The province of Ontario is currently asking people to limit interprovincial travel to help curb the spread of Coronavirus. Further to that, on Monday, the province issued an emergency order to close at-risk and non-essential businesses for the safety of the general public. GBA has been made aware that Honey Harbour Boat Club Marina will be closed until further notice, and other marinas may choose to follow suit. Although marine craft repair is listed as an essential service, people should not assume that all normal marina operations will be in place (such as boat launch) and that marina stores will be open. Individual businesses can decide whether or not it is safe to stay open. Please contact your marina before venturing out to be sure services will be available should you need them w
An approaching winter storm will impact the region this weekend with a significant amount of precipitation expected. - Water levels continue to be well above average and near record high levels. From a month ago the water level on Lakes Superior is down 1 inch, Lake Erie and St Clair are 2 inches higher and Lakes Michigan-Huron and Ontario are unchanged. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie & Ontario are 3, 17, 9, 4 & 7 inches higher respectively than they were at this time last year, and 16, 37, 33, 28 & 16 inches, respectively above their long term March average. In a month’s time, the levels of Lakes Superior and Michigan Huron are expected to be down by 3 and 1 inches, respectively, Lake Erie is expected to be unchanged and Lakes St. Clair
An approaching winter storm will impact the region this weekend with a significant amount of precipitation expected. - Water levels continue to be well above average and near record high levels. From a month ago the water level on Lakes Superior is down 1 inch, Lake Erie and St Clair are 2 inches higher and Lakes Michigan-Huron and Ontario are unchanged. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie & Ontario are 3, 17, 9, 4 & 7 inches higher respectively than they were at this time last year, and 16, 37, 33, 28 & 16 inches, respectively above their long term March average. In a month’s time, the levels of Lakes Superior and Michigan Huron are expected to be down by 3 and 1 inches, respectively, Lake Erie is expected to be unchanged and Lakes S
The Integrated Community Energy and Climate Action Plan (ICECAP), spearheaded by Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve (GBBR), launched in February aiming to help municipalities and First Nations on the eastern Georgian Bay coast work toward the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at the local level. GBBR is working cooperatively with these communities to collect and analyze data to develop an "emissions inventory" that will be used to identify patterns, set targets for reductions, and create action plans aimed at reducing community emissions and creating energy savings. Read more about the project here. -
Water levels continue to be well above average and near or above record high levels. From a month ago the water levels on Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, and St Clair are all down by 3 inches, Erie is up 1 inch and Ontario is unchanged. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie & Ontario are 1, 14, 10, 12 & 7 inches higher respectively than they were at this time last year, and 14, 35, 35, 33 & 18 inches, respectively above their long term February average. Lakes Michigan-Huron, and Erie are 3 and 2 inches higher, respectively, than their previous record highs for February. In a month’s time, the level of Lake Superior is expected to be unchanged, and Lakes Michigan Huron, St. Clair, Erie & Ontario are all expected to rise by 2 - 4 inches.
In 2019, GBA made a submission to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on the proposed Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 (PPS, 2020). The Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 has now been finalized and some of the changes and exclusions in the final statement reflect GBA’s recommendations. Matters that were addressed in GBA’s submission are highlighted below. - The key changes include: - adding further references to support a changing climate and green infrastructure adding policy direction that is responsive to the recommendations of the province’s Special Advisor on Flooding. increasing the minimum requirement for housing land supply to 15 years clarifying the policies related to market-based housing by adding a reference to affordable housing
Water levels continue to be well above average and near or above record high levels. From a month ago the water levels on Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St Clair and Ontario are 4, 2, 2 & 2 inches lower respectively, Lakes Erie is 1 inches higher. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie & Ontario are 0, 15, 11, 11 & 4 inches higher respectively than they were at this time last year, and 13, 37, 40, 36 & 19 inches, respectively above their long term February average. Lakes Michigan-Huron, and Erie are 4 and 5 inches higher, respectively, than their previous record highs for February. In a month’s time, the level of Lake Superior is expected to be down by 1 inch, and Lakes Michigan Huron, St. Clair, Erie & Ontario are expected to rise by 2,
Previous Canadian IJC chair and Cognashene cottager, Gord Walker, has joined the former US Chair Lana Pollack to write the forward for the book The First Century Of The International Joint Commission. The IJC was formed only a few years before GBA in 1909. We have therefore had over 100 years of productive dialogue and liaison with this important and unique Great Lakes bi-national institution. Check out the book and read about their history here. -
Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) is hosting Energy Rights and Wrongs. Can we do more right? Yes we can, a Toronto area event on April 25, 2020 focusing on renewable energy and electric vehicles (EV). GBF Executive Director, David Sweetnam, will discuss Ontario's energy grid followed by the opportunity to have all of your EV questions answered by experts and take an EV test drive. The event will be held at the Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre in Toronto. Tickets are $20 and include refreshments and a light lunch. For more information or to register for your preferred session, click: Morning session Afternoon session
According to U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) measurements, precipitation remains below average for the Great Lakes, estimated at 59% of typical month-to-date February values. - Water levels continue to be well above average and near or above record high levels. From a month ago the water levels on Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron and St Clair are 4, 1 & 2 inches lower respectively, Lakes Erie and Ontario are 2 and 1 inches higher, respectively. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie & Ontario are 2, 16, 14, 11 & 5 inches higher respectively than they were at this time last year, and 13, 38, 38, 36 & 20 inches, respectively above their long term February average. Lakes Michigan-Huron, and Erie are both currently 5 inches higher than their previous
An article in the New York Times is warning that extremes may be the new norm as Great Lakes water levels are poised to break records again this year. As global warming continues to cause extreme fluctuations in weather and water levels, local governments and lakeside business and property owners must develop a game plan to adapt to and mitigate all the potential impacts. This article lines up with GBA’s position on what to expect this year, and why it is possible that there will be even higher levels in future years. The watchword is “be prepared for extremes” both high and low water levels as climate change effects increase. Read the article here.
All indications are that water levels are going to be up sharply again this year. GBA is providing timely and accurate information on current and projected water levels and will work with members and municipalities to share information on mitigation measures. Some septic systems, docks and low-lying structures are expected to be severely impacted.Learn more about this priority >>
What’s your name and what’s your connection to Georgian Bay? Sheila Williams and I (Celesta Bjornson) are the co-presidents of the Bay of Islands Association (BICA) and have been enjoying our summers in the Bay of Islands since we were toddlers. My family is from Pittsburgh and we originally found the Bay of Islands in the 1950s by vacationing at a fishing lodge called Moredolpton Lodge. Sheila's family is one of the founding families of the Bay of Islands. Her grandfather discovered the Bay of Islands in early 1900s while working on the lakers, travelling from southern Georgian Bay to the North Channel, transporting lumber back south. He fell in love with the area and purchased an island around 1924 and began building a cottage. Why is being a Guardian of the Bay important to yo
Luc Voorn is a cottager in the South Channel and a passionate advocate for Georgian Bay. He currently serves as the Membership Chairperson for the South Channel Association (SCA), Editor of the SCA “On the Waterfront” newsletter, and as Director, Friends of the Massasauga Park. This past summer (2019), he was nominated as a Guardian of Georgian Bay for his ongoing enthusiasm and efforts to protect and preserve the Bay. Note from Jamie Drayton, GBA Chair of Guardians of Georgian Bay Committee My Dad used to take us camping. His lure to get us to bathe was to promise us ice cream if we ran into the water first thing in the morning for a swim. I recall the water being absolutely freezing at 7 o’clock in the morning… I don’t recall ever getting any ice cream. A few years l
Boating in the fall offers colourful views, solitude and excellent fishing. It is a truly great time to be on the water. But fall boating also requires extra attention to detail and the ability to be self-sufficient given that there are fewer boaters around should you require assistance. Here are some helpful tips from the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) and the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters to make fall boating safer for you. Check the weather forecast. The weather can change quickly and storms can be more violent. Fog is also more common. Ensure that your boat and engine are in good working order. Ethanol-based fuel can allow water contamination in the tank. The use of a fuel additive prevents water in the fuel line from freezing. Having a backup gas tank onboa
As nominated by Heather Sargeant My Phragbuster Hero About 5 or 6 years ago, at an event jointly put on by the Georgian Bay Association, Georgian Bay Forever, and featuring Dr. Gilbert, an ecologist with Phragmites expertise , I first learned about invasive Phragmites and the harm it can have on wetlands. I decided to investigate if Phragmites was a threat in Woods Bay (my favourite area of Georgian Bay), and that’s when my journey tackling this plant began. I wasn’t sure if a plant across from the family cottage was indeed the invasive type, and so I was nervous and queasy about leading people to help me cut it. What if it was the native plant, and I’d taken all these people out to cut down something benign? One of my neighbors told me there was a hero on Georgian
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is asking motorists to look out for vulnerable turtles on our roadways. Road surfaces provide an attractive source of warmth for these cold-blooded reptiles, particularly in the spring and early summer. During this time, turtles are mating and nesting; in late summer and early fall, newly hatched turtles are travelling from their nests to nearby wetlands. The Nature Conservatory of Canada has an informative video and tips for safely moving turtles. Watch the video and read the tips here.
