|Our best wishes for the New Year
The Board of Directors of the Association would like to take this opportunity to offer to all its members, partners and friends and to their families, their best wishes for 2017. The Board also wishes to thank all the members and volunteers for their support without which the existence of the Association would be compromised. As in the past, we hope to count on your help to achieve our common objectives and to ensure the protection and the improvement of the Blue Sea Lake watershed. In this regard, this bulletin referred to issues that concern us.
The Joint Working Committee for the introduction of a system of mandatory control and washing of boats has begun!
On December 12th, four members of your Board of Directors (Sally Southey, President Francis LeBlanc, Vice-President Don Karn and Secretary André Beauchemin) as well as Mayors Ronald Cross and Laurent Fortin, Councillor Pierre Normandin and Executive Director Christian Michel of the Municipality of Blue Sea held the start-up meeting of a joint working committee to introduce a mandatory boating control and washing system to help counter the arrival of new invasive species. The Committee reconvened on January 16 to consider what information is necessary to continue the work. These two sessions demonstrated a clear commitment by the three partners to implement a program in 2017. All agree that this is a multifaceted project, none of which should be overlooked. We will keep you informed of developments as we go along.
Blue Sea Lake finally gets approval from the Quebec Government for its project to control of Eurasian Milfoil using burlap We commend the hard work of the ABV des 7 (Agency of 7 Watersheds), which has consistently supported your council, committed volunteers and municipalities on this priority issue. The project has resulted in the approval of the large-scale deployment of burlap in 2017 on three sites identified as particularly conducive to the spread of this invasive species. The project on the Blue Sea has received approval as a pilot project under the aegis of the Department of Environmental Sciences of the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières and is the first request who received approval in the province. Unfortunately this authorization does not currently include the use of the same process to other, smaller, areas using residential kits. What a victory, all the same!
The municipalities of Blue Sea and Messines renewed their financial support to the Association; A BIG THANK YOU!
Thank you to our two municipalities for the unfailing and indispensable financial support they provide us again this year. This encourages us to continue our own work (volunteers and administrators) especially since it is accompanied by increasingly tangible technical, logistical and even political support. The struggle for the preservation of our watershed can only be won by a collective and concerted effort.
We received a reply from the MDDELCC regional office regarding the paving of a bike lane on the Véloroute des Draveurs Your board’s request that raised concerns about possible environmental impacts on the lakes involved in the watershed (Blue Sea and Castor Blanc) was therefore taken into consideration. You can consult the end of 2016 correspondence on the subject and related documents on the website of the Association.
In addition, our deputy chairman, Don Karn, gave a very careful follow-up on the progress of the file to the department and he reported to the board of directors on January 16th that he had obtained all necessary assurances.
Tribute to our former president and always tireless volunteer Dick Ryan At the annual general meeting on July 23rd, a tribute was paid to Dick who retired from the Board after contributing since the early days of the Association in 2009. If you think that Dick is gone from the scene you would be in error! Indefatigable, you will certainly see him on the Lake in his kayak or on his paddleboard taking water samples or transparency measurements, installing buoys marking milfoil beds, or monitoring the state of the shoreline. Thanks Dick!
Significant increase in memberships in 2016
The threat of invasive species? A heartfelt letter from our ex-president to non-member property owners? The authorization obtained from the MRC Vallée-de-la-Gatineau by the “Regroupement pour la protection de l’eau de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau” (of which the Association is a member), to make available to us the postal coordinates of our lakeshore property owners and enabled recruitment blitz in the middle of the summer helped? Probably the result of all this. Still, in 2016, we have seen an increase of over 30% in membership with respect to the previous year. It should be noted that following the blitz we saw an 80% increase in registrations compared to those confirmed at the end of June. Now with 316 members, an absolute record, your association is a must for all that concerns the protection of water in our watershed. In addition, the board of directors plans to involve far more the lakeshore owners of the other lakes of the watershed in 2017.
Shorelines is a production of the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association
Contributions: André Beauchemin, Benoît Bélisle, Robert Duval, Don Karn and Francis LeBlanc.