Township of Sioux Narrows - Nestor Falls: Water Quality and Tourism
Rural communities finding creative solutions to water quality issues and tourism.
There is a high consciousness on water Quality in the Township, a contributing factor to this is that 94% of the properties are residential waterfront. Sioux Narrows Nestor Falls has a large proportion of cottage country and an economy largely focused on tourism. These are all drivers for initiatives focused on maintaining healthy water quality.
Some of the successes in planning at Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls revolve around tourism which is a prominent industry in the township.
Official Plan Policy
4.20 Shoreline Development
4.20.1. It is recognized that inland lakes and other water bodies with the municipality are valuable recreational and environmental resources and as such should be protected from development that might cause deterioration of their water quality or fish or wild life habitat. It is the intent of Council that this plan controls the nature and extent of development along the shoreline of water bodies including second tier or back lot development development on islands and development along watercourses flowing into lakes.
Water Quality Policies and By-laws
There are policies in the Official Plan relating to shoreline protection.
There is a new oning by-law which requires that any development must be a minimum of 20 meters away from water. Some of the organizations that aid in ensuring the implementation of these policies include the township and the lake of woods association.
A significant project which was very successful is the Northern Ontario Sport Fishing Centre which was developed and is located in the township.
It is meant as a tourist education and cultural centre.
The facility brings approximately 12,000 visitors in the summer.
Key Lessons and Tools
Come up with creative ways to acquire the necessary funds; this could include writing funding proposals and applying for grants.
Build a coalition with the business community and council.
Break a project down into manageable pieces.
Often any new initiative is seen as a cost; the key is to point out how these projects are investments and will become assets to the community in the long term.
Jeff Port, Planner