- Water Levels
- Water Quality
- Plastic Pollution
- Coastal Protection
- Planning Issues
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...
We are excited to announce that the GBA’s Coastal Protection Committee’s Municipal Planning Comparison Project (MPCP) is entering into its final stages of development. The executive summary can now be found here on our website. Over the next few months we will be publishing the presentation, and then the full comparison, following review by your five coastal municipalities. The GBA’s Coastal Protection Committee (CPC)’s mandate is to support the protection of the natural environment, biodiversity and ecology of the lands and waters of the eastern and northern coasts of Georgian Bay. The CPC aims to benefit the public by promoting and defending sound planning standards and protecting the integrity of municipal planning regulations, in order to ensure that development is sustain
Led by the governments of Canada (Environment & Climate Change Canada) and the US (Environmental Protection Agency) in collaboration with various research partners, the State of the Great Lakes assessment gives an annual overview of the water quality and ecosystem health of each Great Lake and identifies current trends and emerging challenges each lake is facing. Based on the nine indicators looked at in the report, the overall status of the Lake Huron basin ecosystem is Good and the trend is Unchanging despite noting nearshore algal blooms and a reduction in offshore nutrients due to invasive mussels. Here is the report card: GOOD Be a source of safe, high-quality drinking water Allow for unrestricted swimming and other recreational use Allow for unrestricted h
District of Parry Sound is Focusing on Affordable Housing The District of Parry Sound Social Services Administration Board is prioritizing affordable housing. The board, which is comprised of municipal councillors and provincial appointees from the area, recognize the need for affordable housing and will be getting projects ready so that they are able to take advantage of the provincial and federal governments' housing initiatives when money becomes available. The Board, led by Rick Zanussi, Chair, is to be commended for undertaking this initiative to build sustainable communities. Affordable housing has been a long-time focus of GBA as healthy communities ensure that GBA members will be able to access all the services they require. Read more here. Township of the Archi
Two snowmobilers are dead following two separate incidents on Georgian Bay area waterways this week. On Wednesday, Jan. 25, West Parry Sound OPP responded to a missing person call on Oastler Lake after a snowmobiler did not return to a planned location. After a search, snowmobile tracks were found leading to open water. The deceased is a 29-year old female from Sudbury. On January 22, 2023 at 10:45 a.m. a cottager observed two parties in distress and called the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to report the incident. Members of the Southern Georgian Bay detachment of the OPP, OPP Aviation Services, Georgian Bay Fire Department, Simcoe County and Muskoka Region Paramedics rushed to the scene to take over rescue attempts from local residents who were trying to help the snowmo
Temperatures have been above normal so far this month throughout the basin. Lake Michigan-Huron continues to be below the level it was at this time last year – see first graph below. - From a month ago the water levels on Lakes Superior & Michigan-Huron are down 2 & 1 inches, respectively, and Lakes St Clair, Erie & Ontario are up 2, 3 & 8 inches, respectively. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St Clair, Erie & Ontario are lower by 6, 10, 9 & 8 inches respectively, and Lakes Superior is up 11 inches, than they were at this time last year. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St Clair, Erie & Ontario are 7, 5, 9, 11 & 4 inches above, respectively, their long term January average. All the lakes remain well below their January record highs, excep
The Township of the Archipelago (ToA) announced on January 3, 2023 that it has purchased 38 acres of land in the Village of Pointe au Baril Station to assist residents with entry level housing. The site is located on North Shore Road adjacent to the telecommunications tower that was erected in 2021. - The township will undertake the necessary studies to ensure the site can be serviced in an environmentally appropriate manner. The planning process is expected to take 18 to 24 months. - The township plans to host an information session on the North Shore Road project once further details are confirmed. - Read more here.
The Great Lakes are seeing record low ice amounts for this time of the year due to warmer-than-normal winter temperatures across the basin so far. NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) keeps track of the ice cover percentage each day and has built a database of average ice cover, record high ice cover and record low ice cover. Warm temperatures are continuing to hold back ice growth and could bring new record low ice amounts for mid-January. - From the GLERL charts: Lake Superior has only 2.4% ice cover right now compared to a long-term average of 12.3% Lake Michigan only has 3.5% ice cover now compared to a typical amount of 14.3% Lake Huron only has 4.4% ice cover compared to a usual 22% coverage in mid-January La
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and its Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) partners are cautioning snowmobilers about the increased risks posed by a milder winter and reminding them of the common sense approach needed to avoid a tragic outcome to their riding season. The late onset of cold temperatures and lack of snow in many parts of Ontario have set a particularly dangerous stage for snowmobilers, especially those who are considering riding on frozen waterways. Close to 40 per cent of OPP-investigated snowmobile fatalities have occurred on frozen lakes and rivers over the past 10 years. Snowmobilers are therefore urged to avoid all frozen waterways at all times! The majority of OFSC trails are currently unavailable and snowmobilers need to stay off all OFSC trails e
Temperatures have been above normal so far this month throughout the basin. - Lake Michigan-Huron continues to be below the level it was at this time last year – see first graph below. - From a month ago the water levels on Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, & Erie are down 1, 1 & 0 inches, respectively, and Lake St Clair & Ontario are up 0 & 7 inches, respectively. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St Clair, Erie & Ontario are lower by 7, 12, 12 & 8 inches respectively, and Lakes Superior is up 11 inches, than they were at this time last year. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St Clair, Erie & Ontario are 7, 5, 10, 9 & 3 inches above, respectively, their long term January average. All the lakes remain well below their January record highs
Winter road conditions are here and the OPP want to remind drivers venturing out to adjust their driving habits. This short OPP video and the tip list below will help you get where you're going safely this winter. Tips for Hitting the Road this Winter Clear all windows, mirrors, headlights and your roof of snow and ice - this will assist with visibility and help avoid having ice and debris falling off your vehicle Get snow tires - having winter tires can improve traction in frost, snow and icy conditions and shorten the braking distance of your vehicle (you may get an insurance break!) Turn off the cruise control on wet, snowy, or icy pavement - cruise control can reduce your reaction time and vehicle control Remember to give other vehicles extra room - it can take v
With weather conditions becoming more unpredictable and storms becoming increasingly severe, being prepared on a winter drive can make a life-or-death difference. Preparing a winter survival kit for your vehicle can save you if you are stuck on the side of the road in poor conditions. Aside from keeping you fuel tank filled and making sure you have an ice-scraper and washer fluid that works down to -40ºC, a winter survival kit for your vehicle should include: a charged cell phone water and non-perishable food flashlight blanket and warm clothes a first aid kit with seat belt cutter jumper cables shovel traction mats or sand candles and a lighter or matches tow rope antifreeze warning light or flares whistle fire extinguisher The government
Congress has approved funding for several projects and programs that will combat environmental issues and benefit the Great Lakes region. Included in the $1.7 trillion dollar spending plan is: $368 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is one of the most important ongoing effort to fight invasive species, harmful algal blooms, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and clean up pollution $62 million for two projects in the Chicago area to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes $48 million is for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project to start construction of a barrier There is also funding earmarked for projects to improve drinking water, shorelines and waste management. Read more about the funding 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