A primary focus of the Friends of Lac des Roches and Birch Lake is on preservation of the lake environment. This includes protection of the water quality of the lake as well as preservation of fish and wildlife habitat in and around the lake. This is largely a public education activity, aimed at ensuring that property owners and users of the lake are aware of their potential impact on the lake environment and what they can do to reduce that impact.
How aware are you of your impact on the lake? Did you know that:
- Clean and tidy lawns make dirty lakes and streams. They can speed up runoff, contribute to soil erosion and add chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides.
- Alterations to your natural shoreline such as the removal of rocks, trees, and other live and fallen vegetation, put your buffer area at risk of erosion and destroys critical fish and wildlife habitat.
- Pouring solvents, drain cleaners and other chemicals down the drain can damage your septic system and contaminate the groundwater.
- Using septic system boosters can break down waste solids and allow them to be flushed into groundwater thereby adding unwanted nutrients to the lake system.
There is a great deal of helpful information available on-line. A good place to start is with the Lake Care pamphlet ( 4 pages, 1.4 MByte) produced by the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund of the BC Ministry of Environment. The pamphlet provides a brief overview of why it is important to care for your lake and what it means.
Another excellent source of information is the Living By Water Project. Started by two B.C. residents the project has spread across the country and has partnered with groups such as Nature Canada and the Federation of British Columbia Naturalists. The website provides detailed and practical information on erosion, native plants, water quality, septic systems, purchasing tips, construction tips, docks, home and yard, recreation and boating, and co-existing with wildlife.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has collaborated with Cottage Life magazine to produce a series of “primers” specifically for the Ontario cottage country. Much of what is included in the primers is relevant to the Bridge Lake area.