A newly released report
April 2017: The Township of the Archipelago has just released their Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program Report, 2016 Results. It’s a great report. See: http://www.thearchipelago.on.ca/images/environment/toa%20wq%20report_april%202017_final_reduced%20ver.pdf. Please note that they are recommending further volunteer testing in some new locations and the reinstatement of other locations. Have a look at your part of the Bay.
Increased dialogue about source water protection
The GBA is pleased that there has been more discussion about water protection and source water protection for Georgian Bay. Climate change makes water protection more important.
Figure 1: Highway 69 at Pointe au Baril Feb 25, 2017, flooding due to “100-year storm”; two “100-yr storms” occurred in 2016, in April and Nov!
Environment Canada’s Science and Stewardship Forum was held Jan 25-26th in Barrie. Invited were are the recipients of Environments Canada’s funding under the Clean Up Funding. An overwhelming amount of science was presented (21 presentations the first day and 13 the next!). One very interesting study was about phosphorous and mixing presented by Dr. Mathew Wells, U of T, titled Evaluating the linkage between circulation and spatial water quality patterns in the nearshore of South-eastern Georgian Bay (study based in ‘Shawanaga Inlet’, Pointe au Baril). Key findings were:
- Level of phosphorous in inlets depends on mixing.
- Archipelago – compare to an estuary, coined ‘Freshtuary’
- We have semi-diurnal tides of about 5cm.
- Particles travel 5-10kms in and out of the inlets.
Figure 2: shows the distance particles travelled
So, if you wonder where your paddle floated off to check 5-10km distance!
Webinar “Facing Climate Change” with Environmental Commissioner, Dr. Dianne Saxe, Feb 8th. This was first of a 2-part series of webinars, the second being on the topic of carbon credits. The whole presentation is on-line and a short (30 min) and good synopsis of what climate change is going on. Here we share 2 of the slides that illustrate the extreme changes that are happening.
Figure 3: graph plotting anomalies in temperatures
Figure 4: the effect of climate change in Ontario
Discussions about water protection solutions
Here is some of what we’ve been discussing and we’re well on the way to having some of these things done (several Primers almost ready to be published).
Lovely outdoor event
Summer 2016 – The GBA participated in the eXXpedition event on August 20t.
Figure 5:Katherine Wheatley playing Georgian Bay-inspired songs at Sail Parry Sound with Stand Up Paddle Boarders and Cruising Sailboats in the background
Microalgae (del15N) Pilot Study
In the summer of 2016, the GBA participated in a pilot study with:
- F. Baird and Associates Coastal Engineers Ltd.
- McMaster University
- MOECC (Todd Howell)
The aim of the pilot was to determine if sampling and testing algae for Nitrogen isotopes (del 15N) can determine human influence on water quality in an efficient manner to be used as a tool in Georgian Bay. A full report is expected April 2017.
Figure 6: collecting algae and sending it for testing might prove to a useful way to determine if there has been human influence on the water
Figure 7: Algae such as this is easy to collect and can be stored frozen until tested
GBA local association survey about water testing
2016 – results from the GBA survey that was conducted in the summer of 2015 showed that many local organizations were using the Lake Partner Program and some were conducting bacterial testing. We learned were gaps in knowledge and the ability to compare results. Our findings were shared with the other GB5 organizations and with Environment Canada and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Lake Partner Program. It also contributed to the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve’s report, Enclosed Bays and Inland Lakes Phosphorus Monitoring Guideline (http://www.gbbr.ca/our-environment/state-of-the-bay-report/) and we were better able to communicate with cottage associations about water quality.