GBA Update Spring 2024

In the depths of winter, our editorial team was thinking about what our GBA readers most want in this UPDATE issue. As we shivered and dreamt about warmer days, it hit us: we all want to remember our cottage time and start planning for our next great summer. So, we contacted our member associations to ask them to share some of their memories of the events that brought us together last summer. We hope this warms you and inspires your association to incorporate new events into your summer plans. Fire Safety Hands down, fire safety events were the most common activity across our associations. Several associations partnered with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) FireSmart program in some way or another. Pointe au Baril Islanders’ Association (PaBIA) received funding from FireSmart to host their Start Your Fire Pump contest in early July, where cottagers submitted photos of themselves using a fire pump for a chance to win a prize. South Channel Association (SCA) used its funding to buy couplers so its fire pumps were compatible. SCA also invited a FireSmart representative to its annual general meeting (AGM), which the Key River Area Association (KRAA) also took advantage of. Many other associations also focused on fire safety presentations in their AGMs. PaBIA and Bayfield-Nares Islanders’ Association (BNIA) hosted training workshops to provide cottagers with an introduction to owning and operating a fire pump. BNIA plans on continuing its fire and safety education next summer with a session on how to maintain a fire pump. Vol. 34 No. 1, Spring 2024 Boating 2023 ......................................... 8 Proposed EPA Rule Fails to Protect the Great Lakes from Invasive Species ..................................10 President’s Report ............................11 Indigenous Land Conservation in Georgian Bay .................................12 Transport Canada in 2023...............14 ED’s Advocacy Report.......................16 Upcoming Events...............................18 News and Information from the Georgian Bay Association A New Community Stewardship Model PM # 40038178 GBA U P D A T E Your Voice on the Bay PAGE 4 Short on Maps, Strong on Will: The Early Years Cottaging on Twelve Mile Bay INSIDE: By Liz Phillips, GBA President GBA Associations Love the Bay TIP: Any association can apply for the $500 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. If you applied before the January 31 deadline, we hope you were successful. (For more information: You could also schedule someone from MNRF to give a FireSmart presentation to your association. Continues on page 2 PAGE 15 BNIA members attend the fire safety event at Bayfield Boat Club. Photo: BNIA

2 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 Other Safety Woods Bay Community Association (WBCA) deployed Coast Guard-approved navigational markers in their area to help with boating safety. They also asked Action First Aid to present first aid, CPR, and AED training basics. Action First Aid offers GBA members a discount on AED packages (info here: and provides training. The Bay of Islands Community Association (BICA) invited a local volunteer group, North Shore Search and Rescue, to present on emergency preparedness. They provided a helpful summary of the session on their website: Environmental Stewardship It’s always a bit overwhelming to contemplate all of the actions our associations are taking to protect the Bay. Elsewhere in this issue, Katherine Denune, Chair of the Guardians of the Bay Committee and a member of the Sans Souci Copperhead Association (SSCA), shares an update on the second year of SSCA’s new Crown islands stewardship program. Her videos are always inspiring. PaBIA has taken on the issue of abandoned, derelict docks in their area, a frequent complaint of our associations, by partnering with their local municipality, the Township of the Archipelago (ToA). For the second summer in a row, volunteers towed docks to the Pointe au Baril Station, where, with the assistance of ToA, they were hauled out and taken to the dump. A group of BNIA cottagers proudly became citizen scientists by contributing valuable local data to the global research and science conservation movement when they participated in an on-site BioBlitz workshop led by staff from the Georgian Bay Biosphere (GBB). While exploring a large, intact stand of century-old white pines and their surrounding ecosystem, they were shown how to use the free, data-gathering app iNaturalist and uploaded their field observations. For more information about GBB’s BioBlitzes, see here: The fight against invasive phragmites continues apace in almost every corner of the Bay, and in many places, clear progress has been made. This year, the West Carling Association (WCA) joined the fight, first mapping phragmites stands throughout their area at the end of June. With Georgian Bay Forever's (GBF) help, WCA volunteers headed out at prime phragmites-cutting time in mid-August to tackle the stands. Their efforts will continue next year, thanks to a grant from the Green Shovels Collaborative's Invasive Phragmites Control Fund to combat the invasive plants. Continued from page 1 This marina in Woods Bay has one of the area’s few remaining phragmites stands. Its location on the rocks is tough to get to, but its WBCA members are committed to keeping this vital wetland clear so wildlife like the ducks in the background retain their habitat. Photo: Heather Sargeant WBCA members practice CPR with Action First Aid. Photo: Heather Sargeant When a fire broke out at a cottage in Pointe au Baril, passing cottagers initially mistook the flames for northern lights. When they got closer and saw the flames, they used buckets to throw water onto the ground between the flames and the nearby bunkie, which they were able to save. The cottage was a total loss, but is being rebuilt. Photo: BNIA

