LOVE THE LAKES STEWARDSHIP
Our Love the Lakes stewardship project aims to protect and enhance the lakes by gaining a better understanding of their ecology; taking practical action; and raising awareness in the community.
Hague and Gunflint Lakes are one of the island’s most treasured swimming and recreation areas. In the spring of 2014 both lakes suffered a series of significant algae blooms, further smaller blooms have occurred annually since.
Algae blooms can be harmful to lakes because they deplete oxygen. Repeated blooms can cause a lake to become low in oxygen, swampy and unhealthy for humans and wildlife. This is a process known as eutrophication.
The blooms sparked widespread concern in our community and led to the establishment in 2014 of FOCI’s lake stewardship project and a long-term water quality monitoring program led by community volunteers.
Our research has shown while the lakes are relatively healthy, they remain at risk, and we need to take action to reduce nutrient input to help stabilize them and ensure they stay healthy for the future. Find out how you can help.
We plan to continue monitoring the lakes and working with the community to protect them. Over the next few years, we aim to:
- Gain a better understanding of the lakes’ ecology, and threats to it, through ongoing monitoring, research, and data collection
- Protect, maintain, and enhance lake habitats and water quality through practical action including bioremediation
- Provide education and training to local residents about what they can do to help
- Provide ongoing training and support to volunteers to undertake water quality monitoring of the lakes
- Work in partnership with local and regional organizations to seek funding and support
Read our Love the Lakes Stewardship Plan to find out more.
If you would like to volunteer or get involved with our lake stewardship program, please contact us at the FOCI office.
Join the FOCI family
Become a Friends of Cortes Island member and support the work that we’re doing in the community to help look after our beautiful island.
Friends of Cortes Island Society (FOCI) is a charitable organization that has been active for over 25 years. Our organization exists to monitor and preserve the health of local ecosystems, and to provide educational programs that foster a greater understanding of the natural environment. Through all of our projects, we work to promote environmental integrity through community responsibility.