Group has vested interest in seeing Oakville Harbour continue to flourish.
What began as a group of residents voicing concerns about a financial strategic business plan for Oakville’s harbours in 2010 has blossomed into a volunteer-based organization dedicated to sustaining the harbours for years to come.
The Association of Oakville Harbours Stakeholders (AOHS), which recently held an open house that drew more than 120 to the Oakville Yacht Squadron, has been actively advocating for the social, economic and environmental interests of Oakville’s harbours.
AOHS Chair John McMullen told the Oakville Beaver there are numerous issues that are important to the boating clubs, their members, non-club boaters, anglers, local businesses and others who are impacted by the welfare of the harbours.
Many have a vested interest, he said, in seeing the harbours continue to flourish.
Some of the issues they’ve been trying to tackle over the last four years and continue to advocate for are the harbours’ capacity, sediment management and, of course, safety issues.
“Looking down the road, the two harbours are what we refer to as Halton region’s gateway to Lake Ontario,” said McMullen, a boater who got involved in the group because he wanted to do what he could to help maintain what he thinks is one of Oakville’s prime assets.
“So with growth taking place in the region over the coming years, the harbours’ capacity is going to become an issue. So what’s the plan for the future?”
A study currently underway to evaluate the feasibility and capacity of the harbours looks at the current use and user demand, McMullen continued.
He said the study is a stepping stone for a much-needed master plan for harbours.
The group, he added, is making inroads establishing important relationships with Town staff while working with one another in the best interest of Oakville’s harbours.
The group closely reviewed and provided input to the Town’s new harbours bylaw, and continues to review rates, fees and the services offered by Oakville’s marinas, and the financial management of the harbours.
McMullen is encouraging residents who want to play a part in helping sustain the harbours for the enjoyment of future generations to join the volunteer-based organization.