The Blue Lakes ecolabel is a program that provides a template for action and education. It is a label and a portfolio of tools, resources, and activities that can be tailored to your lake’s needs. For instance, the program provides educational opportunities, forums, and funding for naturalization and lake-wide projects to improve lake health. The program also provides access to a comprehensive database and app that tracks lake health.
An ecolabel is a voluntary method of environmental certification that recognizes the adoption of stewardship principles or practices. Ecolabels are found around the world. A similar label is the Blue Flag program that certifies beaches and marinas across the globe (www.blueflag.global)
Blue Lakes is not a political initiative, but rather a community of practice.
The label and program is delivered by third party charities of The Land Between and Watersheds Canada to ensure impartiality, and fairness while providing start-up services, resources and support.
The Blue Lake is a voluntary commitment to achieve and advance stewardship goals, with no minimum threshold of participation.
The Blue Lakes Charter (stewardship goals) focuses on six areas of performance:
1. Shoreline health
2. Citizen Science Monitoring
3. Nutrient and Input Management
4. Communications and Social Outreach
5. Habitat Management
6. Invasive Species Management
Blue Lake committee members can include numerous participants, from landowners to businesses to local governments. An individual can become a Blue Lakes participant, but a group of people (lake association) is ideal.
The process for becoming a Blue Lake includes: collecting a group of participants that become a committee responsible for program delivery and assessment, filling out a basic application, agreeing to the Blue Lakes charter (goals/code of conduct), and to providing data to the Blue Lakes database. Once these tasks are completed, you can contact a representative at The Land Between to begin your journey.
Program participants will receive a self assessment scorecard to track all of their accomplishments and success each year. This is submitted annually to maintain the label. This adds a fun little twist for community members to celebrate their success and see where they rank on the Blue Lakes scoreboard year after year!
In addition to self assessments, and in order to maintain quality, the program completes audits to ensure participants are actively working towards stewardship practices. Success will be measured by a group’s or individual’s ability to improve and advance each year.
The Blue Lakes Program also offers ways to learn, network and grow. Get your passport to Blue Lakes events, workshops, webinars and other resources.
For more information or if you have any questions, please contact:
The Land Between Charity, Blue Lakes Program Department
Box 1368 , Haliburton, ON, K0M 1S0