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Thunder Bay PAC Meeting – November 12

October 27, 2014

The next meeting of the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan, or cleanup plan, will take place at  7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12 at the Health Sciences Centre on the Lakehead University Campus (map). The general public is welcome to attend and there is no charge.

Links to Important Documents:

North Harbour Options Report Available

October 31, 2014

Approximately 300,000-350,000 cubic metres (a lot) of mercury contaminated, enriched organic sediment is presently sitting on the bottom of Lake Superior within the breakwall in the northernmost section of the Thunder Bay Harbour.

The Thunder Bay North Harbour Project Steering Committee is happy to announce that the Sediment Management Options Evaluation – FINAL REPORT is available for public distribution through the EcoSuperior website.

Please take the time to download and review the report if interested and submit any comments or questions to Jamie Saunders (807-624-2658 or For more information visit It is anticipated that a further round of public consultation meetings and open houses will take place in mid-late October. Stay tuned for more information.

Binational Great Lakes Climate Quarterly (June-Aug 2014) Now Available

October 15, 2014

It was a colder and wetter summer than usual for the Great Lakes region and Great Lakes water levels have been on the rise.  For a binational overview of the latest season’s weather and water level conditions, weather and water level-related impacts and an outlook for the upcoming quarter take a look at the “Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook: Great Lakes Region”.  This Canada-US climate quarterly newsletter is produced jointly by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Environment Canada, working in collaboration with other U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes partners.  Its geographical scope spans the Great Lakes basin, including the international portion of the St. Lawrence River.  Issues are published in March, June, September and December covering Winter (Dec-Feb); Spring (Mar-May); Summer (Jun-Aug) and Fall (Sep-Nov).

The Great Lakes Climate Quarterly is available from Environment Canada (here). Historic reports and those covering a broader range of regions across the United States avaiable from NOAA (here).

Nipigon PAC Meeting – October 15

October 1, 2014
Lake Helen

Lake Helen on the Nipigon River

The next meeting of the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan, or cleanup plan, will take place at  7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 15 at the Lake Helen Community Resource Centre (map). The general public is welcome to attend and there is no charge.

The meeting topics to be discussed include:

  • A presentation on the Nipigon Bay RAP status update
  • An update regarding development of a stormwater management plan for Nipigon

Previous Minutes – April, 2014
Public Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Chief Morriseau Concerned Over Potential Relocation of North Harbour Sediments to Mission Bay CDF

August 27, 2014

In a recent article, Chief Georjaan Morriseau of the Fort William First Nation expressed concern over the potential relocation of mercury-contaminated sediment in the Thunder Bay North Harbour to the Mission Bay confined disposal facility.

This concern comes after Cole Engineering recently released their Sediment Management Options Report which is available here. In the report, the preferred management option involves dredging the nearly 400,000 cubic meters of the material currently located near the former Cascades mill and disposing it into the confined disposal facility near Chippewa Park.

The general public still has the opportunity to provide comments and input on the selected options. Comments should be directed to Jamie Saunders of EcoSuperior or by using the form (linked here).


RAP Kayak Tour – Lower Nipigon River

August 18, 2014
RAP Kayak Tour - Lower Nipigon River

Participants in the RAP Kayak tour of the lower Nipigon River, August 17th. A similar event for hikers took place on July 20th. Click the photo above to see a short video (10′) about both events.

      The tours were great fun and great exercise but mostly great education. Participants learned about progress within the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan to address environmental issues in the Nipigon River and Nipigon Bay on Lake Superior.

Click here for more kayak event photos. Click here for more hiking event photos

Twenty-one kayaks and canoes headed out on August 17th for a RAP paddling tour of the lower Nipigon River. The tour visited the following points:

  • Nipigon River Lagoon
  • Clearwater Creek
  • Nipigon Water Pollution Control Plant area
  • Nipigon River Wetlands
  • Sawmill Point

At the above locations, RAP personnel provided commentary about progress in addressing environmental issues identified through the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan, or cleanup plan. At the lagoon, plans to increase water exchange with the main river and to rehabilitate fish habitat were outlined; at Clearwater Creek an overview was provided about stormwater management. A bit further down the river information was provided about positive impacts to the river ecosystem through installation of upgrades to the Nipigon municipal effluent treatment system. The provincially significant Nipigon River wetland complex was visited, where kayakers raised points about the myriad functions of wetlands, and near the river mouth, at Sawmill Point, kayakers were made aware of the large-scale “hands-on” cleanup completed by Remedial Action Plan Public Advisory Committee volunteers. RAP personnel also pointed out that upgrades to municipal wastewater treatment in Red Rock would be proceeding in the near future.