3 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 Social Events If one thing keeps us all excited about returning to the Bay year after year, it’s the chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. For many associations, 2023 was the first summer since COVID that things felt like they were back on solid footing. WBCA hosted another Mystery Travelling Dinner with almost 40 participants. The attendees gathered for appetizers at 4 p.m. and were given their unique itinerary: every couple would visit three other islands out of more than a dozen, but no one would visit the same three places. For more information about what sounds like a fun and manic event, a lucky Cottage Life journalist was invited to attend a few years ago and wrote about it here: BNIA has a unique way of getting its members out on the water to explore the Archipelago’s beautiful inlets, back bays, and islands. Every year, the BNIA website adds new paddling routes ranging from easy to challenging. Each route is between two and six kilometres long and has been tested by volunteer-led expeditions. This growing library of maps encourages people to enjoy paddling outings that promote exercise, enjoyment of sensitive ecosystems, and respect for personal property. Does your association host a unique event that you think is different and interesting? We want to hear about it! Email GBA’s editor at WBCA hosted another successful Mystery Travelling Dinner. Photo: WBCA BNIA members gather at the Isle of Pine for the White Pine BioBlitz with GBB. Photo: BNIA

4 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 COTTAGE After navigating through heavy northbound traffic on a Friday night, the Twelve Mile Bay Road exit sign off Highway 400 is a welcome sight for modern-day cottagers. They know that within a quick and easy drive, they can unwind and destress while sitting in a Muskoka chair, sipping a drink, and enjoying the serene view of the bay. For many, the cottage is a place to escape the pressures of everyday life and find comfort and relaxation in the peaceful Canadian Shield landscape. However, this has not always been the case. Those who first came to cottage on Twelve Mile Bay had a different experience. Their courage and commitment to grinding out the foundations for this special place has brought so much joy to so many, and we owe them a great debt of gratitude. This is a tribute to the original cottagers of Twelve Mile Bay. When the Department of Lands and Forest made 39 surveyed lots available for purchase along Twelve Mile Bay in 1957 – 29 on the south side of the bay and 10 on the north – convenience and relaxation weren’t part of the appeal in pursuing this venture. In contrast to the more developed area of Muskoka Lakes, where wealthy cottagers had flocked for decades, Freeman Township, home to Twelve Mile Bay and Moose Deer Point Reservation, remained largely undiscovered and was known as a rugged, isolated wilderness owing to the lack of road access. Reachable only by plane or boat through the turbulent waters of Georgian Bay, at $1 per linear foot water frontage, a densely forested lot on remote Twelve Mile Bay in the late 1950s offered little tangibility, but for the adventurous, hardworking and optimistic sort, its potential was limitless. In the fall of 1958, 36-year-old Don Emslie was working full-time as a firefighter for the Toronto Fire Department and lived in the city with his wife, Helen, and two young daughters. Having previously served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II, Don caught wind from his friends Ian Forbes and Keith Gould that the government was offering lots for sale at a place called Twelve Mile Bay and thought that it sounded like the kind of opportunity for the adventure that he was craving. Wanting to see for themselves, Don, Ian, and Keith borrowed a small wooden boat from a friend and left Parry Sound on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, headed for Twelve Mile Bay armed with a fearless determination but no map. They were navigating with nothing more than a verbal description of a wide-mouth opening to a long, narrow bay, despite suggestions from seasoned locals that they might want to wait out an impending storm. With waves threatening to swamp their boat, they made it to the mouth of the bay. They quickly discovered the seriousness of the warnings from the OPP and the Lands and Forests Department that turning into the mouth of the bay in such weather could quickly capsize their boat. They camped for the night on an island set to the soundtrack of gusting winds, crashing waves, and grunts and groans from curious animals attracted to the scent of their dinner. Rising early the following Short on Maps, Strong on Will: The Early Years Cottaging on Twelve Mile Bay By Brittany Walden, Twelve Mile Bay Association L to R: Don Emslie, Scott Forbes, Dave Walden, Carl Walden, Ian Forbes, Bill MacDonald. Leaving for a Moon River fishing trip, early 1960s. Initial 39 surveyed lots from the Department of Lands and Forests.

5 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 day, they finally reached the bay, where they fished, camped, and took stock of what Twelve Mile Bay had to offer. The following day, Don had to return to Parry Sound to reach home in time for work. The storm warnings they had received earlier in the weekend were proven to be accurate and reinforced at the time of their departure. As they approached the wide mouth of the bay and the waves grew bigger, the prospect of being stranded began to seem more and more likely. Luckily, they spotted a large fishing boat off in the distance. Upon approaching the boat, the captain told the three men that he was astonished to see such a small boat out in such bad weather and confirmed that it would be impossible for them to reach Parry Sound on their own that day. Even though he wouldn't usually be out so late in the year, the captain offered to help the men by towing their boat back to Parry Sound and feeding them Thanksgiving dinner. Feeling satisfied and exhilarated from the rush of adventure, Don purchased Lot 37 that winter. As road superintendent on the MacTier council, Charles Hardwicke learned about the Twelve Mile Bay lots early and, along with MacTier Reeve Douglas Shaw, was the first to purchase on the bay's south side in 1957. With responsibilities on council, a full-time job at the railway in MacTier, and a young family, Charles was attracted to the opportunities the non-landlocked Twelve Mile Bay offered through access to Georgian Bay fishing and outdoor adventure. Having had to trudge on foot through the dense, swampy bush between Highway 103 (now the 400) and Lot 5 with his wife and three daughters to access their property, Charles knew that a road was crucial to the success of this cottage adventure for himself and the other originals. At the time, the railway in MacTier was declining, and the council was looking toward developing Freeman Township for the town's economic benefit. Charles knew constructing a road to Twelve Mile Bay could benefit the area's development. However, he faced opposition from local taxpayers who were not willing to finance a road that would merely benefit the councilman and his Reeve friend. Despite the challenges, Charles and Douglas spent years lobbying local groups for funds. Finally, by the fall of 1958, they secured grants from the MacTier Lions Club and the MacTier Legion and $50 from each of the original cottagers. This amount was just enough for Charles to start building the road. Beginning in the fall of 1958, Charles, along with Township employees Levi Norrie and Ernie Schell, would leave MacTier at 7 a.m. and return well after dark on his days off from council responsibilities and shifts on the railway, armed with a compass, axe, and a tireless resolve to mark the foundations of the road, walking miles back to their cars at the end of each day. The threat of animals, rattlesnakes, and the unknown made it challenging, but he was determined to see it through. The trail, wide enough for a car to pass, reached Bloody Bay by the spring of 1959. Don Emslie’s original Lot 37 cottage. Don went to night school to learn to build his cottage. Township employee Levi Norrie working on the road. Continues on page 6

