Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editorial Board are being welcomed from our members in good standing. The Association Executive wants to hear your views and stories about life at Grand Lake, or comments about the newsletters or other activities.  The Grand Lake Editorial Board includes Ray Otten, Rosaline Frith and François Jacques. Send your submissions to rosfrith@outlook.com .





Dec 22, 2021 Francois Jacques and family ….

Over the past summer there has been much discussion over powerboats and
how they impact the peaceful enjoyment of the lake by others. These
discussions when looked at from a different perspective appear to be
missing a key component: pollution in all its forms. Our water quality tests
over the last few years show the negative impact of human activities on the
health of our lake.
The direct link between human activities on a lake and phosphate
increase/water clarity decrease is irrefutable. Short of Draconian measures,
which would be totally unrealistic and unsupportable, there is really no
action that will halt or reverse the gradual degradation of the lake without
complete buy-in and cooperation of all lake residents. Simply, water quality
and environmental stewardship is, and will be, the responsibility of all of us.
The three most significant contributors to this degradation are shoreline
erosion, chemical runoff, and careless operation of boats.
From the 2019 newsletter
We live in a world that is presently 1.2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial
era temperatures. A world which according to Climate Action Tracker (CAT)
if existing Paris Accord targets are met and promises kept has a 68% chance
of a global peak temperature increase between 1.9°C and 3.0°C by 2100. A
3°C world is thus both a pretty likely outcome if nothing more gets done and
the worst that might still happen even if things go very well.
In such a world, coastal cities that hundreds of millions now call home
would be changed utterly if they persist at all. Much of the present tropical
areas would become uninhabitable. More than a quarter of the world’s
population would be exposed to extreme drought conditions for at least one
month a year. Coral reefs would disappear completely and with it a trillion
dollar global industry. The Amazon rainforest, the planet’s lungs, already
weakened by logging and burning, would be very unlikely to survive in such a
Climate change deniers may scoff at those facts but cannot deny the impact
of pollution in all its forms; air, sound, water etcetera has had on nature and
humanity itself.
Palaeontologists characterize mass extinctions as times when the Earth
loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short interval,
as has happened only five times in the past 540 million years or so. Biologists
now suggest that a sixth mass extinction may be under way, given the
known species losses over the past few centuries and millennia.
Global plastic production increases approximately 9% every year, with 335
million tons produced in 2016. Phthalates are used as plasticizers to soften
plastic products. Their occurrence has been reported in human breast milk,
blood and urine. Their impact on humans remains to be determined.
Research have demonstrated a direct link between the use of two
pesticides, rotenone and paraquat and the occurrence of Parkinson's

The Grand Lake microsome as you are all well aware is not immune to these
disturbing global changes. Current human activities will inexorably lead to
the gradual degradation and even death of Grand Lake. We as an association
have a responsibility of stewardship towards the lake, its flora and fauna and
an interest in preserving the economic value of our cottages. We have to ask
ourselves what kind of legacy we wish to leave our children; a suburb with a
pond with little or no fauna where even swimming could be hazardous or a
priceless refuge where our children can commute with nature and enjoy
many water activities. The latter however requires us to question the status
quo and to change our longstanding habits and expectations. We all have to
buy in. Solutions are often complex but some are quite obvious; high
powered boats are not only impacting the enjoyment of the lake by others,
but also needlessly destroying the environment and degrading our
investment. Just the sound pollution of high powered boats significantly
impacts birds, reptiles, fish even flora let alone the destruction of nesting
areas, shoreline and lake bottoms. Plastic docks overtime introduce micro
plastics into the lake’s food chain. Manicured well fertilized lawns drain
phosphates and nitrogen into the lake. Two stroke combustion engines spew
inordinate amounts of oil directly into the water… We need to consider the
impact of our actions not only on our neighbours but the lake itself and its
inhabitants and not only in the immediate but into the future. It is therefore
incontrovertible that we must all reimagine what life and enjoyment of the
lake entails and put actions to our words for the benefit of the lake, its
inhabitants, our financial interest and our future generations.

Francois Jacques and family