Mississippi Lake Plan
Just as a municipality relies on an "Official Plan" to guide development and businesses develop their "Business Plan" as a road map to growth and prosperity, the Mississippi Lake Plan sets out issues, priorities, objectives and actions for the MLA. The Lake Plan essentially establishes a "Charter" for the MLA, as a valuable means of focusing our attention and resources.
Lake Plan 2021
The current edition of the Lake Plan was adopted in May 2021 after an extensive review of the progress that had been made since 2015 on the original Plan (see below), and further feedack from the lake community via a survey conducted in 2020. Lake Plan 2021 will guide the MLA's efforts for the next five years, at which time a further review and update is planned.
Visit the Lake Plan 2021 document to review in detail the Goals, Objectives, and Actions which the MLA has committed to undertake, and which will be implemented to the best of our abilities, given available resources and funding.
Lake Plan 2015
The Lake Plan process was initiated in 2012 and was presented at the AGM in May 2015, where it was approved by the MLA Members. See below for the detailed steps that were followed in developing this Plan. The Lake Plan committee consisted of: MLA Directors and volunteers; representatives from the municipalities of Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills and the townships of Beckwith and Drummond/North Elmsley; and specialists from the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA), Watersheds Canada, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Lanark Health Unit.
Developing the Lake Plan
A great deal of effort and research was required to determine the many factors influencing the health of the lakes's ecosystem and the extent to which the MLA could assist in the stewardship of the lake. One of the first steps required to build the Lake Plan was to catalog everything that was currently known about the lake. The resultant report was called the Mississippi Lake Today Report which covered a wide variety of topics, including:
Surface Water Quality
Land Use and Development
Boating and Recreation
Groundwater - Quality and Quantity
Carleton Place Water System (Source Water Protection)
Next, lake residents and the general community were asked to complete a survey to identify concerns and priorities. Not surprisingly, the survey identified the principal concern as water quality. But, the survey also pointed to very many issues and topics of interest to the lake community, all of which were given due consideration when developing courses of action for the Plan.
Two public consultations were also held in the Summer and Autumn of 2014 to further gather and process first-hand citizen opinion and experience. Feedback from these two consulations was incorporated into a revised draft which was then submitted in April 2015 for review by a Technical Advisory Committee and the Councils of the four municipalities. In turn, their feedback was incorporated into the final version of the Plan which was presented to the MLA membership at the AGM in 2015.
The resultant Mississippi Lake Plan 2015 identified six Goals, which were further broken down into 18 Objectives and 65 Actions covering a broad range of topics. The six Goals are summarized as follows:
Develop a better understanding of the factors that determine water quality in the lake and watershed and recommend measures to improve and maintain clean water.
Advocate conservation measures that balance the ecological need for aquatic vegetation with human desire for unobstructed waterways.
Water Levels and Flooding:
Promote public awareness of the natural effects of flooding as the waterway’s method of coping with spring melt and heavy rain events, the scope of the flood plain around the watershed and the water management role of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority.
Maintain a healthy ecosystem for all plants and creatures that live in and around the lake, including the natural wetlands, which are essential to the health of the lake.
Land Use and Development:
Advocate for responsible land management and development that respects the natural environment.
Social and Recreational:
Expand the use of communications tools to build a sense of community awareness and shared responsibility for the lake environment among lake residents and users.