TAY RIVER WATERSHED PLAN
Round Table Meeting
Thursday June 10, 1999 - 7:00 p.m.
Perth Council Chambers
Attendance at this meeting of the Round Table was by invitation. In order to determine serious interest in the watershed plan, a telephone survey was conducted before the invitations were sent out. From this survey, the original list of 74 names (see Minutes of March 25 Round Table Meeting) was reduced to 64 interested people. The current list of Round Table members is attached as Appendix 1.
Thirty people attended the meeting. A list of attendees is attached as Appendix 2.
Included with the invitation was a copy of the Tay River Watershed Plan Work Plan dated June 1, 1999. The Work Plan has been sent to all Round table members; anyone who did not receive a copy may obtain one from Lynn Preston/RVCA.
Two brochures were available for attendees:
"River Care 2000: Rideau-Cataraqui" and
"Down by the Riverside" a co-production of RVCA, the Canadian Museum of Nature and others.
The meeting agenda is attached as Appendix 3.
1. Welcome and Introductions
Co-chair Mike Mosher opened the meeting with a welcome and introductions.
2. Update on Round Table Membership
Co-chair David Taylor advised of one recent change to the membership of the Executive Committee. The Round Table approved the new Executive Committee list (Appendix 4).
David also introduced suggested changes to the membership of the Round Table (RT). As a result of the telephone survey, and elimination of duplication, the RT membership was reduced from 75 people to 64. It was proposed that each organization be limited to one voting representative and one or more alternates. Any number may attend the meetings from each organization as observers.
It was suggested that each lake association select a Round Table representative and alternate or alternates. This could be accomplished at the regular annual lake association meetings over the summer and the names could be submitted to Lynn or David Taylor, or at the next Round Table meeting. The representatives or alternate(s) may be changed anytime throughout the year. Agreed.
David then asked the meeting to confirm the incumbents or suggest alternates for the interim co-chairs: David Taylor and Mike Mosher. It was suggested that for continuity, the interim chairs remain in those positions. It was suggested that the chair positions be reviewed once a year in order to provide the incumbents with an opportunity to step down if desired. The review date was established for one year from the day of the meeting. Agreed.
3. Changes to Terms of Reference
The meeting was asked to approve a change in the Terms of Reference to reduce the membership of the Round Table from 75 to 64. Agreed.
4. Discussion of Work Plan
Lynn Preston, RVCA, led a page-by-page review and discussion of the Work Plan dated June 1, 1999. Some of the comments and questions that were raised follow:
5. Volunteer Opportunities
Lynn Preston reported on a number of volunteer opportunities for interested people.
EOBM: The Eastern Ontario Biodiversity Museum in Kemptville is looking for volunteers to report on Biodiversity in Eastern Ontario. This group offers a symbiotic partnership for the Tay watershed group. It was agreed that Monika Taylor and RVCA staff set up a presentation to interested Tay residents by EOBM. The presentation will indicate how and what resident can do to report wildlife encounters. This will likely be set up for the week of July 5. All residents interested in monitoring wildlife in their backyard are urged to attend. Further details to follow.
Water levels: Lynn reported that water levels are being monitored on the Tay River but
that information is needed on the lakes and tributaries. Gauges may be installed on Jebbís Creek. The lake associations are encouraged to provide lake level information to the RVCA.
Lake Associations AGMs: Lynn reported that the Round Table members would like to
attend lake association annual general meetings, if possible. The purpose would be to get the word of the watershed plan out to the members and to indicate how we can work together to exchange information and identify what opportunities there may be for people to volunteer to help obtain more local knowledge. RVCA staff will contact each lake association to see if they would like Round Table members to attend.
This spring staff at the RVCA are sampling the bugs and little critters that live in the river. Knowledge of the variety and populations of these critters help us understand the overall health of the water. This fall, volunteers will be sought to conduct further sampling. RVCA staff will be looking for people to come out once or twice a year to help us capture and identify these critters. Anyone who wishes to volunteer now is welcome.
Obtaining local knowledge is crucial to gain a better understanding of the features and functions of the local environment. It was suggested that information sessions be held in the fall. Time and location of these sessions will be made available at a later date.
