Why the Blue Patrol?
The new Blue Patrol does not replace the current MRC ’s patrol whose time is divided between 3 lakes and who only gives tickets. The Blue Patrol is Lake Massawippi’s very own and works full-time on everything related to quality of life: shorelines, water quality, blue-green algae, noise, speed, weed beds, communication, sensitization. Based on usability principles, cordiality and conciliation, the Blue Patrol is a permanent player on the lake, for you, with you.
The Friendly Patrol
Everblue Massawippi Inaugurates the Blue Patrol – The Patrol Reinvented
It is with great pride that Everblue Massawippi introduced the new Blue Patrol during a press conference at the Pilsen on May 28. The idea of establishing a full-time patrol has been brewing for three years. “Our multiple ongoing projects in conjunction with the remarkable growth of our membership argued in favour of the establishment of this permanent presence, a different kind of patrol – scientific on one hand, awareness-raising on the other,” explains Roberto Toffoli, vice president of Everblue Massawippi.
The scientific mandate of the patrol is quite large and diverse. Sampling, inventory of aquatic plants, review of shoreline
buffer zones and blue-green algae monitoring are all issues on which Everblue Massawippi has worked a long time with the means available. The new patrol will enable effective, regular and timely action, and in-depth analyzes.
Everblue Massawippi purchased modern though modest equipment to answer its needs. The patrol will be able to respond in less than half an hour to a call from a waterfront resident or boater who, for example, wishes to report a blue-green algae bloom. Similarly, a member or a municipality that believes an inappropriate cutting of trees is being carried out on shore, even on weekends, can contact us for a timely evaluation of the situation.
The patrol’s educational mandate focuses on two areas: the shorelines and water activities. All summer the patrol will tactfully interact with residents who are not yet convinced that protecting the lake is a collaborative effort. At the same time, the patrol will create a detailed report and inventory of the shores using GPS. Our 2010 inventory will thus be updated and transmitted to the Parc régional Massawippi.
On the busiest days, the patrol will focus on raising boaters’ awareness. They will encourage users of motorized water crafts to make use of the prescribed corridor; remind them that music bothers not only local residents, but also all other users of the lake; and explain why they should avoid shallow bays and aquatic plant beds. Convincing through communication, this is the essence of their work. In cases of flagrant illegality, a courtesy warning will be given before the MRC patrol or the Sûreté du Québec is called in.
The Blue Patrol does not replace the MRC patrol, which has to manage three lakes and whose mandate is strictly limited to enforcing regulations and issuing fines. The Blue Patrol’s mission is largely positive and complementary: improve water quality and improve quality of life, one tactful interaction at a time. Roberto Toffoli is convinced that the Blue Patrol will become a major player on the lake: “We are betting on being able to bring about change through conciliation by advocating harmonious cohabitation. This is not a new policy, we simply want the patrol to reflect those values. Unlimited access to the lake for all is possible if it is done with respect; respect for nature first, followed by respect for others.”
Everblue Massawippi selected its patrol with care – they are competent and enthusiastic (see their stories below). They will officially begin on June 15. To contact them: email@example.com or 819-238-4410. The Blue Patrol works for you, welcome it like family.
Our Patrollers: Real Scientists and Easy to Talk To
The two pillars of the Blue Patrol are passionate about water.
Kevin Cloutier has a BSc in biology, a solid background in ecology and studies in computer management. At 28, he has a broad work experience, including participation in an awareness project for boaters and fishers sponsored by COVABAR (the Richelieu/Saint-Laurent watershed organization) and an eight-month internship at the MRC du Granit (Lac Mégantic) devoted to the furthering of shoreline awareness. Kevin is familiar with working in consultation and the ideal candidate to interact with the different actors in the municipal sector. He can also expertly advise residents who want to comply with the shoreline management bylaws. Scientifically speaking, Kevin is trained in taxonomy – he took part in the University of Sherbrooke stream salamander project – and will be able to see our aquatic plant cataloguing project through. Quiet, friendly and attentive, Kevin will be our ears on the lake all summer.
For a few hours each week, Kevin will take leave of the patrol to work with local agriculture producers (the Tomifobia-Massawippi Watershed-Filter Project). His experience at Laval University as research trainee on the comfort of dairy cows will be an asset in building rapport with the targeted farmers.
Christophe Anderson just completed the second year of the Techniques of Bio-Ecology program at the Sherbrooke CEGEP. His presentation wowed us from the start: “I am aware of the many problems linked to watersheds. Whether it be the re-vegetation of shorelines, water-level control or the study of tributary rivers, I understand the water conservation issues. Several of my classes seem particularly relevant for this job, especially those of general ecology, taxonomy and plant inventory, computer science and environmental geographic information system (ArcGIS) technique.”
Christophe, then, is the technician par excellence to assist Kevin. He will be responsible for sampling and the detection of cyanobacteria. But he has other tricks up his sleeve: he is a National Lifeguard, has been a Water Safety Monitor for three years and has training in general first-aid. Perfectly bilingual, he will be an outstanding ambassador for us, very open-minded and approachable. Despite his youth, he already has an international cooperation trip to his credit (Peru, 2013), trekked and mountaineered in the Andes (Bolivia, 2014) as part of the Éducaventure course and taken part in several school trips to France, England and Western Canada. These experiences with nature have undoubtedly led him to develop his remarkable sense of belonging: “As a Townshipper, I am proud to know the many lakes of the region well, be it Little Lake Magog, Lake Lyster or of course Lake Massawippi. I am a fishing enthusiast and a former open water swimmer – water bodies have always fascinated me and their conservation is important to me. This job proposal is a dream for me.” Christophe illustrates the qualities we hope for in the Blue Patrol; cordial though serious, responsible, competent and open.
Welcome our patrollers warmly and do not hesitate to ask them for help.
Note: The Blue Patrol will be comprised of volunteers on some days. Technical questions will be referred to the patrollers on their return.