Events and Activities of 2018
December 9th - Board of Directors Meeting
- Follow-up of requests for financial assistance to municipalities;
- Adoption of the Association's strategic plan for 2019;
- Status of funding for the burlap installation project that will require $ 24,000 in external financing.
Work in Progress:
- Search for external financing for the burlap installation project;
- Preparation of a newsletter;
- Follow-up of the creation of lake protection groups according to the terms of article 3.2 of the general regulations.
October 27th - Board of Directors Meeting
- The appointment of a new director, Guy Gauvreau, an active member of the Edja, Roberge and Caya Lakes Owners Association;
- Decision to produce tax receipts for all donations of $20 or more;
- Viewing of striking aerial images of the Eurasion milfoil colony near the Blue Sea public wharf;
- Establishment of the 2019 plan of action with setting of priorities related to availability of both human and financial resaources;
- Approval of the 2019 budget.
Work in Progress:
- Review of strategic planning that will guide the actions of the Association in the coming years;
- Continuation of the burlap installation project with the participation of the ABV des 7, the objective being to implement in 2019. The scope of the project will have to be adapted according to the availability of financial resources;
- Preparation of the next newsletter to be published at the end of November.
October 12th - Receipts for Donations Made in 2018
As part of an exchange with a Canada Revenue Agency representative (CRA), our Treasurer, John Turnbull, was able to confirm that the Association can issue a receipt for a donation made in 2018 even though this donation was made before the date the change of status was recognized by the CRA.
September 25th - Association can be Recognized as a Charitable Organization
The Association receives a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency informing us that our association meets the requirements for tax exemption as a charitable organization under the Income Tax Act. This letter states, among other things, that: "We grant the registration to the charity on the basis of the information contained in its application and the purposes set out in its charter dated September 5, 2018 (available in French only - for the English translation of key changes, click here), issued under the Quebec Companies Act. The organization should have a governance structure in place to ensure that it will comply with the requirements to maintain its registered charity status, including regular review of the purposes set out in its governing document. "
August 25th - Special General Assembly
As part of the Association's efforts to be recognized as a charitable organization by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Association held a Special General Meeting to consider an application to change the letters patent of the Association, a prerequisite for complying with CRA rules. During this meeting, the 16 members present unanimously approved the resolution presented authorizing this request for a change in our letters patent with the Quebec Business Registrar. To access the documents on our website, click here.
Among other subjects, members of the Association are invited to attend a Special General Meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 25th, 2018 at the Blue Sea Church to consider an application by the Association for status as a federally registered charity organization under the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations.
August 11th – Meeting of Board of Directors and Volunteers
President Francis LeBlanc hosted volunteers at his cottage to meet with Board members. The purpose of this meeting was to allow new volunteers to become acquainted with the activities of the Association and to share with everyone the experience of those volunteers who are already involved in the activities of the Association.
July 21st – Board of Directors 2018-2019
At the July 21st AGM, the Board of Directors is renewed for 2018-2019.
There were four positions to fill. Three of the outgoing directors, Robert Duval, Sally Southey and Benoît Bélisle, were not renewing their mandate. The fourth, Don Karn, agrees to renew his mandate. The Board welcomes two new members, Mary Sheridan and Paul R. Ouimet, elected by acclamation. There is one unfilled position.
The adjacent picture presents the new Board.
For the contact details of Board members, please click here.
July 21st – Annual General Meeting 2018
The Association held its 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, July 21st, 10 a.m. to noon at the Municipal Hall in Messines. Nearly a hundred people participated in this Assembly. An update was made on various issues of interest to the Association and its members; a few issues to underline:
- The recruitment campaign is a resounding success with close to 400 members as at July 21st;
- The intended use of jute tarp to smother Eurasion milfoil has not yet been sanctioned by the provincial ministry responsible for the environment. The ABV of 7 remains confident of finding an acceptable solution;
- The Assembly approved a resolution to allow the Association to support the "Alliance pour un programme national de gestion du myriophylle à épi" (Alliance for a national Eurasian milfoil management program) and to join its campaign to tackle this problem, which is affecting more and more lakes in Quebec;
- The need for volunteers to ensure the sustainability of the Association’s programs is emphasized, particularly for surveys and related activities of the water quality monitoring program;
- The boat washing program is well underway and an increase in the number of boat washings was observed. The importance of this technique to eliminate the risk of proliferation of invasive exotic species is underlined.
The recruitment campaign is a resounding success with nearly 400 members registered on July 21st. This result is largely attributable to an expansion of the recruitment campaign made possible by the Association having access to the addresses of the residents and vacationers living near the lakes of the entire watershed.
The purpose of the campaign was not just to recruit new members. We wanted to ensure that all landowners can be represented and involved. The Association also wanted to establish good working relationships with other lake organizations of the watershed, such as Edja Lake and lac Profond. In this regard, the Board proposed the creation of a new membership category to include representatives from other associations who also wish to be part of the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association. This proposal was approved by the assembly.