Roger Needham, Professor of Geography at the University of Ottawa reported on six "diagnostic and design" assignments completed this term by his fourth year students. Research work was done using the Tay and RVCA as a resource and model. The studentsí comprehensive reports will be finished this week and made available to RVCA. The topics include:
Dr Needham implored the Round Table to plan to include students from all levels
in the work of the plan as a means of getting the work done, but also to provide younger people with an "equity share" in the world they will inherit.
6. Communications Plan
Carol Dillon accepted the responsibility for Communications and Public Relations at the last Executive Meeting. A suggested communications strategy is outlined on pages 19-20 of the Work Plan.
Carol liaises with Charles Billington, RVCA, who offers expertise, experience, resources (such as design services and desktop publishing) and some funding support.
The goals of the Communication Plan are:
Communications initiatives include a web site (currently located on the Bathurst, Burgess and Sherbrooke township site - address is www.twpbbs.com) and a series of newspaper articles highlighting different aspects of the Tay watershed. The first press release was scheduled for June 11, 1999 and was distributed to seven area newspapers; six heads of council in the six municipalities; OMYA Inc; the Perth Chamber of Commerce; and the lakes associations during the next regular mailing. A series of articles about the Tay are being developed.
Currently, Charles, Lynn and Carol are working on the design of a newsletter and brochure. Completion time is estimated for end of summer.
7. Summer Students
Lynn Preston reported that a total of 6 students will be hired to work on the watershed plan this summer. Four students will be working on fish sampling on the Tay River itself doing shocking and hoop netting to determine the type and health of the fish in the river. They will also be conducting stream surveys to identify the habitat of the river and its potential. These students will be working out of the Ministry of Natural Resources office in Kemptville.
Two other students will be assisting in compiling background information. One will be researching the history of the watershed and will be working closely with the historical committee of the project. This student will also be assisting Carol with the communications end of things and will help in writing newspaper articles, press releases, etc. The other student will be responsible for researching the recreation and tourism resources and potential of the watershed.
These 6 students are working on this project because of partnerships formed with the Otty Lake and Christie Lake Associations and with the Round Table. Funding is being provided by Human Resources Development Canada, the province of Ontario and the RVCA.
Lynn announced a subsidy program for testing ground water quality. The subsidy is available to landowners in the Tay River watershed who participate in the Baseliine Well Water Testing Program offered through the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). The OFA currently provides up to 40% of the cost of analyzing well water to the rural landowner. The further subsidy, offered by the RVCA will provide up to an extra 50% (or $50 - which ever is less) of that cost for analysis done in the Tay River watershed. The purpose is to get some good information on groundwater quality in the cheapest possible way. Anyone interested in participating in the program can contact your local Agriculture and Food office, the OFA at 1-800-668-3276 or the RVCA at 1-800-267-3504 Ext. 117 for more information.
Lynn announced that River Care 2000 will be holding a meeting and information
workshop on June 24, 1999 at St Paulís United Church, Perth. River Care 2000 is a joint initiative put forth by a number of partners, including the RVCA, Parks Canada, Ministry of Natural Resources, and others. The purpose of River Care 2000 is to determine firstly, what the environmental problems, issues are on the Rideau River and its tributaries (of which the Tay River is one) according to the local people and secondly determine how these issues can be dealt with at the local level. The River Care 2000 people want to hear from you, the people on the Tay. The meeting of June 24 will focus on issues and problems on the Tay so come out and listen and voice your opinion too.
9. Location of Next Round Table Meeting
In order to more equitably reflect the geographical area of the watershed, Mike Mosher asked for suggestions for other possible locations for the next meeting of the Round Table. None were suggested at the meeting.
10. Other Business
A question was raised about a forthcoming Bathurst, Burgess and Sherbrooke township meeting to discuss a proposed zoning bylaw amendment by OMYA Canada Ltd. As OMYA is a large industrial complex situated on a tributary of the Tay River, and a major funding contributor to the Watershed Plan, the question was raised as to whether the watershed group should send an official representative. It was suggested that interested individuals attend and report back to the group. No official rep of the Round Table was deemed necessary.
The meeting adjourned at 9:20 and enthusiastic talk continued on the front steps of the Perth Town Hall.
Appendix 1; Round Table Membership List
Appendix 2; Meeting Participants
Appendix 3; Meeting Agenda
Appendix 4; Executive Committee List (at June 14)