2023 ‘Love Your Lake’ Zoom Spring Seminars

Seminar #3

TITLE: All Things Septic: Care, Maintenance and Inspections of Residential Septic Systems

SPEAKER:  Rob Davis              


Rob’s discussion is full of useful information and sewage common sense. Learn about septic myths & folklore, preventative maintenance, proper septic tank pumping/cleaning & how to protect the investment you have in your sewage system and the lake environment.

In addition, mandatory septic inspections are planned for this year, Rob will share what to expect with a level 3 inspection and common issues found.


DATE: Wednesday, April 29, 2023, 7:30 – 8:30 PM

WHERE: Zoom Webinar


Rob Davis


Rob is a lifetime cottager. Rob is also the president of EcoEthic inc and is a leading specialist in the efficient & responsible operation of septic systems, how they work, what causes them to fail and the impact of nutrients on the lake water quality.


For the past 25 years Rob has worked with industry professionals, government agencies and cottagers to solve wastewater issues on site.

Seminar #2

TITLE: Relative Importance of Recreational Boat Wakes and Winds

SPEAKER:  Dr. Chris Houser              


This talk provides an overview of the science of vessel-generated waves and emerging concerns about wakes in Ontario. Using wave data collected at different lakes from across Ontario’s cottage country, the relative importance of boat wakes and wind waves will be discussed with a focus on how and when boat wakes may represent a significant source of wave energy at the shoreline.


DATE: Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 7:30 – 8:30 PM

WHERE: Zoom Webinar


Dr. Chris Houser


Dr. Chris Houser, a coastal geomorphologist, is the Interim Vice President of Research & Innovation and a Professor in the School of the Environment at the University of Windsor. His research is focused on shoreline change, beach-dune interaction, rip currents and beach safety, and vessel-generated wakes.

Listen to his talk to see how Lake Kashagawigamog fits into his future research plans

Seminar #1


SPEAKER:  Howard Simkover              


In this Zoom presentation, we will examine both the wonders to observe in the night sky, and ways to protect the precious resource of the dark night sky.

For the humans of ages past, the starry sky was a source of awe and fascination. Back then, before the bright lights of modern civilization, thousands of stars could be seen at night. Unfortunately, in 2023 light pollution denies most of us a good view of the stars. Over 80% of Canadians now live in places where they cannot see the Milky Way. Light pollution has severe impacts on animal, bird, and insect species, and also damages human health. However, some progressive cities are taking steps to reduce unnecessary light pollution. There are also things that we can do as individuals to protect the precious resource of the dark night sky.

After the sun goes down, there are many wonders to be seen and enjoyed above us. The planets wander against the background of the constellation figures, sometimes passing very close to each other, or, in turn, being passed by the Moon in its monthly orbit around the Earth. If you know where to look, a simple pair of binoculars can show you star clusters, a giant gas cloud in space, and even a nearby galaxy. The aurora borealis may entertain us with shimmering patterns of ghostly light. On certain occasions during the year, the Earth passes through a swarm of particles in the solar system, producing a meteor shower. A new or returning comet can dominate the sky for several weeks, as happened with Comet NEOWISE in 2020. Eclipses of the Sun and Moon can be predicted with stunning accuracy, allowing us to watch as the Earth’s shadow falls onto the Moon, or as the Moon’s shadow traverses a narrow path across the surface of the Earth.

The sky belongs to all of us. We can all enjoy what it has to offer, and learn from the many beautiful celestial phenomena that connect us to the magnificent Cosmos of which we are a part.


DATE: Wednesday, January 25, 2023, 7:30 – 8:30 PM

WHERE: Zoom Webinar

Moon and Venus – September 9 2021   Photo by Howard Simkover

Howard Simkover


Howard Simkover was a Producer-Lecturer with the Montreal Planetarium. He has spoken about astronomy at Canada’s National Museum of Science & Technology, and to groups in Ottawa and elsewhere both in person and via Zoom technology. In this highly visual presentation, he will offer some perspectives on the importance of preserving the night sky as a resource for humanity, and how we can experience the sky using only our eyes, or with simple equipment. 

Orion and Hyades – March 31 2014   Photo by Howard Simkover

Total Lunar Eclipse – May 15 2022   Photo by Howard Simkover


2022 ‘Love Your Lake’ Zoom Spring Seminars

Seminar #3

TITLE: Where aquatic systems meet terrestrial: An ecological important ecotone!

SPEAKER: Andy Gordon              


Wherever a stream or lake encounters a shoreline, an important relationship in the form of an ecotone develops. These relationships are never the same and vary considerably across the breadth of geography, topography and geology that is Ontario. Dr. Gordon will discuss these relationships for a small agricultural stream in Southwestern Ontario, a small oligotrophic lake
in South Central Algonquin Park – reminiscent of many situations in Haliburton County – and the small lakes in the boreal forest north of Cochrane. He will finish by looking at a small lake in the Northwest Territories and the impact that a large wildfire had on fish populations. The talk will be focused on understanding the two way flow of energy and nutrients across this important ecotone and how this may have a bearing on political legislation such as the local shoreline bylaw.    

