HOW YOU CAN HELP
We need everyone to do what they can to help keep our lakes healthy for the future.
Algae blooms are caused by too many nutrients, particularly nitrates and phosphates entering the lakes, which can result from human activities such as the use of fertilizers and detergents, agricultural run-off, and seepage from septic systems.
So, our actions around the lakes can greatly affect water quality. To ensure they stay healthy we need everyone to love our lakes and do what they can to help. Here are our top tips!
Check your septic – septic systems that are not properly maintained can cause wastewater to seep into the lakes. We recommend that you check your system annually, and maintain it regularly to avoid problems.
Go phosphate free – please use only phosphate free soaps and detergents, they are readily available at the island’s stores.
Garden with care – avoid inorganic fertilizers, which typically contain nitrates, and ensure organic manures are well composted before use on your garden
Preserve the shore – it is a vital wildlife habitat, and helps filter unwanted nutrients. Keep it intact, plant a native buffer, or leave a strip to go wild.
Go easy on the water – reduce your water flow by using low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets; limit flushing; use washing machines and dishwashers sparingly
Watch your waste – Don’t put toxic chemicals such as paints and thinners down the drain. They can kill vital bacteria in your septic system and leach into the lake.
Boats and docks – Before putting your boat into the lakes check for plant fragments, Eurasian milfoil is an aggressive invasive plant – keep watch and don’t transfer it to the lakes. Please don’t use metal drums on docks, they rust and pollute.
If you are taking action for the lakes we would love to hear from you! Please contact us at the FOCI office to let us know what steps you are taking. We would also be happy to offer advice if needed. So, please feel free to get in touch!
Other ways you can help!
Volunteer! Why not join our lake monitoring volunteers and help support our lake monitoring program? Just contact us at the FOCI office – we would love to hear from you!
Make a donation! Your contribution will help cover the costs of lab analysis, community education and practical action. Donate online here or send a cheque, payable to Friends of Cortes Island, to us as the FOCI office.
Buy a T-shirt! We are thrilled to be selling Love the Lakes T-shirts. Buy a T-shirt, look cool and help the lakes! With thanks to Lisa Gibbons for her beautiful design. T-shirts are available from 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.