Eurasian Water Milfoil - Status Report
The fight against Eurasian water milfoil, the invasive species that infests Blue Sea Lake and many other lakes in Quebec and Ontario, continues to be one of the main concerns of the Association. The envisaged use of burlap to smother this plant has not yet been sanctioned by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Fight against Climate Change (MDDELCC). The goal was to install the burlap using a technique developed by a firm in the Ottawa area (Block Aid); however, the MDDELCC does not accept the use of sand or gravel for weighting the burlap.
That said, the ABV des 7 remains convinced that the covering of water milfoil stands using biodegradable burlap remains the best solution to control its spread and continues to seek environmentally acceptable solutions. In this regard, the Association has offered to participate in any pilot project that may arise from this research.
In the meantime, all members of the Association can do their part to limit the spread of Eurasian water milfoil. This plant spreads by fragmenting (naturally or accidentally - e.g., fishermen, boat propellers or turbines, oars, swimmers), floating to other areas, then depositing on the bottom of the lake and taking root. Knowing this, you must:
- Absolutely avoid passing or navigating the Eurasian water milfoil stands, many of which are identified by yellow buoys.
All members are also encouraged to:
- Collect milfoil fragments that float in the water using a fishing net to keep in the boat or at the water's edge, and accumulate these fragments on the mainland away from the shore to make compost. In this respect, the Association offers a good quality net, with retractable handle, for $ 20, taxes included.
- Uproot the milfoil plants in front of their property. Do not cut the plants but uproot them by catching the roots with your fingers. It is especially important to make sure that all pieces of the plant are picked up with a net and brought back to the mainland.
The following site of the MDDELCC (available in French only) provides more information on the subject.
Support to the Alliance pour un programme national de gestion du myriophylle à épi
Following the July 16th exploratory meeting on the Eurasian milfoil issue, our President proposed that:
- the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association supports the Alliance and joins its campaign for a national Eurasian milfoil management program;
- the 2018 AGM Assembly authorizes the Board of Directors to decide on the appropriate form of this support; and,
- the chair reports to the next AGM.
The proposal was accepted by the assembly.
It should be noted that in the days following the exploratory meeting on July 16th, the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change announced the creation of a program to combat invasive alien species to which an envelope of $ 6.25 million would be allocated. To this amount would be added $ 1.75 million in financial assistance to acquire more knowledge about these invasive plants and thus better detect, control and eliminate them. The news was well received in the concerned circles.
July 16th – Exploratory Meeting Organized by the "Alliance pour un programme national de gestion du myriophylle à épi"
On behalf of the Association, our president, Francis LeBlanc, attended an exploratory meeting organized by the "Alliance pour un programme national de gestion du myriophylle à épi” (Alliance for a national Eurasian milfoil management program). The meeting held in Montreal was attended by more than 20 Quebec organizations concerned with the spread and proliferation of Eurasian milfoil. Among the participants welcomed by the Union des municipalités du Québec - UMQ (Quebec union of municipalities) were the representatives of the founding members of the Alliance:
- La Société de conservation du lac Lovering (Lovering Lake conservation society);
- Le RAPPEL - Coop de solidarité en protection de l’eau (RAPPEL - Solidarity water protection ooperative, a grouping of associations for the protection of lakes and watersheds);
- L’Agence de Bassin Versant des 7 (ABV des 7);
- L’Association des pêcheurs sportifs du Québec (APSQ) (Quebec association of sport fishermen);
- Le Conseil québécois des espèces exotiques envahissantes (CQEEE) (Quebec council of invasive exotic species).
It was said at the meeting that Eurasian milfoil is present in nearly 200 lakes and that this number is growing rapidly. As a result, citizens, organizations and municipalities working to protect and preserve the lakes and rivers, are looking for solutions to restore water bodies under environmental threat from the milfoil infestation and to protect those who have not yet been infested.
Created in the spring, the Alliance asks the Government of Quebec to initiate and develop, as soon as 2018, a national Eurasian milfoil management program. Among others, according to a document of the Alliance, the objectives of this program would be to:
- Guide the municipalities and the regional governments (MRCs) in obtaining government approvals to protect bodies of water on their territory against this invasion;
- Develop preventive measures to avoid contamination in the water bodies where the plant is not yet present;
- Release budgets to effectively finance recognized control and preventive measures;
- Fund ongoing research work on impacts on the flora and fauna of the various management methods of the plant;
- Fund a research program in order to better measure the long-term impact of the Eurasian milfoil‘s presence, to counter its harmful effects, to find environmentally safe and effective means of maximum control of its presence.
To achieve these objectives, the Alliance wants to broaden the coalition. It seeks the support of associations and groups of lakes across Quebec for the campaign to obtain the support of the Government in the fight against Eurasian milfoil.
Following this meeting, our president Francis LeBlanc concluded that we must, as an Association, join the efforts of the Alliance for the establishment of a national Eurasian milfoil management program and decided to recommend this course of action at the AGM.
April - Launching of the Boat Washing Program
Representatives of the Association and of the two municipalities of Blue Sea and Messines met in April to plan the boat washing program for 2018. The two municipalities were taking steps to launch the program for the start of the fishing season on April 27. Protect our lakes - wash your boats!
A web video produced a few years ago by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and fight against climate change (MDDELCC) highlights the importance of boat washing and illustrates how to do it in 5 steps to prevent the spread of invasive species in our aquatic environments. Click here to see it.