6 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 Looking For Adventure Eugene Walden grew up on a farm in the Ripley area of western Ontario and was familiar mainly with the beachy shores of Lake Huron. Thus, he and his older brother Carl were drawn to the opportunity to experience the rugged landscape of the Canadian Shield. Not long after Carl received word of lots for sale on Twelve Mile Bay through a work colleague sometime in 1957, he and Eugene set off from Parry Sound in a small boat with a 15-horsepower motor going off of the same verbal descriptions that Don Emslie was given: look for a wide mouth opening to a long, narrow bay. Hours later, the brothers arrived in the sanctuary of the bay and cruised past the initial 39 lots while taking notes on the areas that appealed to them most, even though the thick foliage made it hard to tell what each lot offered. The stakes were the only thing clear to see. The brothers pledged not to tell each other which lots they were pursuing before filing their applications. Initially, Eugene had his heart set on owning the only island, however, in 1959, he and Carl managed to secure lots seven and three, avoiding any potential conflict between them. Once their applications were approved by the Department of Lands and Forests, lot owners had two years to erect a department-approved structure or they would be fined. Apart from the areas covered in salt-and-pepper-coloured rock, most of the lots were dominated by spruce, pines and thick foliage, which made clearing enough space for a structure and driveway access by axe and saw rather onerous. A limitation on time and finances also factored in, as full-time jobs and young families were the reality for most. The task of getting building materials into the bay was the next challenge. Throughout 1960 and 1961, the condition of the original bush trail started by Charles Hardwicke had been slightly upgraded through the availability of a grant from the Department of Indian Affairs – the improvement of which would provide an opportunity for students on the reserve to receive their education in MacTier and no longer at the one-room schoolhouse – but it still proved barely passable for the average car. Because lumber trucks refused to travel down the private bush trail, the options were to hire a barge or risk damage while traversing the trail. While costly, barging was the safer option, and many had their prefabricated structures brought in this way. Attempting the latter option, Eugene Walden decided to transport his materials using an international panel truck. He thought it was a successful mission at first, but while moving the materials to his boat at the bay, he noticed a crack in one of the windows. Exasperated by the effort it took to get there, the cracked window remained part of his cottage for 30 years, an ever-present reminder of the struggles of the early years. Each lot presented unique challenges in clearing land and putting up a structure, but getting in and out of the bush trail was an everyday, ongoing chore for all, and it is often how cottagers came to meet one another. They learned quickly that it was best to wait to create convoys to tackle the mud and swamps to ensure everyone made it through. Having to stop to cut down trees to get by and getting stuck only to get out and get stuck again were as common as not getting out of second gear. Because of the toll the rigours of the trail took on cars, many opted to leave their preferred vehicle at the clearing at Highway 103 and used an older, secondary vehicle to take the brunt of the trail. By 1961, cottagers had formed the Twelve Mile Bay Community Association, led by Don Dunford. The Association informed cottagers on issues facing a developing bay, like road status and road fees, a government dock, health codes, garbage disposal, and hydro prospects. It was also used to plan dances, corn roasts, and regattas, traditions that would continue for years – because they weren’t all work and no play! Charles Hardwicke and Douglas Shaw, on behalf of the original 39 owners and other MacTier Continued from page 5 Eugene Walden’s original Lot 7 cottage. Carl Walden’s secondary trail vehicle.

