Sunday, June 9, 2013

Canada’s Threatened Places - Ontario – Georgian Bay

By Ryan Stuart

Rating: *** out of *****

This article is more a factual and informative article than a story or adventure.  In Ontario, the Georgian Bay is one of Canada’s threatened places.  The Bay is a large, island-rich bay separated from the rest of Lake Huron by the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island.  I was really surprised to read there are 30,000 islands in Georgian Bay.  The article reports on the Great Lake fish species and the wetlands in the Bay.  Because it is so nice and beautiful scenery and water, Georgian Bay is prime vacation county with lots of marinas, cottages and camps. 

The articles reports the Bay is at critically low levels because of dredging of the St. Clair River and the drier and warmer water weather for the past 13 years.  The Bay now sits 75 cm below normal and in a range defined as “crisis condition” by the International Joint Commission (the Commission watches over cross-boundary water issues on the Great Lakes.  The article talks about the problems that have happened because of the low levels such as cutting off access to spawning habitat for some fish, access for people to their cottages and camps, and marinas.  In order to help, the Sierra Club and other organizations suggest submerged sills on the St. Clair River bottom to raise water levels enough to flood the wetlands and most navigation channels, but both the US and Canadian governments need to sign off to make the $100 million plan happen.  That is a lot of money.

                The article ends by talking about the adventures of kayaking, canoeing and swimming. 

My Aunt and Uncle Woodhouse live on Georgian Bay on the outside of Owen Sound, Kemble, ON.  I have played along the shore of Georgian Bay but the water is usually too cold to go swimming.  The past few years they have talked about how low the water levels are in the Bay.  The big export ships that usually travel the Bay have had to stop running.  I hope to be able to go visit my cousins this summer to see the Bay but I hope it starts to get better.

Stuart, Ryan. “Urgent Adventure:  Canada’s threatened Places” Explore Magazine 2013, page 49, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Print.  

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