CLA TO LAUNCH BOATING AWARENESS AND SAFETY INITIATIVE (Summer 2021)
This Summer, the CLA will launch a major new initiative aimed at reducing boat speed and noise, and to promote safe boating etiquette. The initiative, known as BASS (Boater Awareness of Safety System), will have five key elements:
Improved signage at public boat ramps
Traditional media (e.g. CLA member newsletter)
Web-based media (e.g. Boating section on CLA website)
Collateral material (e.g. educational pamphlets and plasticized map)
Youth programs (e.g. boating safety modules via CLA summer camp)
“For many years now, about 80% of the complaints we get as an Association are related to boat noise, speed, and wake,” said CLA President Bill Hallam, “and while it is up to Transport Canada and the OPP to enforce the law, we certainly have the moral authority to promote safe and respectful boating.”
Charleston Lake is not alone in seeing an increase in faster, noisier boats. And more recently, wake boats have become more common, and when operated close to shore can cause significant shoreline erosion, and damage to wildlife such as Loon nests. The BASS initiative aims to increase boater awareness of the different Federal and Provincial laws that govern the use of powered and unpowered watercraft, and build awareness of how operators can enjoy their boats while considering the interest of other users and residents of the lake, including wildlife.
The BASS initiative was developed by a committee of the CLA Board, chaired by John Webster. Other members included Steve Arthur, Bill Hallam, Michael McAdoo, and Rocci Pagnello. Said Webster: “Our committee looked at several different ideas, and then decided that we needed to take a systematic approach that would reach boaters in several ways,” Watch for new signs to go up at the main boat launches by early Summer, along with more and better information on the CLA Website, as well as at local marinas and shops.
GYPSY MOTHS (May 2021)
In the next few days, gypsy moths eggs laid last July will hatch, bringing a wave of defoliation and ecological damage - here's what you can do to help stop them.
Of all the thousands of invasive species globally, the gypsy moth is in the top 100 of the most destructive. It’s native to Europe, where their natural diseases and predators keep numbers controlled. It was brought to North America in 1869, to Medford Massachusetts, by a person who thought the gypsy moth could be bred with silkworms for a new fabric industry. The story goes that the moths escaped out an open window – and those few escapees have now spread across eastern states and provinces. The gypsy moth is not a strong flier – but the larvae are light, and spin silk threads that carry them aloft on the wind.
The invader’s success owes especially to the moth’s eggs. Each female can lay up to 500 eggs. The masses of firm, round eggs are covered in a peach-like fuzz coating that can cause serious skin rashes, and the fuzz helps insulate the eggs to survive cold winters. With the spring hatch, the larvae climb into trees and shrubs, feeding mostly at night, hiding out on the underside of leaves by day. Their favourite food is oak leaves, but just about any plant will do. Colonies of thousands can strip forests of leaves, weakening trees severely, and killing them if the outbreak lasts over years.
For more info, click here
Recently, the Ambrose family placed their 179 acre farm on Ballycanoe Road under a conservation easement with the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust (TIWLT). The farm, which includes 20 acres of Leeders Creek wetland and another 100 acres of mature and semi-mature mixed forest cover, reflects the rich biodiversity of TIWLT, in the Frontenac Biosphere Reserve. A key focus of the land trust is the Leeders Creek wetland complex, because it is so very important to protecting water quality, wildlife and in its capacity to offset both floods and drought.
For more about the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust programs, and how you at Charleston Lake can participate, see tiwlt.ca.
ONTARIO'S NEW CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES ACT
On December 8, 2020 Ontario Passed Bill 229, the Budget Measures Act including the controversial Schedule 6 which altered the Conservation Authorities Act, despite widespread opposition to the environmental changes by numerous conservation authorities, municipal councils, environmental organizations, as well as Conservation Ontario, Big City Mayors, Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Ontario Farmers Association and thousands of residents raising concerns and asking for Ontario to remove Schedule 6 from the budget bill. Click for more info
BLACK BEAR SIGHTING (May 15, 2020)
Black bear sighting in Charleston Village
and swimming near Hen Island.
For more information on Black Bears
and Cottagers, click here.
Township of Athens - click here for more information
Government of Ontario - click here for more information
Health Unit - click here for more information
NATURAL EDGE PROGRAM 2020 - On hold due to COVID-19
As many of our CLA members are aware, we have been recognizing some outstanding developed and undeveloped lakefront properties over the last 7-8 years.
For 2020, we are changing our focus slightly and partnering with Watershed Canada to sponsor the Natural Edge Program. The goal of this program is to protect our lake by establishing "natural shorelines".
A team of environmental experts will do a site inspection of a lakefront property, make some recommendations for specific plants based on your land characteristics and height preferences, create a site plan and then place an order for the healthy plants and materials. The CLA will also be looking at subsidizing the costs of the plantings and materials.
If you have a property on the lake that you would like us to consider for this new project, please contact CLA Director Jay Kyle () for a site inspection to consider your request.
THOUSAND ACRE CHALLENGE and TIWLT
Nature in the Charleston Lake area is paramount to the ecological and economic success of the region; the unique plants, animals, and landscapes that characterize this are are loved by the tourists and locals alike.