Communications Coordinators meeting, 2014-05-10

09:00-12:00 Saturday May 10, 2014
Christ Church basement, 7 London Road, Port Albert
(intersection of London and Russell, at the top of the bluff)

Coffee available 08:30

Attendees and invited guests

ACLA Communications Coordinators and designated alternates

Attending: Amberley Beach, Ashfield Beach south, Brindley Beach, Cedar Grove, Huron Sands, Lakeland Estates, Maple Grove, Menesetung Park, Mid-Huron Beach, Port Albert.

Not attending: Birch Beach, Bogie's Beach, Buchanan's Beach, Goat Trail, Green Acres Cove, Horizon View, Huron Sands North, Huron Shores, Hunter's Beach, Kingsbridge Shores, Kintail Beach, Lake Huron Resort, Linfield Beach, Martin's Point, Shamrock Beach, Sunset Beach. Victoria Beach, Vogel's Beach.

Invited guests

09:00 -- Opening remarks (Nigel Bellchamber, Amberley Beach)

09:05 -- ACW Township (Ben van Diepenbeek)

  1. 2014 budget highlights: lost $91K due to reduced provincial funding; raised levy 3% and withdrew the other needed funds from the reserves; paving St. Helen's Line from Amberley Road to Huron 20 (about $500K), replacing two old pickup trucks (about $75K). Expecting a 14% increase in costs next year due to proposed OPP funding model.
  2. Three or four lakefront associations have submitted requests for the Unassumend Roads grants.
  3. Take-up on ACW's new "roadside tree planting" initiative has been a great success. This year's 200 trees have all been taken, and Council will consider increasing the number next year.
  4. Plans for the Point-to-Port Trail project are still ongoing. Goderich and ACW are willing to be co-sponsors but want the project team to assume all development and on-going financial responsibility.

09:30 -- Maitland Valley Conservation Authority (Phil Beard, Melisa Lumyes)

  1. Introduction (Phil): refocusing MVCA budget on flood-erosion safety and water stewardship. There is $366M of shoreline land and $4B of agricultural land at risk in the MVCA watershed, and all need stormwater management plans. Need ongoing local support to get more provincial/federal funding for water-quality improvement and erosion-protection projects.
  2. Garvey-Glenn Watershed Poject (Melisa): There are now 9 berms and 4.5 acres of treed/grassed waterways in place or planned. The majority of runoff occurs October through April, when the soil is most vulerable to erosion. Emphasizing soil-health projects involving tillage, cover crops, and spraying/fertilizing techniques. Significant funding is coming from Enivronment Canada and Ontario's Ministry of Environment, with assistance from Huron County and MVCA.

10:10 -- break

10:20 -- ACLA environmental update (Mike McElhone, Port Albert North)

Stream-testing 2013 results. This will be the twelfth year for this program, and those present expressed sincere appreciation to Mike for his work.

10:35 -- Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation (Karen Alexander)

  1. A Bluff Native Plants Guide is now available as a companion to last year's "Bluff Stewardship" guide.
  2. A new youth-internship project funded by Environemnt Canada will address high-risk bluff erosion and instability. The objective of this six-month project is to develop early-warning indicators.
  3. Seeking more volunteer participants for the Coast Watchers program this summer.
  4. The bi-annual "Is the Coast Clear?" conference will be held 9am-4pm on Friday June 20 at the Oakwood Resort in Grand Bend.

10:45 -- Ministry of the Environment (Ted Briggs)

  1. The 8th Canada-Ontario Agreement is now available for public review. Progress on Ontario's proposed Great Lakes Protection Act is uncertain. The province provides $6M annually for Great Lakes work.
  2. Water quality out in the middle of Lake Huron continues to be good, but fish populations continue to decline.
  3. The Southeast Lake Huron Initiatives program is part of the Healthy Lake Huron program. The Garvey-Glenn project is one of the five projects currently underway. Completing all five projects is expected to require $18.8M, but there has been less than $2M funding to date. Emphasis is being placed on monitoring so that there will be data to show that the projects are effective, to help in seeing government and private-sector funding. See online Newsletter.
  4. Development of a best-practices Rural Stormwater Management Model is an offshoot of the Healthy Lake Huron projects. It should be completed this fall.
  5. A two-year research program at UWO will be monitoring the impact of near-shore septic systems on water quality.

11:25 -- Treasurer's report (Jim Baird, Amberley Beach)

Bank balance, 2013-04-30:                                $14,615.28

contributions from participating associations: $3,680.00
contribution from ACW Township:                 2,500.00
bank interest:                                     25.07
                                       subtotal ........  $6,205.07
stream-testing lab costs:                      $5,261.54
costs for annual meeting:                         215.77
website-provider fee:                             148.82
bank charges:                                      27.50
                                       subtotal ........  $5,645.63

Bank balance, 2014-04-30:                                $15,166.72

11:35 -- ACLA discussion

  1. No need to change the requested $10-per-cottage donation.
  2. This is a municipal-election year. Is there any interest in trying to organize an ACW all-candidates meeting for a Saturday in the latter half of September, to appeal to the lakefront community?
  3. There has been a decline in attendance at ACLA meetings for the last few years. Is it due to lack of pressing issues? Should we attempt another "It All Ends Up In The Lake" conference next year?

11:45 -- Adjourn

Next meeting will be Saturday May 9, 2015.