Working with our water-based communities and other stakeholders to ensure the careful stewardship of the greater Georgian Bay environment.
Great news! Funding has just come through from Transport Canada so that the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS) and Canadian Industries Limited (CIL) can restart the expired flare recycling and safety education program. The program focuses on education and awareness of safety equipment, the care and maintenance of that equipment, and how to safely and effectively use and dispose of flares. The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons are lining up marinas to participate in the program, which will run for the next three years. Please check the CPS website (http://www.cps-ecp.ca/?WCE=C=47|K=240853) regularly for marina location additions and dates. Have Your Flares Expired? If your flares have a manufacture date of 2014 or earlier, they have or will expire this year. In accordan
Above average precipitation continue to contribute to substantially high lake levels. Lakes Superior, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are projected to be 1 - 3 inches above their record high monthly average levels for June, but Lake Michigan-Huron is projected to be 2 inches below its record high. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 5 and 7 inches, respectively, above their levels of a month ago, while Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 2, 3, and 13 inches, respectively, higher than they were a month ago. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 9 to 13 inches above their levels of a year ago, while Lake Ontario is 24 inches higher than it was at this time last year. Over the next 30 days, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to continue their seasonal rise, cli
Heavy precipitation and high flows have continued to contribute to rising lake levels. As compared to the beginning of the month, Lakes St. Clair, Superior, Erie, and Michigan-Huron have risen 3, 5, 6, and 9 inches, respectively. Lake Ontario has risen 18 inches since the beginning of May. All of the Great Lakes water levels are higher than one year ago at this time, ranging from 9 to 13 inches greater for Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie. Lake Ontario is highest above its level of last year at 24 inches above what it was one year ago today. Over the month of June, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to continue to rise, reaching 3 and 2 inches above their current levels, respectively. Lake St. Clair is predicted to be at the same level in once month, wh
Pow-wows are fun, inclusive and educational events for all the family – see the schedule of the many Pow-wows around the Bay this summer here...2019 pow wow publication And more details here ..........2019 pow wow listings
GBA is calling for the closures of the open cage aquaculture operation at Lake Wolsey, an embayment on the North Channel, due to ongoing pollution, including regular blue green algae outbreaks and public health concerns. Please read the full press release here: GBA press release on Lake Wolsey Aquaculture operation May 28 2019
The municipality says the areas around Wolseley Bay, Ranger Bay, and Dry Pine Bay are especially vulnerable to flooding. OPP are asking boaters to reduce their speeds as many wharves and docks are currently underwater in the area. The slow down will also reduce wakes and prevent any further shoreline erosion. Residents in the communities of French River, Noelville and Alban are also asked to be cautious when travelling on saturated roads and can notify the municipality if they need sandbags, need assistance, or to report any water hazards. Flood warnings have also been extended through the lower Pickerel River Watersheds. People in the areas around St. Charles, Municipality of French River and the Municipality of Killarney, McConkey Township, Blair Township, Mowat Township, and Henvey I
We recently updated our primer on private buoys. Check it out for great information on regulations, guides and checklists.
We recently updated our First Nations Reading List. There are several fine books available on Canadian history and the First Nations, many of which are written by First Nation people.
Higher than normal precipitation is expected to continue this week. Total precipitation is expected to be between 0.5-3 inches for the Great Lakes Basin and may result in more flooding. - This heavy precipitation and high flows have continued to contribute to rising lake levels. Since the previous month, Lakes St. Clair, Superior, Michigan-Huron, and Erie have risen 5, 6, 7, and 8 inches respectively. Lake Ontario has risen 21 inches since April. All lakes are currently experiencing higher water levels than this time last year, with a range of 7 to 12 additional inches for Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie. Lake Ontario is currently 20 inches higher than the previous year’s level. For the month of June, Lake Superior is predicted to rise 3 inches and Lake Michigan-Hur
Spare change next time you shop at the LCBO?
At long last both the Canadian and US governments have elected new commissioners. GBA congratulates: Pierre Béland, Canadian chair; Jane Corwin, US Chair; Canadian commissioners Henry Lickers and Merrell-Ann Phare; and US commissioners Robert Sisson and Lance Yohe. - Read more about the Canadian appointees here: - and the US appointees here: -
With climate change appearing to increase the number of wildfires, GBA feels that it is incumbent on the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to tighten up its fire rating system and reduce the risk of human caused fires making the situation worse. See our submission to the MNRF to review its forest fires rating system here and recent UPDATE articles on this topic. Read about the expected increase in wildfires across Canada 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
Go Wild and Protect the Bay What is your connection to Georgian Bay? I came from a family of campers. We didn’t have a cottage. This was back in the 1960s and early 70s and Killbear Provincial Park was one of my favourite campgrounds. It’s where I saw my first rattlesnake and caught my first smallmouth bass. I was introduced to the South Channel in the early 1980s when my wife, Beth, invited me to her family cottage. We bought our own property in the late 90s and have made the annual trek from Alberta to Georgian Bay every year since. - Why is being a Guardian of the Bay important to you? I believe that an individual’s actions are as important as government regulations for protecting Georgian Bay. We are the guardians of our property’s ecological health. Collectively, Guardi
Don’t Let Them Catch a Ride is part of Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program see www.invadingspecies.com. In partnership with the Federation of Anglers and Hunters, the Federation of Ontario Cottagers Federation (FOCA) created a new aquatic invasive species sign for outdoor installation at marinas and boat launching sites. Signs are available to all FOCA members including Georgian Bay cottagers’ associations.
Do you know what your boat insurance covers? I just found out that mine doesn’t cover environmental damage/clean up charges. If there is damage done to the environment from your boat in any way ( spills or collisions or whatever ), the government, whether they clean it up or bring in a private contractor, will bill the owner of each boat involved. Under the Marine Liability Act the responsibility for costs associated with spill clean up resides strictly with vessel owners. And that can be expensive. My wake up call about environmental coverage serves as a reminder that it is a good thing to review the coverage you have on your boat. The following are some of the points you might want to consider. But remember these are general points only. You must discuss and confirm you have the
Summer 2015 Early in the summer we had David Sweetnam from Georgian Bay Forever give a presentation on Phragmites to our community. We advertised through our webpage, newsletter and madmail. 14 people participated including 2 children. Overall the presentation was received well and opened a few eyes to the concern with Phragmites. All attending signed up for the Phrag email and were ready to go out and locate any unmapped locations and then ready for the word to cut in early August.I talked with a group of 16 sailing school students outlining our concern and initiated a contest in that anyone finding a new location of Phrag in the bay would receive a gift card. I did show them some Phragmites, invasive and natural and also indicated an area where they might find some not yet m
Safety of the waters of Georgian Bay for drinking and swimming is of vital concern to everyone enjoying the Bay.