7 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 council members, continued to advocate for government funding for the improvement of Twelve Mile Bay Road. For years after the initial efforts of the bush trail, they made many trips to Toronto to lobby the provincial Department of Highways. Their efforts paid off in 1963 when the government committed to funding the trail upgrade to provincial road standards. In November 1966, Ma Kah Ga Win Road was officially opened for public use. It was named after the Ojibway words meaning "Discovery Road" because it was the first direct connection between Muskoka and the eastern Georgian Bay shoreline. Before its construction, residents in the area were isolated from each other, but with the opening of this road, they finally had a way to travel between these two regions. By 1965, cottagers could put away their Coleman lamps because hydro had arrived in the bay. Eugene Walden, who coordinated poles through contacts at his work at Ontario Hydro, helped them do so. We are eternally grateful to the original cottagers of our wilderness paradise for everything they accomplished in their commitment to creating a better Twelve Mile Bay. Thank you to Don Emslie, Doris Hardwicke, and Eugene Walden for sharing your impressive memories and stories with me; to Heather Walden Beitz for stepping in with her coordination savvy and to everyone who shared a tidbit of their memories with me. Every bit helped to paint the bigger picture! Alexandra McLaughlin, Georgian Bay Artist CANADA GRADE AAA BEEF at our new and improved Butcher Counter. Now featuring LOCAL producers of specialty food products. All your cottage groceries, gear, clothing, hardware, shing and marine supplies in one location. Located in the Town Centre of Honey Harbour 705-756-2472 Snack Bar Menu Curbside Doside or Marina Pi up HH General Store Ad 2022 Bulldozers became available for road improvements through government funding.

8 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 Interest in boating is still booming, and all indications point to that continuing for a long time. It may be slower than during the pandemic spike - but it's still growing. As of December 1, 2023, there were approximately 2.9 million outstanding Pleasure Craft Licenses in Canada, with approximately 1.3 million in Ontario alone. The waterways are already crowded, and the numbers will only increase. The OPP Ontario is a vast province, and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is responsible for patrolling, ensuring safety, and enforcing laws on over 99,000 square kilometres of water, including Georgian Bay. Their fleet of vessels is often compared to a small navy, with good reason, considering the size and scope of their responsibilities. The OPP fleet comprises 152 vessels that range in length from 14 to 38 feet. They also have a fleet of 17 boats specifically designed for training the OPP and other agencies, a unique feature of the OPP, as no other police force in Canada has such a comprehensive training program. The OPP has 378 marine officers responsible for carrying out their duties on the water. What is happening on the water? Looking back at marine fatalities over the past decade, some findings may surprise you. The most significant factor is that 87 per cent of all marine fatalities occurred because the victim was not wearing a life jacket. Moreover, 92 per cent of these fatalities were male. Many of these accidents happened between noon and 6 p.m., accounting for 43 per cent of the total fatalities. The age factor is also significant – the highest number of fatalities was in the 55 to 64 age group, comprising 20 per cent of all deaths, followed by the 25-34 age group, with 18 per cent. Youth is not the problem. Vessel size is a critical factor, with 87 per cent of deaths occurring in vessels six metres or less. Motorized vessels account for 37 per cent of deaths, canoes for 26 per cent, kayaks 10 per cent, personal watercraft 6 per cent, and stand-up paddleboards 3 per cent. In 31 per cent of fatalities, alcohol or drugs were in evidence, but only 3 per cent of them were impaired. Over the past nine years, falling overboard accounted for 43.3 per cent of deaths, while capsizing caused 39.3 per cent of deaths. Collisions were responsible for only 7.96 per cent of deaths. Twenty-two fatal incidents caused 23 deaths last year. However, fatalities this year were the second-lowest since 2016. Out of 22 incidents, 17 people were not wearing life jackets - a number that shows progress but leaves lots of room for improvement. The causes of these incidents were falls overboard (12), capsizing (9), and collisions (2). All but one of the incidents involved vessels measuring six metres or less. While the number of marine charges under the Canada Shipping Act increased from 1,526 to 1,729, there was a decrease in liquor-related numbers. The OPP conducted 437 approved screening device tests, up from 426. Despite more stops and tests, the number of impaired incidents (blood alcohol >80 mg/100 mL) dropped from 38 to 34. The number of licence suspensions for boat operators in the warn range (between 50 and 80 mg/100 mL) also decreased from 68 to 63. Liquor Licence Control Act offences fell to 759 from 797, By Andrew Hurlbut, Chair, Boating, Safety and Emergencies Committee 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 Ontario 2023 Pleasure Craft Licenses (PCL) 111755 147798 155731 133289 126697 56953 Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) 145254 251992 198292 144795 158413 67657 Office of Boating Safety (OBS) Inquiries 2077 3692 4799 3585 2951 Boating 2023 BOATING Marine Fatalities – 13 years Lifejacket/PFD Status 22 22 23 20 18 23 31 24 18 32 27 29 23 86.36% 19 86.36% 19 91.30% 21 90.00% 18 100.00% 18 86.96% 20 74.19% 23 91.67% 22 72.22% 13 90.63% 29 88.89% 24 93.10% 27 73.90% 17 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 YTD Persons killed No lifejacket or PFD Used 312 270 Vessel Size 6m or Under – 21 incidents Over 6m - 1 incident Vessel Type Canoe – 3 Kayak – 4 Motorboat – 9 Pontoon – 1 PWC – 3 Row – 1 SUP - 1 2023 Marine Fatals – OPP Waterways 22 Incidents – 23 Fatalities Contributing Factor Capsize - 9 Collison with vessel - 2 Fall Overboard - 11

