Andrew Arentowicz

What is the Environment Council and what does it do?

The Environment Council for Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lakes is a group of volunteers dedicated to protecting the health of these lakes and the surrounding natural environment.

The Environment Council is the successor organization to the Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lake Plan Steering Committee – the group that produced the Lake Plan. Our goal is to preserve and enhance the Clear, Ston(e)y, White Lake watershed environment for future generations of humans and wildlife by implementing the Lake Plan recommendations and action plans. Hence our slogan “Your Lake Plan in Action”.

Water quality was the top issue identified in the Lake Plan, and we are currently focusing on four priority action areas to improve it – preserving natural shorelines, protecting wetlands, promoting good septic system practices, and strengthening municipal policies and plans affecting the lakes.

How did the Environment Council get started?

About 14 years ago, a number of concerned Ston(e)y Lakers banded together as the Ston(e)y Lake Environment Council to try to protect the lake environment.

Andrew Arentowicz

Realizing we needed a more inclusive approach to be successful, we hosted an early 2005 meeting of cottagers, residents, on-lake businesses, and local government and agency representatives. Representatives of this group embarked on a process called Lake Planning, on a local watershed basis, and worked steadily for three years to gather data and fairly reflect differing priorities.

In summer 2008 we published the results of our research, mapping and priority setting – the Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lake Plan Report entitled A Delicate Balance. This report set out 42 recommendations, six action plans and a wealth of information ranging from water quality data to community values.

We then reorganized ourselves as the Environment Council for Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lakes, and dug in again to put the Lake Plan into action.


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What’s New?… Published June 10, 2016

  • Priority programs for 2016
  • It’s a ‘Shore Thing’
  • Burleigh Bay
  • Progress Report
  • Notice to email subscribers
  •  

    Work plan sets out 2016 priorities

    Environment Council has set out an ambitious work plan for 2016.
    Four top priorities – Septic Re-Inspection, Shoreline Restoration, Input to County Official Plan Amendment, and Membership/Capacity Building for the Council itself – were identified through a strategic planning process last year.

    Advocating for septic system re-inspections on waterfront properties remains a top priority as we work to protect lake water quality.

    We plan to show the township councils new information on successful programs elsewhere in Ontario, and urge them to implement re-inspection. We are pleased that the Municipality of Trent Lakes is launching a program this year, working with PCCHU.

    Reactivating the shoreline evaluation and restoration program is also a priority.

    The multi-year program will focus on areas where much of the shoreline is no longer in a natural state, and where erosion and nutrient runoff to the lake may be significant. Each year, volunteers will hand deliver information on the evaluation program to as many waterfront owners as possible. For details, see It’s a ‘Shore Thing’ below.

    Environment Council is also redoubling its efforts to ensure that county and township policies, regulations and decision-making help protect the lake.

    We are asking the County Planning Department to include best environmental and planning practices in the Official Plan Amendment, now in preparation. Our input is based on the Lake Plan, a best practices study sponsored by our Council, and the 2014 Provincial Policy Statement.

    As part of our effort to protect wetlands and natural shorelines, we continue to advocate for responsible development, particularly when development threatens Provincially Significant Wetlands.

    For this reason, Environment Council representatives will be official “participants” in the Ontario Municipal Board hearing on the Burleigh Bay Development proposal, to begin in September. Please see Burleigh Bay update below.

    With this demanding work plan, it is no surprise that an over-riding priority is to improve the effectiveness of our organization by building our membership capacity and strengthening our relationships with the lake associations and other local environment groups.

    Our 2015 membership drive enabled us to welcome six new active members. But we do need more volunteers for specific projects. Please call Lois Wallace at 705-877-8203, or use Contact Us above to email, if you would like to help.
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