Letter to Lake Residents
To BRLA Members and other Friends of the Rideau Lakes:
I am writing on behalf of the Rideau Lakes Environmental Foundation (RLEF), to ask for your help. Since 1991, our small non-profit foundation has worked alongside BRLA and other local lake associations to focus on protecting, improving and enhancing the Rideau Lakes. Below are three critical areas we need to fund.
Water Quality Research
As part of our environmental mandate, RLEF has been funding scientific research into water quality and other lake issues since 2017. We sponsored three projects by researchers from Queen’s University and Carleton University in 2022, and three more will be awarded in 2022. One recipient, Dr. John Smol, at Queen’s, is looking at algae blooms, an issue that has become more timely in light of the confirmed appearance of blue/green algae in Bass Lake this past summer. https://youtube/30nJU56PZ90
Safe Navigation and Shoal Markers
After the late Doug Good’s tragic accident in 2017, RLEF honoured his memory by establishing a fund for the more than 100 shoal markers that are set every year in Big Rideau and Upper Rideau Lakes to keep us safe. Our contribution to the work since then has exceeded $12,000. The fund is still in place and BRLA is asking that contributions towards the maintenance of shoal markers be made to RLEF so donors can take advantage of the tax credit.
Assessing Future Impacts
Finally, RLEF has been active with BRLA and other local lake association sin the municipal planning of developments tha have a majore impact on our lake environments. Plans have been made for dramatic changes to the Waterways campground/trailer park in Hudson’s Bay on Big RIdeau. Summerhill Resorts has filed a development application to double the number of sites from 150 to 300 and to “park” trailers that become permanet structures on the sites. There are some estimates that sewage generated by the expanded site will be equivalent to that generated by the entire Village of Westport. The lake associations and others persuaded the Township to impose an Interim Control By-Law and to commission a study but that By-law will expire on August 3, 2022 and Summerhill will in all likelihood be back with its application. You can get some idea of Summerhill’s resources from its website. www.summerhillresorts.com. RLEF will be working with BRLA and others to follow this process.
How you can help
Our research grants will require $15,000 this year. Shoal marker annual maintenance and replacement will be $7,000. RLEF Board members have provided expertise and will participate in the review of the development application but specialist support is required from engineers and environmental scientist to assess the submissions to the Township and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for permits and approvals. The expert support needed on the municipal planning front could easily exceed $40,000.
All told, these costs total some $65,000. If every recipient of this mailing donated $100, we will be able to cover our forecasted $65,000 and leave monies available for vital future projects. Donation sof all sizes are most welcome. The easiest way is to donate online at https://www.rlef.ca/give or using Canada Helps and organization that assists charities in fundraising at https://www.canadahelps.org. The tax receipt is provided promptly and CanadaHelps creates a record for tax time. Or you can mail your cheque made payable to RLEF to the address on our letterhead: PO Box 93 Portland, ON K0G 1V0.
Please reach out to me if you have question about our work or issues to raise. I would love to hear from you and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Working together, we can safeguard our beloved lakes.
Michael M. Peterson,