Thanks very, very much to all who participated, to Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, without whose support this event would not have been possible, to the Town of Nipigon for the excellent launch facilities, to Nipigon Town Councillor Gord Mackenzie and wife Karin for their warm welcome to Nipigon and for their participation, to Lise Vaugeois, certified kayaking instructor, who accompanied participants and to The Grizzly Den Kayakers (Facebook login necessary for this link) who provided participants, perspective, kayaking safety in numbers and a great group of people with which to kayak.

Participants enjoyed a light lunch after the event at the Nipigon Marina gazebo. The trip was fun and great exercise. Mostly though, it was an educational experience for a group of people who demonstrate true interest in the health of Lake Superior by regularly paddling its waters, not only on Nipigon Bay, but at locations around the entire lake. Thanks everyone.

Presentation: Black Bay Peninsula – August 19

August 13, 2014
Tuesday August 19 at 7:30pm at the Salem Lutheran Church Hall – Pass Lake, the Pass Lake CARE Group will have a special presentation.

Black Bay Peninsula is recognized internationally as the last significant roadless peninsula remaining in the entire Great Lakes Basin and has a habitat that warrants special attention. The peninsula is the site of regionally rare plant species and includes one of the finest examples of shoreline peatland along Lake Superior. There are contentious issues around logging and road building on this isolated and sensitive peninsula.

Guest speaker Gerry Stricker, of the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists, will share slides and information about this unique location. The public is invited to come out and listen and learn of the environmental effects of road building through marshlands for logging.

Podcast Series – August 2014 Edition

August 11, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Certified sea kayaking instructor Lise Vaugeois (background) and Kirsten Maki (foreground) enjoying an evening on Lake Superior as part of the 2013  Remedial Action Plan kayak tour of Thunder Bay Harbour. Click the photo to hear the interview with Lise.

In the August 2014 edition of InfoSuperior’s podcast series Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan Coordinator, Jim Bailey, speaks with certified kayaking instructor Lise Vaugeois ( about her experiences kayaking on Lake Superior.

The interview deals with her background in music, the spiritual connection that being on the Lake can bring, and the need to ensure continued effort towards a pristine Lake Superior ecosystem.

To listen to the interview, click on the photo above.

Related Event:
Sunday, August 17th from 10am to 1pm – Nipigon Marina, Nipigon, Ontario

2014 Newsletters for Lake Superior AOCs

August 1, 2014

Newsletters for each of the three environmental Areas of Concern on Lake Superior, as well as for the Jackfish Bay Area of Concern in Recovery, are accessible via the following links. These are 2014 newsletters available in English and French.

Thunder Bay Area of Concern

Nipigon Bay Area of Concern

Jackfish Bay Area of Concern in Recovery

Peninsula Harbour Area of Concern



2014 Lightning Class Sailing Championships – Thunder Bay (Jul. 12-13)

July 7, 2014

Monday, July 7th 2014

Close competition in Lightning class sailboats at an event at Amethyst Harbour on Lake Superior

Members of the Temple Reef Sailing Club utilize the waters of Thunder Bay harbour on a very frequent basis. During the summer they sail the harbour on a daily basis and participate in harbour races on a weekly basis.

This summer, the Temple Reef Sailing Club, with event partners the Thunder Bay Yacht Club, will be hosting the Canadian Lightning Championships in tandem with the Great Lakes Masters’ Championship for Laser Class sailboats. These events will be held on Lake Superior, in Thunder Bay, on July 12th and 13th, 2014. In this podcast, Competitors and race organizers Julia and Ross Bailey are interviewed about sailing, this Canadian Championship and Great Lakes Masters Championship event and their thoughts about Lake Superior.

To listen to the interview, click on the photo above.

Event Website:

International Lightning Class Association

North American Laser Class Association

Related Links:
Thunder Bay Yacht ClubSail Thunder BayManitoba Sailing Association, Ontario Sailing Association