The Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners’ Association (KLCOA) is educating people out of concern about pesticide use around lakes.  

The association hosted Muskoka’s Dr. Chris Brew May 18 during its spring general meeting. More than 100 people attended the session, which detailed issues behind pesticides and the risk they pose to the health of lakes, pollinators and humans.  

Brew said some of the research done around pest-control sprays, namely ones containing the insecticide permethrin, have flaws and are using out-of-date information.  

“The dangers of permethrin to both ourselves and wildlife are potentially seriously underestimated by government pesticide regulatory bodies,” Brew said. “I get the feeling we don’t know really how contaminated our water system is.”  

“We stand in direct contrast to the European Union. They got on the bandwagon early and they have banned it for agriculture because of the concerns of letting it into the water,” Brew said.  

KLCOA vice president Jim Prince said the board decided to host Brew’s presentation after members brought forward concerns about applicators spraying properties broadly for insect control.  

“We thought it would be a good idea to bring somebody on board that could help educate the membership and the general population of the lake on the impact of permethrin,” Prince said.   

Brew highlighted the potential damage spraying pesticides can have on the ecological system.

Using the example of the spray DRAGNET, she said ingestion can cause damage to bees, birds, amphibians and soil health. 

Prince said the KLCOA will poll its members to decide what to do about the issue.

“When we get the signal back from our membership, we’ll go forward and do some more work on this,” Prince said.  

President Deb Wratscko said the association would also be considering positions on short-term cottage rentals, abandoned docks and boating safety with respect to shoreline erosion. 

 “We want to know what our members are thinking in relation to these issues so we can develop a position as a membership group, if we want to go to Dysart (et al) with it,” she said. 

Dysart et al’s environment and climate change committee discussed pesticides and fertilizers May 9.

Although it made no recommendations, the committee did consider asking for the upcoming county shoreline protection bylaw to include limits on the chemicals.  

The area’s cottage associations are in the midst of the spring meeting season.

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