The Pigeon Lake Watershed Management Plan was started by the Pigeon Lake Watershed Association (PLWA) in 2009 after the PLWA commissioned report: Pigeon Lake State of the Watershed Report included a recommendation to create a plan with the watershed community and experts on how we will work to lessen the watershed impacts on the lake.
Spearheaded in large part by Don Smallwood a PLWA Director, who secured an initial Steering Committee made up primarily of a mix of environmental, stewardship and government (Provincial and Municipal) representatives from the Pigeon Lake watershed.
That steering committee laid the initial foundation, scoping the planning work and requesting Alberta Environment to assist by creating a current nutrient budget based as much as possible on actual data versus extrapolations from other studies. A nutrient budget tells the amounts of nutrients coming into the lake from the different sources such as natural surface runoff, non-point source pollution, leaking septic systems, atmospheric deposition, groundwater and wildlife. It provides insight into the causes of lake eutrophication (the process of increased productivity, organic matter and sediments) that reduce recreational opportunities and economic assets throughout the watershed.
The creation of watershed management plans has been widely adopted as the best way to provide a roadmap which coordinates the efforts of municipalities, watershed groups and the community in determining and implementing the best possibilities to enhance the water quality.
Watershed efforts include:
- Non-point source actions. Diffuse sources of contaminants throughout the watershed. An example of addressing a non-point source would be the elimination of the use of cosmetic nutrients.
- Point-source actions. Specific sources of contaminants coming into the lake. For example specific streams that are bringing into the lake pollutants and nutrient rich water. Addressing this might include implementing a diversion to slow and filter the water before it enters the lake.
The PLWMP is being guided by the Water for Life Strategy and planning process in order that we draw on the expertise and learnings that have preceded us, as well as to support the possibility of having the PLWMP recognized by the Alberta Water Council.
2016 / 17 PLWMP Steering Committee Participants
- Robert (Bob) Gibbs, PLWMP Chair and PLWA Director (Silver Beach)
Pigeon Lake Watershed Association (PLWA)
- Susan Ellis, PLWA President and Engagement Committee Chair (Itaska)
- Daniel Kenway, PLWA Director (Sundance)
- Ron Laing, PLWA Director (Poplar Bay)
- Elynne Murray, PLWMP Project Manager
Association of Pigeon Lake Municipalities (APLM) Representatives & Other Municipal Representatives
- Rex Neilson, APLM Co-Chair and Councilor of the Summer Village of Itaska Beach
- Glenn Belozer, Leduc County Councillor
- Don Davidson, Mayor of the Summer Village of Grandview
- Nicholaus Moffat, Leduc County Parks Planner
- Kim Barkwell, Sustainable Agriculture Program Coordinator, Leduc County and County of Wetaskiwin
Watershed Community Members
- Doris Bell, Councillor of the Summer Village of Crystal Springs
- Ron LaJeunesse, Community member of Crystal Springs
- Ruth Harrison, Former PLWA Director
- Tom Karpa, Pigeon Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce
Environmental & Stewardship Partners and Agencies
- David Samm, Executive Director, Battle River Watershed Alliance (BRWA)
- Sarah Skinner, Watershed Planning Coordinator, BRWA
- Leta van Duin, Executive Director, Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership
- Brad Peters, Executive Director Alberta Lake Management Society
Provincial Government Members
- · Wiebe Buruma, Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development (AA&RD)
- · Karen Emde, Healthy Physical Environments – Alberta Health Services
- · Arin MacFarlane Dyer, Watershed Planner, Alberta Environment and Parks
Other Interested Parties
- Blake Bartlett, Chair, Wizard Lake Watershed and Lake Stewardship Association
- Linda Bartlett, Wizard Lake Watershed and Lake Stewardship Association
With the expertise of Bob Gibbs, when he joined the PLWA Board and took on the Chair of the Watershed the Steering Committee enhanced the PLWMP Terms of Reference and solicited key stakeholders to provide feedback.
The Steering Committee determined that the PLWMP would be an action-oriented planning process, tackling topics as resources permitted, with the potential to help the health of the watershed and lake.
A Committee on Cosmetic Fertilizers and Soil Management and a Committee to develop a Model Land Use Bylaw (MLUB) were formed. See more details under the Topics.
When monies were secured from the Royal Bank Blue Water Fund in August of 2012 then, with the addition of monies from the Leduc County, the work of these committees was compelled forward.
It is important to understand that while the PLWA is deeply committed to developing the PLWMP and provides the governance. It must be developed with the input and participation of many stakeholders, leaders and members of the watershed community in order for the recommendations of the plan to be implemented and that the plan makes a significant difference for the health of the lake.