January 8, 2021, Perth, Ontario – Shoreline property owners on eleven lakes across Canada benefitted from the Love Your Lake Program in 2020. Each property owner will receive an individualized property report filled with voluntary recommendations to improve and protect their lake’s water quality and wildlife habitat. The Love Your Lake Program is coordinated by Watersheds Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF).
Since its inception in 2013, the Program has reached 41,354 properties on 173 freshwater bodies.
In 2020, Love Your Lake was delivered in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia in partnership with the City of Greater Sudbury, North Saskatchewan River Basin Council, Southern Interior Land Trust, and Watersheds Canada.
As more people looked to nature during the pandemic, the year provided an incredible opportunity for regional delivery partners to show how important resilient ecosystems are and give lakefront property owners the tools they need to take local action. The program was delivered in Saskatchewan (Shell Lake – Echo Bay, Shell Lake – Big Shell, and Meeting Lake), British Columbia (Twin Lakes, Turtle Pond, Horn Lake, Trout Lake, and Skaha Lake), and Ontario (Lake Nepahwin, Kashwakamak Lake and Wollaston Lake).
“The assessment of our lakes’ shorelines is the first step to determining their health”, said Terri-Lee Reid, freshwater researcher with the Canadian Wildlife Federation. “The real impact of the program happens when individual property owners take action to naturalize their shoreline. In collaboration with lakefront property owners, we see the Love Your Lake program as an exceptional tool in our efforts to improve freshwater ecosystems across the country.”
While things looked a little different this year, regional delivery partners and volunteers stepped up to ensure all health and safety measures were observed while out on the water.
“I had the pleasure of performing Love Your Lake assessments on both Kashwakamak Lake and Wollaston Lake. One of the highlights of the field season was the amount of wildlife I saw. It really shows the importance of Love Your Lake and maintaining healthy shorelines and lakes which can be enjoyed by both humans and wildlife. I enjoyed working with the lake associations and all the volunteer boat drivers who were very accommodating and knowledgeable about their lake. Without these volunteers, the program would not be possible”, says Maggie Stevenson, Watersheds Canada restoration technician.
Through the Love Your Lake program, trained surveyors work with local organizations to assess individual properties along a lake. In addition to the individual property reports, lake associations also receive a lake summary report. This summarizes the observations recorded around the lake including the degree of erosion, the types of development, the presence of invasive species, and voluntary community level stewardship opportunities. Both property reports and lake summary reports can be used as an environmental stewardship guide. These reports are the key to improving watershed health and maintaining lakes for the benefit of humans and wildlife.
Regional delivery partner Watersheds Canada surveyed 876 properties on Wollaston Lake and Kashwakamak Lake.
“Healthy shorelines have always been critical to healthy lakes and now more than ever due to the effects of climate change. The majority of lakefront property owners wish to support the ongoing health of the lakes they love, but most just don’t know where to begin. The Love Your Lake Program is uniquely designed and delivered to focus community attention through its communications, on-site survey and individual reports for all property owners. Wollaston Lake has benefited from the awareness and enthusiasm developed during the on-site survey and upcoming reports. A unique and valuable opportunity to get involved to help”, says Fred McConnell, Wollaston Lake Home and Cottage Association lake steward.
In addition to the support and hard work of local organizations across Canada, the Love Your Lake program receives generous foundation support from the Rogers Foundation and the Canadian Wildlife Foundation. This support is crucial in expanding the program across Canada and ensuring local organizations have the support they need to deliver Love Your Lake in their region. As part of an ongoing awareness campaign, Love Your Lake partners in 2021 are continuing to encourage shoreline property owners to take personal action on their property to help improve their shorelines. To get your lake involved with Love Your Lake, visit: LoveYourLake.ca/Get-Involved
Watersheds Canada and CWF provide training, materials, and regional funding to interested community groups to deliver the Love Your Lake program. This includes a training program, standardized shoreline assessment datasheet, and follow-up support on recommendations and additional resources. Love Your Lake can be applied to any shoreline community and is a great way to engage property owners in stewardship discussion and action.
Visit LoveYourLake.ca to learn more ways to improve your shoreline and lake quality. #LoveYourLake
About Watersheds Canada
Watersheds Canada is a national non-profit charitable organization that works with landowners, communities, and organizations to enhance and protect lakes and rivers through developing effective and transferable long-term solutions. Watersheds Canada envisions people caring for their waters, resulting in clean, healthy lakes and rivers to support humans and wildlife for years to come. Learn more at Watersheds.ca
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to ensuring an appreciation of our natural world and a lasting legacy of healthy wildlife and habitat. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, developing and delivering education programs, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending policy changes, and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information, visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca
Canadian Wildlife Federation
613-599-9594 x 284