Tag Archives: Algae bloom on Cortes Island

May 12th Cortes Virtual Meeting: FOCI’s Larger Picture Vision

Every year, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) allots Cortes Island $25,000 to be distributed to Cortes Island organizations as Grants-in-Aid. While the final decision is made by the SRD Board, the process begins locally. This year Regional Director Noba Anderson has committed to making her recommendation based on the input of Cortes not-for-profit organizations. She asked that they go beyond thinking in terms of the grant and put forward proposals that are of a “bigger minded gutsy nature.” Nine Cortes organizations subsequently submitted 20 project proposals. The most ambitious, six proposals costing a total of $362,936, came from the Friends of Cortes Island Society (FOCI). This is clearly far beyond Grants in Aid and the May 12th Cortes Virtual Community meeting was devoted to a discussion of FOCI’s larger picture vision.

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FOCI: Maintaining Cortes Island Parks For 20 Years

On February 10, 2020, the Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) posted a notice, on the Tideline, about the installation of new rails along the trail at Mansons Spit. They also invited local residents to a broom bash on the Spit, Saturday, March 28th, 10am- 1pm. According to Executive Director Helen Hall, FOCI started maintaining Cortes Island parks twenty years ago.

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Adding Housing While Reducing Human Impact On The Lakes

By Roy L Hales

Cortes has a housing crises. Young families are being forced off the island because of the lack of affordable units and there is not much room for seniors who are no longer able to maintain large lots. The Cortes Housing recently purchased 51 acres in Mansons Landing to help address this issue, but are facing another issue as well. There are already too many nutrients draining into Hague and Gunflint Lakes. In this morning’s program we talk to Rex Weyler, Lake Stewardship Coordinator for the Friends of Cortes Island and David Rousseau, President of the Cortes Island Foundation, about adding housing while reducing human impact on the lakes

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Responses To Cortes Island’s Algae Bloom Problem

By Roy L Hales

The global phenomenon of algae blooms has reached British Columbia. The BC Northern Health issued an advisory for Prince George area last summer. Severe outbreaks have been reported at St. Mary and Cusheon Lakes on Saltspring Island, and Village Bay Lake on Quadra Island. The Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) recently published a monitoring report. I recently interviewed the author, Rex Weyler, about responses to Cortes Island’s algae bloom problem.



“Hague and Gunflint Lakes are typical lakes and the challenges we are having there are also typical when you have a human community that lives around a body of fresh water … The problem is human septic and livestock concentrating nutrients and then passing that into the water table, which then drains into the lake. Those nutrients are feeding the algae booms,” says Weyler.

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