The Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Member of Parliament for Compton-Stanstead and Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, has taken the opportunity of Everblue Massawippi’s Summer Season Launch to announce, in the name of the Honorable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, a federal grant worth $149,156 over two years for a pilot project on Lake Massawippi funded through Transport Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program.
The main goal of this project is to reinforce the value and sense of responsibility concerning the lake and its tributaries, more specifically about boating practices within the established laws and the environmental impacts that come with these practices. Boating safety goes hand in hand with the preservation of Lake Massawippi’s environmental integrity, and while there exists a genuine appreciation of this reality, continued efforts are required in order to ensure its sustainability.
Everblue Massawippi proposes an innovative project to manage boating activities while taking into account the ecologically sensitive zones of the lake. The concept of intelligent boating invites users to take responsibility for their behaviour on the lake and to develop a better understanding of the consequences human activities can have on a lake and its shores. Many tools will be provided to achieve this goal, most notably an interactive map accessible on mobile devices.
The Lake as a Canadian Benchmark / Showcase
The impact of pleasure boating activities on small lakes has been a problem for municipalities and numerous water protection associations for many years now. Last September, eight Compton-Stanstead lake associations united to inform their M.P. Marie-Claude Bibeau of this increasingly problematic situation. Shortly thereafter, the Quebec Association of Municipalities (FQM), who fully supports this cause, joined their ranks. This project will benefit the users by giving them the tools to act responsibly on the lake while raising awareness and will, at the end of the day, benefit Lake Massawippi’s well-being.
As a special guest at the launching of this project, the Compton-Stanstead M.P. stated her satisfaction about the development of this project. ” Everblue Massawippi’s project will put to the test innovative methods which could be of use in other regions across Canada. It has the very real potential of becoming a benchmark for others to follow in terms of managing pleasure boating activities while encouraging required responsible nautical practices.”
Michèle Gérin, Executive Director of Everblue Massawippi, is thrilled about this Intelligent Boating project, even though she acknowledges there is still much work to be done. “We have managed to assemble an impressive number of partners, including the Parc Regional Massawippi, an essential stakeholder on our lake. We have successfully created an interactive map-based application for those using the lake. It will be continually updated with the additional information we gather during the life of the project. Our remarkable team of experts will collect data, publish results, visit our seven partner lakes in the county and, in the end, we believe will be able to better manage boating activities while also protecting our lakes.”
Associates and Partners
Apart from Transport Canada’s grant, Everblue Massawippi can count on many other partners, including the Parc regional Massawippi, the College Servite, several local entrepreneurs and private donations for a total investment of $300,000 over two years.