FRIENDS of the TAY WATERSHED Association
The Tay Watershed Times
Newsletter – December 2007 Volume 6, Issue 2
2007 Board of Directors
James K. Bartleman
Auditor: John Gibb-Carsley
Mailings: Helen Park
Friends of the Tay Watershed is a non-profit , charitable association of residents, associations and other organisations interested in the welfare of the Tay watershed, located in eastern Ontario, at the top of the Rideau watershed.
We welcome your involvement in any of the association's activities.To contact us:
P.O. Box 2065, 57 Foster St.
Perth, ON, K7H 3M9
For further information:
Internet address: www.tayriver.org
A Year-end Message
Best wishes to all and particularly to Donna Dilman, of Frontenac, who is in her 60+ day of hunger strike in the protest demanding that Dalton McGuinty place a moratorium on uranium mining! This time of year provides a welcome opportunity to thank our members and our cooperating organizations for their great support and, often, friendship in 2007. It seems that every year has been busy and productive and this year has been no exception. A full list of activities for 2007 can be found on our website at www.tayriver.org/documents/activities.html but several of the accomplishments have been highlighted in this newsletter.
You will find several new names in our list of Board members, in the left margin. The association is very fortunate to have such qualified individuals, with a range of experience and expertise, available to guide and deliver our programs.You will also find in this newsletter an invitation to volunteers – and at times we also have Board openings; please contact us for more information.
Our Honorary Patron
Your Board was pleased to announce in October that the Honourable James K. Bartleman has accepted our invitation to become the association’s first Honorary Patron. Mr. Bartleman is well known as Ontario’s former Lieutenant Governor – and his literacy program for the province’s native communities. Mr. and Mrs. Bartleman are residents on the Little Tay in Perth.
Tay Watershed Geology Report
A comprehensive report on the geology and mineral occurrences in the Tay watershed, prepared by Don Sherwin and published by the association, is now available on our website. Printed copies which include watershed maps may be purchased by mail from the association for $10.
The 2007 ‘Tay Watershed Discovery Evening’
The sixth annual Tay Watershed Discovery Evening attracted its largest crowd ever, in Perth on October 18, with a featured speaker from the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, plus environmental awards to four local and provincial organizations, a major environmental exhibition and celebrity auction.
In the evening’s keynote address, speaker Paula Sherman, Co-Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and Assistant Professor at Trent University, presented the Algonquin perspective on a people’s relationship with the land and its resources. See www.tayriver.org/new.html for more details.
As this was the first of a new presentation series titled “Perspectives on Water”, the Friends of the Tay Watershed Association felt it appropriate that it be launched with the views of the First Nations......the original stewards of our water. Watch for our announcement of the next speakers in this series.Recipients of Our Environmental Awards
The Watershed Evening also provided the venue for an announcement of the Association’s 2007 Environmental Awards. The first award, for ‘Contribution to the Tay Watershed’, was received by Kent Novakowski of the Civil Engineering Department of Queens University for their innovative ‘Tay Watershed Groundwater Research Project’.
The second award, for its “Contribution to Water Resources at the Provincial or Higher Level”, was received by Gordon Munroe on behalf of the “Ontario Environmental Farm Program”, a rural environment protection program so successful that it has been adopted by other provinces.
The Association’s third award, which is presented for “Contributions to the General Environment” that have an important impact on water resources, was received by Mary Loucks, on behalf of Bedford Mining Alert and Wendy Hassard, for the Citizens Mining Advisory Group – two organizations leading the approach to the Ontario Government to update the archaic Mining Act.The Celebrity Auction
The presentation portion of the evening received a rousing opening by Perth’s Town Crier, Brent McLaren, who also enthusiastically called the event’s first ‘celebrity auction’. The auction was a great success, thanks to Brent’s exuberant auctioneering talent, the generosity of the donors - artist Aili Kurtis, Perth Home Furniture, and Blair and Son Home Furnishings, engraver Franc Van Oort, potter Rita Redner and Food Gifts of Westport – and all of the successful bidders.
The exhibition section of the evening, also now in its sixth year, featured over 30 organisations - the largest and widest range ever. Non-profit, government and commercial organizations presented informative exhibits on diverse watershed and environmental topics.
Thanks to the Evening’s Supporters -
the Town of Perth, Community Stewardship Council of Lanark County, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources, Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations and McLeans Insurance Protection Team.
A brief review of some 2007 events:
Maplefest booth, April, Perth – our display was a big hit, thanks to the attention received by the “Wee Lassie” canoe and its lottery. The lucky winner was Ann Drennan, of Glen Tay.
