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Take Care of the Lake: July Community Partner - Scugog Lake Stewards

Each month we feature an organization who works to make our community better. For our July collaboration with the Scugog Lake Stewards, we wanted to elevate our efforts in order to help support one of our communities’ greatest assets: the lake.

In partnership with the Scugog Lake Stewards and Take Care Tattoo, we are excited to launch Take Care of the Lake a carbonated water with lime. $1.50 from each can sale will go to support the Scugog Lake Stewards and the Lake Scugog Enhancement Project (LSEP). The label was designed by Jen Lawes of Take Care Tattoo, depicting crucial floral and fauna that inhabit our lake and make it a healthy ecosystem. We plan to fill the month of July with events and chatter to raise awareness about our lake and its needs. Keep an eye on our events calendar and social media for updates on events to help support! 

We were able to snag some time with Barbara Karthein, Communications and Education Director of the Scugog Lake Stewards, to chat about the operations and needs of the organization as they work to make our lake healthy through the LSEP.

“Erosion of shorelines and stormwater runoff are one the biggest threats to our lake. Much of this is directly related to climate change and development.” says Karthein, “Because we are the headwaters of the Trent-Severn Waterway, we have a big responsibility to keep our lake healthy.” 

The Lake Scugog Enhancement Project’s goal is to construct a wetland ecosystem to improve the management of stormwater and filter waters moving into Port Perry Bay from one of the largest stormwater outlets on the lake; keeping it fit for flora and fauna alike to flourish.

Stormwater runoff, carrying pollution and sediment, has severely degraded the Bay limiting boat access, fishing, and curbing recreation activities. The project will dredge soils and invasive aquatic plants from the Bay and create a restorative wetland surrounded by a berm, topped by a walking trail with benches and interpretive signage. It will create and enhance natural habitats. The increased stormwater runoff caused by climate change is a major risk factor in accelerating eutrophication of the Bay, resulting in greater economic losses in boating, fishing and other recreational uses, along with associated tourism draw.

“90% of lake life starts within 20 feet of the shoreline. Naturalized shorelines on properties are important to help make the whole lake normal again,” mentioned Karthein.

Project co-benefits include establishing healthy aquatic ecosystems that support spawning grounds for native fish species, establishing healthy terrestrial ecosystems that provide greater habitat for Species at Risk, including migratory birds, waterfowl, amphibians, and reptiles; and providing a new and exciting community trail and fishing platform out in the Bay, which in turn will have a ripple effect of positivity in the community.

The health of Port Perry Bay and Lake Scugog is dire to the communities’ growth as it acts as a major tourism draw, bringing people into town to enjoy the shoreline and then support the shops and restaurants in town. 

“The most popular activities enjoyed on Lake Scugog are boating, fishing and swimming! Our lake is huge and there continues to be many places to swim, but my favourite activity is enjoying the sunsets,” included Karthein.

The Scugog Lake Stewards have been in operation since 1999 working to revitalize the shoreline and conducting countless research projects on what more can be done to improve the health of the lake.

“We launched the Millennium Trail in 1999. The shoreline is so different now than what it use to be. No one would walk there before and now so many people get to enjoy the trail,” says Karthein, “One of our main efforts is to educate and communicate through partnerships and connections like this.”

To stay up to date with the efforts of the Scugog Lake Stewards follow them on their website: www.scugoglakestewards.com or on social media through their Facebook and Instagram pages or become a member through a donation of $40. By becoming a member, you will receive newsletters, access to webinars and be notified of opportunities to volunteer. Thank you for helping to support our lake!!

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