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Waking up the Watershed

Waking up the Watershed
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Annabel Slaight

If you saw 100 women dressed in yellow shirts singing the praises of Lake Simcoe, you would probably think your eyes were deceiving you. Not so, the Ladies of the Lake is an association of over 100 such women who are seeking new and innovative ways to get people active in returning their lake to the good health it once enjoyed.

Annabel Slaight is best known as editor and publisher of children’s books and magazines and kids tv producer. But these days, this retired media maven is most involved in the Ladies of the Lake Conservation Association of which she is co-founder.

This GreenHero's association is spearheading a new cross-discipline approach to conservation and renewal. Through the use of art, media and other forms of education, this group is promoting interest and participation in bringing lake Simcoe back to health after 30 years of neglect. Annabel and her friend Jane Meredith, co-founded The Ladies after realizing what dire straights the area was in. Cold-water fish were no longer breeding, some beaches were no longer suitable places for families to play and the bio-diversity had shifted in favour of invasive plant and insect life.

Instead of mandating a simple clean-up regime, Annabel and the Ladies have managed to engage people in a new and inventive way. An example of this was the 2009 W.A.S.T.E. film project, this stands for We Are Saving The Environment and it saw 64 youth attend film courses and create short films to prompt action to save Lake Simcoe. This culminated with a film festival and a conference that was well attended and you can view all films on-line!

The Ladies’ newest project is The Ontario Water Centre. Which seeks to educate the public about water and why it is so integral to our health and how Canada can set an example as defenders of the world’s water. This vision of combining all types of professionals and creativities to appreciate and protect our most precious natural resource is truly inspiring. It kicks off this August with the SPLASH Floating Water Festival in Jacksons 's Point.

TAKE ACTION

Get conserving! Find out where your local conservation authority is and see what you can do to help out.

If you are near Lake Simcoe, contact the Ladies of the Lake and find out about their latest projects. From photography competitions to races, there is something for everyone to participate in.

Contact the Ministry of Environment to find out about their Drinking Water Surveillance Program contributing to their water initiatives and find out what projects are happening in your area and get involved.

The Water Environment Association of Ontario is an NGO that connects people and associations concerned with water preservation. Check out the events and how you can help the collective.

Buy tickets to the Splash Festival, an event led by Ladies of the Lake to teach the community about water and protect Lake Simcoe. Splash takes place on August 17 and 18, 2012 at De La Salle Park, Georgina, Ontario.

SPEAK UP

Download the flyer to call the Marine OPP about enforcing motorboat muffler by-laws on Lake Simcoe, and share it with your neighbours.

Tell the Province that you want a strong Lake Simcoe Protection Plan: Support Campaign Lake Simcoe's submission to the Ministry of the Environment

SPREAD THE WORD

Help the environment by telling people about Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which are the toxic chemical substances that bioaccumulate within food as well as water sources, and are generated through human activity. To hear more about POPs in food webs, our exposure to them, and how to reduce them check out what Greenpeace and Environment Canada have to say about them.

Embed our GreenHeroes story about Annabel Slaight and the Ladies of the Lake on your blog, website or Facebook page with our Sharelizer widget. Let everyone see what moved her to become the GreenHero she is today!

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