To All SSCA Members and Families
Welcome to the summer of 2013. Even with the snow we had this winter we are flirting with historic low water levels. The Township of the Archipelago (TOA) staff have been working with various levels of government to streamline application processes and reduce red tape in getting approvals to relocate your docks and/or dredge. There are municipal restrictions that apply, zoning regulations that must be adhered to and Provincial and Federal approvals that may be required. See the TOA website http://www.thearchipelago.on.ca/ for links to assist you.
The Georgian Bay Association (GBA), of which we are all members through our SSCA membership, continues to educate, inform and influence local, provincial, federal and international representatives to address low water levels. The Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) has been providing research to support the GBA present the facts. For more information you can watch a GBA video about water levels at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ3y8SpMdVA. “Stop the Drop” is a campaign launching in April to bring Georgian Bay and middle Great Lake users of all types and ages to an online community to advocate for action on water levels. You can join their online community, www.stopthedrop.ca, to get informed about the issues and find out how you can take action to support the cause. The GBA, Stop the Drop and the SSCA are all advocating for managed water levels. Visit either Canadian Hydrographic services http://www.waterlevels.gc.ca or the Army Corps of Engineers for the latest water level reports. These reports are updated monthly.
One of the organizations the GBA endeavors to influence is the International Joint Commission (IJC). The IJC is an international organization created by the Boundary Waters Treaty, signed by Canada and the United States in 1909. The IJC prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments. The IJC has the authority to decide whether or not to implement a new regulation plan and can also make recommendations to the governments in the upper Great Lakes basin regarding adaptive management, restoration of water levels, multi-lake regulation and other matters related to water levels and flows. The IJC intends to conclude its deliberations about the International Upper Great Lakes Study and make recommendations in early 2013. See more at the IJC website: http://ijc.org/iuglsreport/. To date the IJC is recommending a wait and see approach and we are trying to influence them to change to a strategy of management.
The summer of 2013 has a full agenda of activities planned again thanks to the hard work of the Programs Committee and other community volunteers. Many of the usual favorites are scheduled: Regatta, Yoga, Bridge, Day Camp, Church on the Rock and Bootcamp. The annual Pot Luck Dinners are back with plans to bring back the band Z-Jazz, lots of food and of course a great way to get to know other cottagers in our area. The Internet Café will be in place at the end of May. New this year the SSCA calendar of events can be viewed at the revamped and refreshed SSCA website: www.ssca.info.
Thank you to all of the great SSCA volunteers. There are a number of activities that need volunteers, I encourage you to learn more and get involved. On behalf of the Board have a wonderful summer in 2013!