Funding for water-quality monitoring slashed
“After a successful 10-year collaboration, funding support for the FOCA volunteer network is expected to drop to zero in 2012,” says Terry Rees, executive director of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations. Rees is referring to the many volunteers who are the backbone of the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s Lake Partner Program (LPP).
The Lake Partner Program is the largest volunteer-based effort of its kind in the world, tracking long-term trends in key water-quality indicators in Ontario’s inland lakes and rivers. The MOE relies upon the dedicated support of hundreds of volunteer lake stewards to sample water for scientific review at the Dorset Environmental Sciences Centre. Late last year, the program received the prestigious 2011 Technical Excellence Award from the North American Lake Management Society for contributions to the science of lake and watershed management.
In a press release, FOCA encouraged concerned parties to “speak up for the health of the Ontario waterfront” by providing comments about the funding cuts to The Honourable Jim Bradley, Minister of the Environment: firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-314-6790.
Meanwhile, Rees himself has been named by Water Canada magazine in its annual roundup of extraordinary leaders who are addressing water issues and challenges. A tribute to Rees was published in Water’s Next, “a collection of the people and ideas that are making a difference in Canada’s waterscape and beyond.”