Presentation of film “Inconvenient Truth”, April 11 – the showing, in cooperation with the RVFN and ecoPerth, followed by a lively discussion, attracted a full-house at the Perth Town Hall.
Presence at “Doors Open Perth”, June 9 – the association hosted a literature booth and ‘Kettle Boys’ entertainment area, assisted with the Voyageur canoes, and cooperated in organising Doors Open at the Perth Basin, which became a focus for the day’s events.Your Board of Directors has also:
Source Water Protection Committee|
“Source Water Protection(SWP)” is a phrase you’ll be hearing lots about in the months to come. SWP is a result of province’s Clean Water Act which prescribes a process of watershed-based action for keeping Ontario’s sources of drinking water safe. The province has been divided into 19 source protection regions and in our area, the Mississippi and Rideau conservation areas have been combined to form the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region. Each region has a SWP committee with representatives from different interest groups such as municipalities, agriculture, business and the environment. The members are charged with guiding and supporting the source protection planning process over the next five years of research, technical study, public consultation and development of municipal drinking water source protection plans. Carol Dillon, a member of the FoTW Board, has been named to the Mississippi-Rideau committee. Her participation will provide our area with experienced and knowledgeable representation. For more information about SWP in our area, please call Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region 1-800-267-3504 ext 1147 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark your calendar for upcoming events:
Our AGM – January 29, 2008 at 3:00pm ~ Dufferin Square Boardroom Unit #202, 105 Dufferin Street, Perth. All are welcome to come and join us for coffee and to to hear about our plans (see attached notice).
“The Ducks Unlimited Perspective on Water and Wetlands Conservation ” - February 13, 2008 ~ This second presentation in our “Perspectives on Water” Series will feature Jamie Fortune, Ducks Unlimited Director of Operations – Eastern Region, as guest speaker. Come out and find out why Ducks Unlimited has the highest number of water taking permits on the Tay and why that is a good thing.
November 4, 2008 ~ The date for the Association’s annual ‘Watershed Discovery Evening’ has already been set. Mark it on your calendar and plan on joining us.
Board of Directors’ meetings for 2008: ~ March 18, June 17, September 17 and November 25.
Other events will be posted on our website as they arise at www.tayriver.org/events.html .
Lake Management Planning Program
Now into its third year of operations, the Lake Management Planning Program, through a manager located in the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority offices and supported by a major Trillium grant, has become a focus for the provision of technical assistance for the development of lake plans in the Tay region. To date, 43 lake groups, over a wide geographic area, have received guidance, through the comprehensive technical information and five regional workshops. Two lakes have qualified for the program's customized planning assistance component; a third lake could be added this year. Meetings are underway between the Steering Committee and the five rural watershed township councils to discuss how successful lake plans may be taken into account in municipal planning.
Water Levels in the Tay River
Water levels in the Tay River have been well below average this fall, influenced by low precipitation levels. The charts depicting stream flow volumes, published by RVCA and normally available on our website at www.tayriver.org/info_str.html , show that volumes have been well below the strategic 1 cubic metre per second level since mid-November. This is the minimum stream flow level that was established as a condition of OMYA's permit to take water from the Tay River at their plant near Glen Tay. Consequently, the charts indicate that OMYA has ceased taking water from the Tay and has been drawing water for their operational requirements from their ground source wells over this period.
Success Stories from Other Watersheds Washington State University offers a very successful Water Resource Education Program to educate real estate developers and other professionals. The thesis is that development practices and landscape modification play significant roles in determining the long-term health of aquatic systems and the quality of our drinking water. Developers and real estate professionals with a background in water resource issues can make environmentally suitable decisions regarding development practices, as well as educate their clientele about land stewardship and water quality.
Memberships and Donations
Now is the best time to renew your membership for 2008, if you have not already done so. The Association counts on membership revenues to keep you informed on our activities and to cover some of the other operational expenditures necessary in an organization like ours. It is also important for our credibility to have a strong membership base. So please take a minute to fill in the attached membership form and mail it in to us at P.O. Box 2065, 57 Foster St., Perth, ON, K7H 3M9.
Please give some thought as well to adding a donation to help finance our educational program for 2008. We will provide tax receipts for all donations of $10 or more. You may also donate on-line by using the secure "Canada Helps" website, available at www.tayriver.org/documents/donations.htm, in which case your tax receipt should be emailed to you within minutes.
BEST POSSIBLE WISHES FOR 2008
FROM ALL OF US