9 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 which is all good news. It’s important to note that receiving an impaired charge while operating a vessel will also impact your driver’s license. What Next? Wearing a life jacket is the easiest way to make boating safer. Let’s all take this simple step for our own safety. Eightythree per cent of water-related deaths occur due to sudden immersion caused by falling overboard or capsizing. It’s extremely difficult to grab and put on a life jacket if you fall in the water. Self-rescue or even staying afloat in the water requires a lot of strength, stamina, and a clear head. This is even more difficult when you are unexpectedly dumped into the water and in a state of surprise or shock. And who knows how long you might be in the water before help arrives? The Canadian Safe Boating Council and Transport Canada are researching the physical reaction of a person when they are unexpectedly thrown into the water, called the Shock Factor. They conducted the research with 80 subjects, including OPP Marine Coordinator Sgt. Dave Moffatt. The study found that even when people know they will be thrown into the water, their ventilation still spikes. When Sgt. Moffatt was thrown into cold water (16 degrees), his ventilation jumped by 110 per cent; when he was thrown into warm water (32 degrees), his ventilation jumped by a surprising 180 per cent. This spike in ventilation is called the GASP reflex, which can be dangerous. If you inhale water while gasping, you are at high risk of drowning, regardless of your swimming ability. To avoid this risk, it is recommended that you wear a life jacket. Our waterways are becoming increasingly busy. While laws are in place, it is also essential to prioritize safety, common sense, and courtesy. Let's collaborate to create a safer and more pleasant Bay experience. Please keep in mind the following safety tips while boating: ≥ Avoid complacency. Driving a boat is actually more difficult than driving a car. There are no delineated lanes, signs or light signals to guide you. And no brakes. Be extra alert and attentive while on the water. ≥ Be alert and avoid distractions from devices or passengers. Pay attention to what's happening around you, as a lot is happening in and around the water. Monitor your surroundings 360 degrees. ≥ Keep your distance and don’t follow too close or cut too close to vessels or land. ≥ Know what's behind you before slowing down or turning, and manage blind spots by slowing down if you can't see what's there. ≥ Within 30 metres of shore, there is a 10 km/h speed limit everywhere except rivers <100 metres wide or marked channels. ≥ Be aware of your wakes, as you are legally responsible. ≥ Know the rules of the water and always do your best to avoid a collision, even if you have the right of way. Make Good Decisions ≥ Wear your life jacket ≥ Respect the water and weather ≥ Don’t cruise with booze or drugs ≥ Plan ahead and share your plan ≥ Be properly equipped ≥ Be cold water aware ≥ Get passengers engaged ≥ Be a better boater ≥ Download a Safe Boating Guide: Did You Know? ≥ It’s the law to have a PFD within easy reach of everyone while underway in a pleasure craft. ≥ Having inflatable PFDs in your boat and within reach does not count. Inflatables must be worn to comply with safety regulations and avoid fines. They are comfortable - just wear them. (Note: prohibited for personal watercraft operators or those under 16/36.3 kg)

10 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 INVASIVE SPECIES The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has identified invasive species such as zebra mussels as a significant threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem. Research shows that larger transport ships play a major role in the introduction and spread of harmful aquatic invasive species. This happens when they discharge ballast water that may contain unwanted visitors like zebra mussels. Once these unwelcome visitors set up camp, they devastate the natural food chain, which can lead to dangerous algae growth, causing substantial environmental and economic harm to the Great Lakes and other bodies of water across the country. Seven years ago, in the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), the US Congress directed the EPA to set national standards for, and regulate discharges from, shipping vessels that can introduce and transfer invasive species. Since then, the EPA has repeatedly failed to issue rules protecting US waters and the Great Lakes from spreading and transferring harmful invasive species. In October 2020, the EPA released its proposed draft VIDA rules, which we, and many others, found deficient because they arbitrarily excluded “lakers” (vessels that do not leave the Great Lakes) from regulation. In response to this criticism, EPA issued a supplemental rule in 2023 that continues to exempt lakers from regulation, but proposes to regulate new lakers constructed after 2026. The EPA’s exclusion of existing lakers is problematic given that the ballast water discharged from these ships accounts for over 95 per cent of ballast water volumes transferred in the Great Lakes – and, thus, is a significant contributor to the spread of invasive species. Furthermore, new lakers are rarely built, and with the EPA’s assumption that approximately seven new lakers are constructed every 20 years, we estimate that it would take nearly a century for the existing laker fleet to turn over and be regulated under the EPA’s proposed approach. In 2022, the Canadian government issued a set of regulations that require all vessels stopping at Canadian ports to have ballast water treatment systems in place by the year 2030. This is in contrast to US regulations, which don't have similar requirements. The Canadian regulations are expected to reduce the spread of invasive species at Canadian Great Lakes ports by 82 per cent. The primary difference between the rules proposed in the US and those in Canada is that the Canadian regulations mandate the installation of a ballast water treatment system that meets certain equipment standards. This system is intended to remove harmful invasive species and pathogens from the ballast water. Canada realizes that although no system is currently in place to perform perfectly, it is better to require vessel operators to install treatment systems now to gain experience operating them, with the expectation that the systems will be improved over time. Canada evaluated the costs and benefits of imposing an equipment standard and found that the benefits outweighed the costs by a nearly three to one ratio, which is impressive. In contrast to Canada, the EPA based its decision on US legal requirements that it requires the “best available technology that is economically achievable.” The EPA wrongly determined that the costs of a ballast water treatment system that would meet the discharge standard could not be borne by industry. We have questioned this approach and noted that Canada found the compliance costs to be nearly one-third of the costs of compliance assumed by the EPA, although the fleet size is comparable. The EPA also questioned whether any existing system could perform as desired and justified its exclusion of regulating existing Lakers on the premise that something might be developed in the future that would perform better. Canada got this right. So far, the US has not, and we have noted deficiencies in the proposed EPA rule. The Great Lakes are a shared responsibility, and like our northern neighbour, the US waters should be protected by a federal ballast program that prevents the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species and pathogens. We cannot afford to wait another century for new technology when existing solutions are more than adequate to address the issue of invasive species. The EPA needs to act immediately to address this issue and ensure the safety of our environment. By Don Jodrey, Director of Federal Government Relations Alliance for the Great Lakes Proposed EPA Rule Fails to Protect the Great Lakes from Invasive Species

