Save Our Lake Report 2010 AGM
Save Our Lake Report 2010 Annual General Meeting.
I have been keeping you up to date on issues in the Gazette. Although our Wetland project is in limbo at the moment, we are continuing to see how we can still accomplish our original goal, which was twofold.
In a nutshell it is to get the “Wetland “assessed in two ways:
1. To deduce if any environmental damage has been done to the natural surroundings between the lagoon area and the Lake by 40 years of sewage effluent draining through it .
This could have been caused by undesirable nutrients and/ or by pharmaceutical chemicals used by cottagers.
2. To ascertain whether the area could be engineered (if necessary ) and planted with native Manitoba plants to encourage habitat for wildlife, in order to provide our cottagers with an educational and recreational boardwalk area outside of the developments. We will continue to follow through on this idea and intend to seek alternative funding other than provincial government grants. We did ultimately find out that that it was the provincial government who would not support our project, but we are given to understand that we still have the support of others in the wider community.
The GCOA Board recently reiterated that this Wetland initiative is still the main objective that they want to see come to fruition. We do not want to see the use of Alum in our area to deal with the P load in the sewage effluent. This is not our idea of a Green Grindstone Plan. The Province has being announcing for the last few months, that Wetlands are the way to go and we will support this ideal.
Soul has continued to try to keep abreast of Water issues in the Province of which there are many. Water of course is the backbone of a healthy environment and we do our best to get a proactive message out to the wider community. We have developed a new brochure which is aimed at all cottagers and residents at whatever lake they are near.
Mo has been active on the Board of the LWRC for the last year representing the General membership category, such as cottage communities.. While the main focus of the LWRC is to provide and operate the research platform of the Namao, a secondary focus has developed into the successful educational program for schools. This is the area to which our donations have been assigned. What is still lacking across Province as a whole is the continuing education and dissemination of information to those who should be able to accomplish positive action, namely the ‘Yous’ and ‘Mes’ of the adult community. This issue has been mentioned to me by many other players in the Environmental action groups with whom I interact on a regular basis.
It has been gratifying to have witnessed over the last few years, that the groups on whom SOUL and Grindstone first focused their Save Our Lake campaign and the Challenge to donate to the Consortium, have started to do just this. For example the informational packages that we dropped off to RM and community offices along with the $500 Challenge may have ultimately led to the recent decision of the 5 RMs deciding to give a $1 per capita donation to the LWRC. Again, our SOUL attempt to put together the first ever listing of Phosphate Free cleaning products has recently seen the RMs around the S Basin coming up with their LAKE FRIENDLY logo to be placed on ecosafe products in all stores in communities around the lake. Whether or not these actions were a result of our first effort, we will never know. But ‘Hey,Action is happening ‘ and we are glad!
I have tried on numerous occasions to convince government departments that Websites are not the best way to reach people with educational proactive information. But Cost always rules and their methods will probably never change. It therefore depends on us all as small groups or individuals (like those who do red websites!) to talk and take the message out there and give good example.
Save Our Lake and Grindstone was mentioned recently as an example of how one community can achieve commendable action results. This article can be found in Appendix A of the recent Progress Report to the Government, which was written by the Lake Winnipeg Water Stewardship Board. This group of 16 people, which was apolitical for the most part, has now been disbanded after 5 years of monitoring the actions that they had originally recommended the Government should take. Go figure !
I want to Thank sincerely those cottagers who have donated to our MSSS Special Awards for Projects related to the Water Quality status of the Lake and Watershed. Also to my co-hort Amanda leRougetel who is always there to support me in the many facets of Save Our Lake..
“If you want to go fast, Go alone. If you want to achieve success go together “
Mo Tipples, Chair of Save Our Lake “ SOUL”
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