Here are some things to think about around Fire Safety at the cottage: Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are present and working. Have a list of local emergency numbers posted for all to see. Include all pertinent cottage location information. Have the right fire extinguishers in the right places. Have an individual fire plan for evacuation. Make sure your plan has two escape routes. Respect local fire ratings. Have a fire pump and use it regularly to ensure it is in good working order. At the very least have a list of neighbours to call for assistance. Follow your association’s emergency plan if it exists. Make sure you have insurance. Make sure you understand what it covers and that it is adequate to rebuild and covers contents AND fire de
The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario has just released a useful guide on how to how we can all reduce our environmental footprints. Being a Guardian of the Bay also means doing what we can to reduce our individual consumption of carbon based fuels. - Here is a very good fact sheet and here is a full presentation on this topic. -
What’s your name and what’s your connection to Georgian Bay? Cory Kozmik, Anthony Laforge, Samantha Noganosh, Chevaun Toulouse. We are the Lands and Resource Department for Magnetawan First Nation, in Britt, Ontario. - Source: Magnetawan First Nation Our connection to the Bay is the dense biodiversity that it hosts and the role its ecology plays in our lives, including the environment. It is also where ancestors of the Anishinabek Nation walked and practiced each day what it means to live with the land in reciprocity. The connection to the land and water is sacred to the Anishinaabe culture, and held very close to the communities that inhabit the area. - Why is being a Guardian of the Bay important to you? We take great pride in being “Guardians” because it is our
Large wakes continue to be a bone of contention. They cause damage to docks and shorelines and can be very disruptive to cottagers enjoyment of their docks. What can be done? The occasional disruption and damage caused by excessive wakes are an ongoing source of irritation between boaters and cottagers. Boaters are responsible for their wakes and any damage caused by them. But the OPP tells us that damage caused by wakes is a civil issue. And so what you need to do is be able to identify the vessel and the operator and pursue the matter in small claims court if a reasonable result can’t be agreed upon between the parties on their own. However, if a boater is observed to be operating their vessel in a dangerous or careless way then the OPP should be called. They ideally would like t
This past summer there seemed to be a search & rescue operation happening and it left many cottagers confused about what was going on. The questions were about what to do in a situation like that - where to get information, and potentially how to help. When involved in a current investigation the OPP generally will not disseminate info through the media. They most often feel they have the resources to adequately conduct a search. Note that, if the OPP does ask the public for assistance, they are civilly liable if a member of the public gets injured while searching, and so tend not to involve the public. If the OPP is not successful then they will ask the public for assistance through media channels. If people have questions they can call the OPP non emergency ( 1 800-310-1122 ) num
My name is Eileen Maynard; I am 10 years old and the eldest of the 5th generation in my family at our cottage in Cognashene, part of the Georgian Bay Archipelago. Georgian Bay is so special to me. It is where I spend my summers and any weekend we can get free of our crazy life in the city. In the summer you can go swimming and tubing or out to islands for picnics. In the fall, it is so pretty with all of the colorful leaves and trees and a great time to go for a walk on Beausoleil Island. Being a Guardian of the Bay is important to me because Georgian Bay is vital to us and the animals around us. Being a Guardian of the Bay is a responsibility that we all have for keeping it healthy for the next 5 generations. Last year, with my grandfather, I applied for and was accepted as a vo
Sticking it to Garbage Along the Shoreline What’s your name and what’s your connection to Georgian Bay? My name’s Chloe Drayton and I’ve been going to Georgian Bay with my family since I was born - I’m only 7! It’s a nice, peaceful place and it’s nice to go swimming, look for turtles, go exploring on the rocks along the shore and spend time with my family. - Why is being a Guardian of the Bay important to you? Because I want to help all the animals and plants in nature and because it’s nicer to enjoy the cottage when there isn’t garbage lying around. I also want to enjoy Georgian Bay for a long, long time so we have to keep it nice and clean. - What’s your story that helps to show your Guardian of the Bay values? Every year we walk around the shoreline of ou