11 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 Although we are deep into the winter months and cottage life might seem but a faint memory, for GBA this is a very active time. Our network of volunteers, including Board and committee members, are meeting regularly and taking action to make sure your voices are being heard at all levels of government. I thought I would take this opportunity to extol the virtues of our many volunteers, because without their efforts, GBA would simply not have the impact that we have. First of all, our Board is at full strength with 23 representatives from our 17 member associations. Our Board meetings are always very well attended and members are ready and willing to engage in decisions and share their insights. As our past president Rolfe Jones used to say, this is the best Board you could ever hope to serve on. In addition, each Board member also serves on at least one of our 14 committees, but many serve on two or more. And of course, each committee needs a chair who is responsible for organizing meetings, setting agendas, and making sure that actions are carried out. Committees meet every month or two from September to June, and the concrete actions that come out of those meetings ensure we are always moving forward with our advocacy efforts. We also have more than a dozen other non-Board volunteers woven into almost every GBA committee. Some of these volunteers have specific expertise or connections that are essential for the optimal functioning of the committee they serve (e.g., the Aquaculture Committee, the Coastal Protection Committee, and the Float Homes Not Vessels Coalition). Others are former Board members who still want to make a valuable contribution to protecting Georgian Bay. As part of our efforts to protect the Bay, committee members write letters to decision makers and attend meetings with government representatives. They take part in conferences, write articles, create videos, engage with friends and family about issues on the Bay – in short, they give generously of their time and their creativity. While GBA relies heavily on our volunteers, I don’t want to forget about our small but mighty staff, made up of our executive director, Rupert, and our communications and executive services coordinator, Shannon. Between the two of them, while being pulled in multiple directions, they manage to herd our mighty team of volunteers to make sure that our advocacy is targeted and effective. We are lucky to be able to rely on such a strong and vibrant community to protect our beautiful Bay – and we could always use more helping hands. If you are interested in becoming more involved in GBA’s activities, we would be thrilled to have you. Feel free to get in touch with us by emailing editor@ PRESIDENT’S REPORT By Liz Phillips, GBA President Gratitude for GBA’s Volunteers fine dining, waterfront views, luxury amenities and accommodations. 2900 Kellys Road, Port Severn | 705-538-2272

12 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 Canada has signed on to international initiatives and agreements to increase global biodiversity. To meet these biodiversity targets, a number of land and water conservation initiatives have emerged in recent years, Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA) being one. Shawanaga Island IPCA is the only one currently in progress in Georgian Bay as of 2024. What is an IPCA? An IPCA is where Indigenous peoples lead the protection and care of lands and waters using Indigenous laws and knowledge. IPCAs should not be confused with land claims, as they are not part of any land claim processes. According to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative (ILI), IPCAs are nation-to-nation agreements that: ≥ Are led by Indigenous communities ≥ Represent a long-term commitment to conservation ≥ Elevate Indigenous rights and responsibilities While the protection of biodiversity is the main objective of IPCAs, cultural heritage practices and preservation of Indigenous languages are equally important, as well as the protection of land following Indigenous law and traditional environmental knowledge (TEK). There are 37 IPCA projects in Canada. By comparison, Australia has 82 Indigenous protected areas. IPCAs are one of several types of Indigenous conservation. Others include Tribal Parks, Indigenous Cultural Landscapes, Indigenous Protected Areas, and Indigenous Conserved Areas. Why Were IPCAs Established in Canada? Canada needs to meet biodiversity conservation goals to meet international agreements. The Canadian government set ambitious targets for land and water conservation in 2015. The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, established in 2011, was the starting point for international initiatives to remedy the global loss of biodiversity. In 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada launched the Target 1 Challenge, which included the following goals and timelines for protecting Canada’s land and waters: ≥ 2020 - 17 per cent of Canada’s land and inland waters and10 per cent of marine and coastal areas would be protected by 2020. ≥ 2025 - 25 per cent of Canada’s lands and waters will be protected by 2025. ≥ 2030 - 30 per cent of Canada’s lands and waters will be protected by 2030. Setting goals is one thing; accomplishing them is another. Pathway to Target 1 is the initiative to meet Canada’s Target 1 goals. The Pathway is a planning process that has established protocols, principles, and frameworks to achieve the targets. The Pathway to Target 1 team includes the Indigenous Circle of Experts as one of three groups contributing recommendations to the pathway. Reconciliation is one of the guiding principles. From the beginning, multiple cultural perspectives and knowledge systems were embedded in the process. Another mandate of the Pathway was to conceive of a network of protected and conserved areas rather than merely “green islands.” The connections in the network (i.e., migratory routes) are for animals, birds, fish etc., and are necessary for enhancing biodiversity in the long term. It’s important to consider the outcomes of conservation – to increase biodiversity – rather than just the quantity of land being conserved. Conservation of What? From What? Biodiversity is the web of life. It’s a fancy word for biology. Spending time in Georgian Bay, it’s hard to imagine that there’s a need to worry about biodiversity loss. However, increasing biodiversity is urgently needed from a global perspective to prevent ecosystem collapse. The biggest catalyst for loss of biodiversity (species decline) is habitat loss. We take biodiversity for granted in Georgian Bay. But we shouldn’t. Consider the analogy to personal health. You shouldn't take it for granted if one is fortunate enough to be healthy and in good physical shape. You still need to know what might put your health at risk and try to avoid those things. Indigenous Land Conservation in Georgian Bay By Doug Whitton, Chair, First Nations Liaison Committee LAND & FORESTS

