Who Does What on Georgian Bay? Your Guide to the GB5 Organizations Working to Protect the BayRead More...
The “Guardians of the Bay” (GOTB) is an initiative to permeate a mentality of protection and preservation across all parties that touch Georgian Bay, in any way, big or small.Read More...
On July 31, 2020 the House of Representatives passed a bill that includes support for the Great Lakes. This bill provides funding for inland waterway navigation projects, the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project, which is designed to keep Asian carp from penetrating the Great Lakes, and provides funding for Army Corps of Engineers research on ways to fight harmful algal blooms. Since Trump became president, a bi-partisan group from the US Congress and Senate have consistently supported the preservation of Great Lakes funding and have so far succeeded in overturning Trump’s proposed budget cuts. This next round of Great Lakes funding still requires Senate approval. Read more about the bill here.
Over the last week many areas in the Great lakes basin received significant precipitation. Rainstorms are also predicted for most of the basin for Sunday and Monday. - Water levels continue to be well above average and near or above record high levels. From a month ago the water level on Lake Superior is up 3 inches, Lakes Michigan-Huron and St Clair are unchanged, and Erie & Ontario are both down 3 inches. Lakes Superior, Ontario, & Erie are lower by 3, 3 & 20 inches, respectively, and Lakes Michigan-Huron & St. Clair are 3 & 2 inches higher, respectively, than they were at this time last year. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St Clair, Erie & Ontario are 10, 34, 34, 28 & 9 inches, respectively, above their long term August average. Lake
- Following public consultations, the province of Ontario has made changes to its initial proposal and has decided to introduce a hunting season that will run annually from September 15 to December 31, starting in 2020. The original proposal called for a longer season and a 50-bird a day limit with hunters able to leave behind dead or wounded cormorants. GBA highlighted significant public safety concerns in its submission to request that this hunt proposal be cancelled. We still have concerns that the science is being ignored, but appreciate the shortened hunting season, reduction in the daily limit from 50 to 15, and the requirement to retrieve the birds, rather than leave them to rot. The Ontario government’s news release on the hunt can be found here and the official details of th
Water levels continue to be well above average and near or above record high levels. From a month ago the water level on Lakes Superior is up 3 inches, Michigan-Huron is unchanged, and Lakes St Clair, Erie & Ontario are down 2, 3 & 3 inches, respectively. Lakes Superior, St. Clair, Ontario, & Erie are lower by 3, 2, 4 & 22 inches, respectively, and Lake Michigan-Huron is 3 inches higher than it was at this time last year. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St Clair, Erie & Ontario are 11, 34, 30, 26 & 5 inches, respectively, above their long term July average. Lake Michigan-Huron is 2 inches higher than its previous record high for July. All the other lakes are below their July record high. In a month’s time, the level of Lake Superior
Township of Georgian Bay (TGB) council rejected the Macey Bay trailer park site plan proposal, but approved the developer moving ahead with 90 trailers (half of the original number). Even though this greatly reduced project will put less pressure on the local ecology, should it proceed, continued vigilance is still needed to ensure all potential environmental impacts are fully mitigated. GBA will continue to closely monitor this development. Read more here.
As water levels remain close to record highs on the Great Lakes, Georgian Bay Association (GBA) and Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) are hosting a Water Levels Web Symposium on October 24, 2020. This event will showcase Great Lakes System experts discussing water level fluctuations, human interference in the system, and data collection. There will also be a chance for you to ask your pressing questions. More information on our speakers and registration details will follow shortly. Stay tuned!
We know you love the Bay everyday, but here’s a special opportunity to show it all through August. As Guardians of the Bay we all share a deep appreciation for Georgian Bay and want to preserve and protect it so it can be enjoyed for generations to come. Bay Day is an annual initiative introduced by GBA where associations organize local events and activities to engage and educate the membership, celebrate, and spruce up the magnificent Georgian Bay we all care about. Normally Bay Day is an event held on one day in the summer in areas up and down the Bay. With COVID-19 upon us, these larger celebrations are being scaled back, so this year we’re taking Bay Day in a different direction and making every day in August a Bay Day. We invite you to come up with a fun activity
Their primitive looks and menacing name have given the snapping turtle a bad reputation, but these gentle giants are too shy to bite your toes in the water. Although generally found close to shore, snapping turtles would rather swim away from you than have a confrontation. In fact the “snapping” is a protective measure they use on land when threatened because, unlike some turtles, they can’t retract their entire body inside their shell. Snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtles in Canada, with individuals weighing up to 34 kg. Their carapace, or shell, is black or brown, and they have a long tail, but their most distinguishing feature is their hooked upper jaw. Snapping turtles are omnivorous, and play an important role in cleaning our waters by eating rotting fish,
Over the last week the Great Lakes region received substantial precipitation. Most of the basin received between 0.25 to 2.0 inches; however, large portions of the basin received from 2.0 to 6.0 inches. Temperatures throughout the region remained above average for most of the past week. Water levels continue to be well above average and near or above record high levels. - From a month ago the water level on Lakes Superior & St Clair are up 2 & 1 inches respectively, Michigan-Huron is unchanged, and Lakes Erie & Ontario are down 1 & 3 inches, respectively. Lakes Superior, St. Clair, Ontario, & Erie are lower by 2, 1, 3 & 23 inches, respectively, and Lake Michigan-Huron is 4 inches higher than it was at this time last year. Lakes Superior, Michigan-
Large and destructive wakes have long been an issue for cottagers, and the recent high water levels and shoreline conditions have made the problem much worse. The law states that power-driven vessels must slow down to 10 km/hour within 30 meters of a shoreline except in canals and marked channels. While most boaters are aware and respectful of the rules, there are others who are not. Understanding the Impacts Large wakes can create unsafe conditions, be harmful to the environment, and cause property damage, notably: Hazards for swimmers and smaller vessels Large wake can cause dangerous conditions for swimmers and can even swamp smaller vessels. Shoreline erosion Wake combined with higher water levels can cause plants and trees to lose their root support and g
As Ontario prepared to move into Phase 3 of reopening, the government introduced Bill 197, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020. This omnibus bill, which passed on July 21, proposes to stimulate economic growth by amending 20 existing pieces of legislation, including the environmental assessment (EA) process, in an attempt to expedite development. Criticism is mounting on the Ford government’s cavalier action in fast-tracking the COVID-19 Recovery Act, and the provisions that compromise the EA process. The potential for a legal challenge to this bill is being widely explored by many, who have grave concerns that by treating environmental protections as “so much red tape”, this government is clearing the path for rampant development with no environmental oversight and using the
Despite the Saugeen Ojibway Nation's overwhelming rejection of a previous plan for a low and intermediate nuclear waste repository on their territory, a site in the same area is now under consideration to store high-level radioactive waste. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), a non-profit group responsible for the safe, long-term management of Canada's used nuclear fuel, is looking to establish a permanent, deep geological repository site in the municipality of South Bruce or near Ignace in northwestern Ontario. This new dump site would accept spent fuel rods from the 18 nuclear reactors in Ontario and a single reactor in New Brunswick. - GBA will monitor and report on this proposal as it develops. Read more here. -
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
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 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
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