DATE: Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 7:30 – 8:30 PM

WHERE: Zoom Webinar

Andy Gordon

Seminar #2

TITLE: A Highlands’ Turtle Tale

SPEAKER: Leora Berman              


The Land Between, Ontario’s Highlands, is a special region that is a last reserve for many species in Ontario, including turtles. All turtle populations in the province and Canada, and across the world are declining at alarming rates. Meanwhile turtles are our super eco-heroes and essential for our lake health and aquatic ecosystems. Turtles are also incredibly complex and specialized – they follow spatial maps in their minds, navigate using earth magnetics and the sun, and return to hibernation sites within 1 metre year after year. Leora Berman, the COO and founder of the charity The Land Between, a dynamic speaker, will introduce you to this
unparalleled region and teach you about this unique animal, including Haliburton’s own 125 yr old turtle, Grace. You may have seen the turtle mural by a Land Between staff member on the wall of Baked and Battered in Haliburton. Check it out below.           

DATE: Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 7:30 – 8:30 PM

WHERE: Zoom Webinar

For more information about The Land Between and Turtle Guardians, visit www.thelandbetween.ca/ and www.turtleguardians.com/.

Leora Berman: Photo by Britta Gerwin

About Leora Berman

Leora Berman is the Chief Operating Officer and Founder of the charity The Land Between: Cottage Country’s Conservation Organization and has been in the conservation business for many decades.

She began in the “trenches”, spending years conducting hydrogeological, hydrological and wetland assessments. Then she moved on to designing and delivering environmental remediation and restoration projects, and ultimately grew to developing and managing large-scale and multi-partnered projects across Ontario. She has worked for and provided value to numerous conservation and environmental groups and Provincial government departments. Among other awards for her work, Leora is the recipient of the 2019 Roland Michener Conservation Award from the Canadian Wildlife Federation for exceptional work in wildlife research and conservation.

The Land Between, Ontario’s Highlands, is a special region that is a last reserve for many species in Ontario, including turtles. All turtle populations in the province and Canada, and across the world are declining at alarming rates. Grace is Haliburton’s oldest female breeding snapping turtle. She is estimated to be 125 years old, blind in one eye and lives in the wetlands around the town of Haliburton. She is often seen crossing the busy downtown roads. That’s why Leora and friends started up The Turtle Guardians, a group you may have seen along the roadways near various marshes who are dedicated to helping Grace and other turtles cross the road safely. You also may have seen the mural of a turtle in a marsh painted on the side of Baked and Battered restaurant in Haliburton by one of the Land Between’s staff with the caption “We’re in this together. We share the same future.”.

Seminar #1

TOPIC: Algonquin Wild

SPEAKER: Michael Runtz              


Haliburton Highlands shares its landscapes and waterways with neighbouring Algonquin Park. Their forests are integrally linked and their fauna move between them. Michael Runtz has explored their natural world for fifty years, documenting their flora and fauna in his lavishly illustrated books and advocating for their conservation. A dynamic communicator, Michael is one of Canada’s most celebrated naturalists. This highly visual presentation explores their natural history highlights through the year, from the tiny snow animals, explosion of spring wildflowers and the howls of Eastern Wolves to the mating of moose and arrival of winter finches.           

DATE: Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 7:30 – 8:30 PM

WHERE: Zoom Webinar


Michael Runtz: Photo by Britta Gerwin

About Michael Runtz

Michael’s association with Algonquin Park spans nearly 50 years and includes working in the Park as an interpretive naturalist for 11 seasons.  Michael hosted the international television series Wild by Nature, authored and illustrated 14 natural history books including Algonquin Wild and, his latest, Wildflowers of Algonquin Provincial Park and The Explorer’s Guide to Algonquin Park, 4th Edition.  Additionally, Michael provided the images for the award-winning children’s book At Home with the Beaver.  Michael has written more than 1,100 natural history articles for newspapers and magazines (Nature’s Way was nearing its 30th season when Covid-19 cut it short). Michael teaches Natural History and Ornithology courses at Carleton University where more than 56,000 students have taken his courses. His numerous awards include the Council of Canadian University Biology Chairs Distinguished Public Science Education Award, the Friends of Algonquin Directors Award, the Friends of Bonnechere Parks Directors Award, and several Carleton University Teaching Achievement Awards. A popular keynote speaker and media guest, Michael was the only Canadian featured in the TVO/NHK Japan’s Superteachers series.  Visit Michael on Facebook at Nature by Runtz.

Eastern Wolf Pups howling: Photo by Michael Runtz

A Bull and the Algonquin Fall Colours: Photo by Michael Runtz


2021 ‘Love Your Lake’ Zoom Spring Seminars

The following seminars were recorded and available on LKO’s YouTube Channel:

Seminar #1

TOPIC: Shoreline Preservation: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

SPEAKER: Terry Moore                           DATE: Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Seminar #2


SPEAKER: Rebecca Osborne                  DATE: Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Seminar #3

TOPIC: Protecting our Lakes Forever: Moving from Rehabilitation to Protection during a Time of Climate Change

SPEAKER: Norman Yan, PhD FRSC         DATE: Tuesday, May 18, 2021


2021 Blake on the Lake Videos

The following Blake on the Lake videos are on various Love Your Lake topics and are available on the LKO Kids YouTube Channel:

1 – Invasive Species

2 – Does sunscreen affect the lake?

3 – Calling all kid artists!

4 – Why do mosquitoes target certain people?

5 – Summer Activities