13 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 Biodiversity is in a constant state of change. There was more biodiversity in Georgian Bay 100 years ago. If there’s more biodiversity in 100 years, it will probably be due to sound environmental management decisions being made now. Sustainable development is intended to increase biodiversity. Indigenous Conservation In a paper studying the contribution of Indigenous-led conservation, conventional land conservation practices are compared to Indigenous-led conservation in Australia, Brazil, and Canada. The conclusion was that Indigenous-led conservation was slightly better at meeting international biodiversity treaty targets.1 More info: IPCAs differ from traditional conservation approaches. Rather than protecting nature from human intervention, the model is based on stewardship, developing people's understanding of nature, and receiving the abundance of nature through traditional Indigenous hunting and gathering. Sustainable economic development can be pursued on IPCA lands. IPCAs are intended to benefit Indigenous Peoples while delivering measurable biodiversity outcomes for international treaties, so this doesn’t preclude economic development within sustainable limits. Conserved land doesn’t imply that people are excluded from enjoying it. With increased population growth will come an increased need for access to nature. National and Provincial Parks run by the state have, in the past, sought to preserve nature in a wild state, giving citizens an experience of visiting the wild for recreational purposes. Often the parks were established in a way that excluded Indigenous people from their traditional lands, cutting off access to hunting, trapping, and resource use, in effect shutting down a connection to the land. IPCAs offer one method to address treaty rights for land use in hunting, trapping, and plant gathering. Barriers to Establishing IPCAs The international biodiversity treaty targets set by the federal government often require the use of Crown lands that are under the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories. In Ontario, it is unclear if the provincial government will accept the federal choice of region for proposed IPCAs. IPCAs funded by the federal government could also encounter problems if the funding is not renewed. Once established, IPCAs need sustainable funding models and long-term economic planning. The opportunities for Indigenous-led sustainable economic models are thriving. Issak Olam Foundation is a leader in forming and developing IPCAs on the West Coast. It has a knowledge hub for capacity building to re-establish Indigenous Peoples' re-connection to the environment. The foundation has led a post-secondary course in IPCA planning. IPCA Management and Partnership Land conservation in general, including Indigenous land conservation, will be challenged in the future if climate change and extreme weather events persist. In the summer of 2023, one IPCA in Saskatchewan, Sakitawak Conservation Area Project, is estimated by the community to have lost half of its forest to fire. Partners in IPCA formation may include various stakeholders, but no cookie-cutter solution exists. Municipal governments, community associations, conservation organizations, non-profits, and more might be involved. This requires communication and articulation of planning and vision to align common interests. The opportunity for sustainable economic development through IPCAs is an important innovation needed to maintain the value of the Georgian Bay ecosystem. Protection and conservation of land and water will face increasing challenges in Georgian Bay as we adapt to climate extremes and accommodate the increased demand for access to nature from Canada's increasing population density. Indigenous conservation offers one model of stewardship that can provide a way forward. These challenges can be addressed, in part, using pan-Canadian tools for conservation that support progress towards Canada Target 1 through the creation and recognition of protected areas, Indigenous protected and conserved areas (IPCAs), and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs). - The Pathway to Target 1: “ “ 1 Schuster R, Germain RR, Bennet JR, Reo NJ, Arcese P. Vertebrate biodiversity on indigenous-managed lands in Australia, Brazil, and Canada equals that in protected areas. Environmental Science & Policy. 2019 Nov;101:1-6.

