Blue Canoe to offer tips on area lakes 0
Christine Maccormack (front) and Kellie Sherman (back) paddle on Sturgeon Lake at the Ken Reid Conservation Area during the launch of the Blue Canoe Program which will visit more than 3,150 shoreline property owners on four city lakes over the next three years. LISA GERVAIS/The Lindsay Post
KAWARTHA LAKES - When a blue canoe paddles up to shoreline owners on Balsam, Cameron, Pigeon and Sturgeon Lakes, don't offer students Christine Maccormack and Kellie Sherman a beer. Instead, listen to their scientific words of wisdom on how to better manage your property for the health of your lake.
The Blue Canoe program was launched Wednesday in Ken Reid Conservation Area by Kawartha Conservation and lake management planning partners.
The program is part of the early implementation of lake management plans being developed for lakes within the Kawarthas, supported by the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Blue Canoe members are trained stewardship staff who will provide personalized advice, recommendations and information to shoreline property owners. They will be travelling from dock to dock by canoe, or door to door by car, depending on the weather. They will also be at local events and lake association meetings.
As part of their on-site visits and meetings, they will help property owners identify opportunities for protecting water quality, deterring Canada geese, preventing shoreline erosion, and limiting aquatic weed and blue-green algae growth in the water, while also providing information about lake management planning and other ways to help protect the lake.
Chair of the lake management planning community advisory panel, Chris Appleton, said "last summer we saw two weeks of blue-green algae and people were saying why doesn't that mayor do something about it." He said the Blue Canoe program is part of the action. "Young scientists go out and talk to shoreline owners, those that are willing to listen, about why you should have a naturalized shoreline." He said residents had to "get away from the golf green lawns down to the shoreline."
McGee added it was only partially what the city can do. "It's what we all are doing to improve our ecosystem," he said.
Ward 8 Coun. Donna Villemaire, who chairs Kawartha Conservation said lives on the shores of Lake Scugog, said she received her first Blue Canoe program visit about four years ago.
"I have to admit, everyone on our street, we all used to do things the wrong way. There has been a great improvement. We have to give credit to the Blue Canoe program."
Kawartha Conservation CAO Rob Messervey said: "After completing more than 2,000 visits on Lake Scugog in 2010, we're excited to now be launching on other lakes in the Kawarthas. We received a lot of positive feedback from the landowners we visited, and also received many requests from others to bring the program to their lakes."
Over the next three years, the Blue Canoe will visit more than 3,150 properties on Balsam, Cameron, Pigeon and Sturgeon lakes.
Information about specific neighbourhoods and approximate dates will be posted one or two weeks in advance at www.kawarthaconservation.com/bluecanoe, and also through Facebook pages for the Balsam and Cameron Lake Management Plan and Sturgeon Lake Management Plan.
If the time is not convenient, an appointment can be made by contacting Kawartha Conservation at 705-328-2271 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org
to get a head start on actions that will help protect your lake and waterfront, visit