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.
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.