14 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 How It Works The federal government regulates the navigation of waterways in Canada. The safety and security of Canada’s marine transportation system is one of the Government of Canada’s highest priorities. Taking the views of Canadians into account plays a critical part in a transparent, modern, and streamlined regulatory regime. Transport Canada is the ministry responsible for administrating the Canada Shipping Act 2001 and the Canadian Navigable Waters Act (amended 2019). The Office of Boating Safety oversees regulations, standards and policies, enforcement, and technical services for recreational vessels. They encourage safe boating practices and compliance with regulations. The Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, municipal police forces, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry primarily do actual enforcement. As boating evolves, TC will consider creating or changing regulations to reflect the new realities of our waterways. It is essential to understand that TC greatly values public consultation in this process. So, what steps are taken for an idea or issue to become a regulation? It all starts with presenting the issue at one of the Canadian Marine Advisory Council Meetings, explaining the problem and possible suggestions for mitigation. The next step is a Let's Talk Transportation consultation. As an issue becomes better defined, TC invites public input on several options for it. The consultation can last 30-90 days. TC also publishes What We Heard after each consultation. After considering the Let’s Talk feedback, TC refines the input and proposes possible regulatory changes that will be published in Canada Gazette 1, with another 30 to 90-day consultation period. This is the last chance for the public to share their views. The feedback is considered, and then, in six to 12 months, Canada Gazette 2 is launched, which describes the finalized regulations that are now law. Have your say! Small but vocal interest groups can alter and even prevent legislative changes that seemed to be well supported by the broader boating community. The Treasury Board only considers the written input they receive when deciding on enacting regulatory changes. If you have an opinion – share it! (Note: we post all these consultations on our website multiple times). Canada Gazette activity this year: ≥ Regulations Amending the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations (submission 2021). A new Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations (VORR) subsection 7.1 will apply only to wake surfing. Many groups are worried about the environmental impact of wake surfing and navigation safety issues. This will allow local authorities to get regulatory relief for only wake surfing and not affect other towing sports. Canada Gazette 1 closed on August 16, 2023, and was published in Canada Gazette on December 20, 2023 and is now law. ≥ Pleasure Craft Licensing Modernization. Changes include: licences will last five years; permits will cost $24; all pleasure craft must be licensed if they have a motor ≥10 horsepower or are wind powered and >6 m. Owners must notify TC of address changes within 30 days and it will be easier for TC to cancel a licence. Let’s Talk Consultations completed: ≥ Decibel Limits. TC is looking to introduce noise limits for manufacturers and importers of new and existing pleasure craft. Decibel limits for standing at the dock and pass-by operation will be set in line with international standards. These changes are targeted to be published in Canada Gazette 1 in fall 2024, and in Gazette 2 in fall 2025. ≥ Propellor-rolled surfboards. TC will lift the prohibition on these vessels. This will include creating definitions for them and setting manufacturing standards and defining required safety equipment. ≥ Engine Cut Off Switches. Cut-off switches are being proposed for new builds that are less than eight m, over three horsepower, and don’t have an enclosed cabin as the primary helm. In existing boats that have cut-off switches installed, operators might be required to use them. These changes are targeted to be published in Canada Gazette 1 in fall 2024, and in Gazette 2 in fall 2025. ≥ Long-term anchoring. For now, TC recognizes float homes as vessels in Ontario. They are asking if they should regulate/restrict long-term anchoring, which would limit the ability of these non-traditional vessels to camp out for extended periods. Let's Talk closed on December 11, 2023. ≥ VORRs 2022. These will provide provinces and municipalities with a more significant role in managing their waterways. For urgent environment or safety restrictions, authorities can use Incorporation by Reference and temporary Ministerial Orders. Let’s Talk period closed on December 11, 2023. Transport Canada in 2023 BOATING By Andrew Hurlbut, Chair, Boating, Safety and Emergencies Committee

15 GBA UPDATE Spring 2024 GUARDIANS OF THE BAY By Katherine Denune, Chair, Guardians of the Bay Committee This summer will be the second year of our new stewardship program in the Sans Souci and Copperhead area. The Sans Souci Islands Stewards is a community conservation program to care for and monitor highly visited Crown land islands. I am excited to share this new initiative as it could serve as a model for other Georgian Bay communities. A group of approximately 20 cottagers created the Sans Souci Islands Stewards due to concerns over increasing human activity on two well-loved Crown land islands. Cottagers identified the growing number of visitors and campers, vegetation loss, and human waste as potential adverse impacts on the islands. As neighbours, we love these islands and want people to continue to enjoy them in a manner that preserves their unique environments. Collectively, our goals are to minimize human impact on the islands, create a community of passionate conservationists, and learn more about Georgian Bay's unique wildlife. Last summer, we initiated our long-term monitoring program to learn more about how visitors use the islands and the unique species that live there. Volunteers visit the islands at least once a year, fill out monitoring forms and collect any litter they find. Together, we record data on species at risk, flowering plants, visitor count, signs of human impact, types and quantities of litter, etc. We are excited to monitor tadpole populations over time. During our first season, we successfully replaced an old and worn-out camp toilet, commonly known as a "thunderbox," on one of the islands. The Outer Islands Project of White Squall in Nobel generously donated the thunderbox. In addition, the Outer Islands Project served as an excellent resource for us as they lead an ongoing volunteer effort to maintain Crown land campsites on Franklin Island and its surrounding areas. We quickly realized that installing a thunderbox was easier said than done, as the old hole was full of plastic bags and bottles that were challenging to remove. We hope that visitors will treat our new, shiny thunderbox with care and respect. Looking forward to this summer, we are excited to continue monitoring these islands and share how much we care about these special places in our community. Please consider what areas in your community could use a little help. To learn more and see our efforts from last summer, visit: A New Community Stewardship Model