedure was first released. They also had the opportunity to listen to Mr Michel Leclair, a well known naturalist and beaver expert, expound on how best to deal with the challenges posed by that animal. Finally, those members in attendance got to participate in the reelection by acclamation of three council members whose two year mandates had ended - Don Karn, Marlène Thonnard, and Paul Ouimet - and of one new council member, Robert Duval. For more information about the meeting, please view our newsletter 16; for access to related documentation, please click here.

July 11th Publication of the 15th Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines

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June 19th Outdoor Activity of the Youth Project

On June 19th, these same Messines students met earlier in the year by Administrative Council’s Youth Program Coordinator, Marlene Thonnard, participated in a “rally quiz” on the bicycle path bordering Blue Sea Lake. During this rally, they were tested on their newly acquired knowledge and were able to view first-hand several of the challenges facing our lakes, including the proliferation of invasive species and the growth of periphyton.  They also saw why it is important to revegetate the shoreline and to take other measures to protect our watershed.  After the rally, they enjoyed a pontoon tour of the lake thanks to the generosity of several volunteers.  During this tour, they were able to reinforce their knowledge with the assistance of a facilitator.  Through the collaboration of local artist, Sylvie Grégoire, the students concluded their day by translating their vision of the watershed into a beautiful mural. They were also encouraged to write poems on the themes of environment and watershed protection. Click here to view the five poems selected for publication.
 
The Association spends a great deal of time and energy encouraging residents and cottagers to do more to protect our watershed.  Because it will take years to repair the damage we have done to our ecosystem, the Association is also working hard to raise the environmental awareness of the next generation so that they do not repeat our mistakes.  Fortunately, from what we saw on June 19th, that generation appears to have a natural sensitivity to and appreciation for the health of our ecosystem.

1403 depliants June - September – Door to Door Information Campaign

From mid-June to the end of September, the Association carried out a door-to-door information campaign throughout the Blue Sea Lake and Blue Sea Creek watersheds. With the help of more than 40 of our members and the assistance of local area lake associations and volunteers, close to 800 residences and cottages were visited and over 400 people were interviewed. The purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness regarding the fragile state of our waterways and to enlist the support of both residents and cottagers in the fight against the many threats facing our lakes. An article about this campaign and its impact was featured in the 19th edition of Shorelines."

June 14th Publication of the 14th Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines

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June 11th to 13th Participation at the "Forum national sur les lacs"

Don Karn, Dick Ryan, and Paul Ouimet represented the Association at a provincial forum on lakes held at Mont Tremblant from June 11 to 13. This event, which was organized by the Quebec Coalition of Regional Environmental Councils and the Regional Environmental Council of the Laurentians focused on the health of the province’s lakes, providing participants with an excellent overview of the state of our waterways, the challenges they face, and the work that must be done to protect them.
 
The forum was most informative as it covered a wide range of topics. It was clear from several presentations that lakes throughout the province are under threat due to the inflow of excessive nutrients (eg: phosphorus) which is often attributable to human activity. That inflow has led to the growth of periphyton on underwater rocks and has dramatically increased thegrowth of aquatic plants near the shoreline.
 
The forum featured over 30 presentations on a wide variety of lake-related issues. Details regarding these presentations as well as copies of the supporting power point slides are available on the forum’s website.
 
The forum also included training and certification on RSVL’s water sampling and transparency measurement protocols. Don Karn participated in this training and earned his RSVL certification. Don was also featured in a video prepared by the forum organizers and did a superb job representing our Association. Well done!
 

May 24th – Tree Distribution

On Saturday morning, May 24th, the Association - in partnership with the municipalities of Messines and Blue Sea - distributed, free of charge, a variety of trees supplied by the MRC. The distribution took place at the Messines municipal hall and at the Blue Sea presbytery. The types of trees distributed were: red oak, bur oak, yellow birch, spruce, white pine, red pine and larch. All the trees allocated to Blue Sea wer given away as were almost all those allocated toMessines. Many thanks to our volunteers: Bernard Asselin, France Carpentier, Nicole Dumont, Francis LeBlanc, Christian Michel, Denis Nadeau, and Claude Perrier.

May 3rd – Annual Meeting of the Regroupement

The “Regroupement la protection de l’eau de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau” (Association for the Protection of Gatineau Valley Waterways) held its 2014 Annual Meeting and Symposium at the Auberge des Deux Rives in Lac Sainte-Marie. Don Kan participated in this meeting both as a representative of the Association and as a guest speaker. He gave a much appreciated presentation on the Periphyton Monitoring Protocol (currently available in French only). For more details on the Regroupement, click here.

 

 

April 16th Publication of the 13th Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines

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April 1st, 7th and 30th – Watershed Outreach

On 1 April, Don Karn and Dick Ryan met with Mr Robert Duval, President of the Lac Profond Association, to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Six days later, on 7 April, they visited Lac Edja where they had an excellent discussion about the watershed with the President of the Lacs Edja, Caya and Roberge Property  Owners Association - Mr Gerald Boyer.

Later in the month, on 30 April, Dick met with Brian Ham, the new Director of the Gracefield Christian Camp and Retreat Centre on Lac du Castor Blanc.  Dick briefed Mr Ham on the mission and objectives of our association and discussed the possibility of enrolling Lac du Castor Blanc in the RSVL program in a year or two.

 

March 20th and 27th – Green Activities at Messines’ Primary School
One of the Association’s strategic objectives is to raise awareness regarding the importance of protecting the local environment. The purpose of the youth project is to increase this awareness among young people.

This year’s project began with the Association purchasing teaching guides for local educators to help them organize “green” activities for primary school students in the second and third cycles (i.e.: grades three thru six).

Marlène Thonnard, the initiator of this wonderful project, observed that students in Messines (see picture opposite) worked like “pros” throughout March to better understand the issues facing our waterways. During the two afternoons of March 20th and 27th she spent at their school, Marlène received valuable collaboration from the two grades 4, 5, and 6 teachers. Many of the students prepared and presented papers on animals inhabiting our wetlands. They also learned what a "watershed" is and how to identify on a map the lakes and streams that feed into Blue Sea Lake. Top of page 

March 9th – The Day After a [Green] Ice Fishing Tournament on Blue Sea Lake
On March 9th, the day after the Blue Sea ice fishing tournament, members of the Association toured the fishing sites and were generally very pleased with what they saw. In fact, they noted that the vast majority of sites showed clear Site cabaneevidence of sound ecological practices, as participants left  no trace of their presence, and that the majority of bonfires  had been set  in barrels designed for this purpose. Unfortunately, one fishing  site, in front of Big Island, was unacceptable. Our members cleaned up that site and a neighboring fisherman transported the garbage off the lake. Thanks to all those tournament participants who helped make this a “green” event.   

March 6th Publication of the 12th Issue of the Newsletter Shorelines

 

February 8th  – Round Table of The "Regroupement pour la protection de l’eau de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau"
On the 8th of February at the Messines Municipal Hall, Don Karn and Dick Ryan participated in a local area, round table discussion organized by the "Regroupement pour la protection de l’eau de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau" (ie: the Association for the Protection of Gatineau Valley Waterways, hereafter referred to as “the Regroupement”). Don kicked off the proceedings by briefing the executive of the Regroupement on our association’s past and current activities and challenges. Don’s briefing was very well received and stimulated a lively Q and A period during which he shared many of the lessons our association has learnt during the past five years. The Association feels that  such round tables are a very positive addition to our region’s watershed protection movement and align perfectly with the mission and objectives of the Regroupement. 

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