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Thunder Bay PAC Meeting – December 1

November 11, 2015

November 2015 Thunder Bay Harbour sampling for aesthetic parameters including scums, slicks and odours. Findings will be presented at the December 1st PAC meeting. Photos of aesthetics sampling.

The Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan, or harbour cleanup plan, will meet at  7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1st at the Balmoral Street Centre on the Lakehead University campus (Room: HS 1029). Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

Agenda items include:

  • presentation of the latest water quality data for Thunder Bay public swimming beaches by Troy Sampson of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • an overview of on-water monitoring carried out this fall for harbour aesthetic conditions including slicks, scums, foam and odours
  • a new online mapping tool for the Thunder Bay Area of Concern.

Links to Related Documents and Information:



Nipigon Bay PAC Meeting – December 9

November 11, 2015

The Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan meets at 7 p.m. on December 9th in the Red Rock Recreation Centre. The Town of Red Rock has been invited to the meeting to provide an update on construction of their new wastewater treatment plant.

To date, the Public Advisory Committee has dealt with environmental issues associated with the cleanup, or Remedial Action Plan (RAP), for Lake Superior’s Nipigon Bay. The group will continue in this capacity until completion of the RAP. The group is currently reorganizing for operation on an ongoing basis to address other environmental issues in the Nipigon area. The group hopes to finalize a draft terms of reference for this new organization at their December 9th meeting.

The agenda for the December 1st meeting is accessible below:




November 11, 2015

InfoSuperior Survey


We ask that you complete a short survey to help us further understand the needs, priorities and future aspirations of groups and individuals who are interested in Lake Superior. The information you provide will help identify options on how to best work together to achieve common goals.

The “Communities of Action” survey can be accessed here:

Podcast: Critical Fish Habitat Endangered on Superior’s Buffalo Reef

November 11, 2015
Bill Mattes

Bill Mattes of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission at Buffalo Reef.

Go directly to the audio interview, or podcast.

Infosuperior’s November podcast explores the threat to critical Lake Superior fish habitat at Buffalo Reef on the east side of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Buffalo Reef, near the town of Gay, Michigan, is in the direct path of “stamp sands” slowly migrating across the lake bottom. This residual material from historical mining and mineral processing is moving ever-closer to critical Lake Superior fish habitat at Buffalo Reef (closer view of location). In this audio interview Bill Mattes of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Commission provides an overview of the Buffalo Reef situation and potential actions for resolution.

View all the infosuperior podcasts.

New Infosuperior Mapping Tool

November 9, 2015
Mapping Tool

Infosuperior’s new mapping tool allows users to focus on specific environmental issues in Thunder Bay Harbour.

Go directly to the mapping tool…

Overview of the mapping tool…

Infosuperior has posted a new mapping tool providing an overview of the Thunder Bay “Area of Concern.” The online map shows the entire Thunder Bay Harbour which comprises this Great Lakes Area of Concern.  The map allows viewers to focus on specific harbour locations where remedial actions have been implemented to address issues like degraded habitat or contaminated sediment. Textual information is also provided outlining the specific environmental issue addressed, the action taken, the partners who put the project in place and the cost for each project. Along with maps and textual information, links are provided to associated photos, video clips, documents and reports. Historical imagery is also provided for several project sites, allowing visitors to view specific project locations both before and after implementation.

View the many Great Lakes mapping tools available on Infosuperior.

Explore Lake Superior Country with the “Group of Seven”

October 21, 2015
Pic Island

“Pic Island” by Lawren Harris of the Group of Seven artists, 1923. Pic Island is located on Lake Superior near Marathon, Ontario.

Click the photo above to view a full length TV Ontario film (1 hr, 11′) entitled, “Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven.” The film blends the art of Canada’s “Group of Seven” painters with present day visits to locations like the Algoma area near Sault Ste. Marie, Pic Island near Marathon and the Slate Islands near Terrace Bay. The last 20′ or so of the film deal with the more western locations, like the Slate Islands and Port Coldwell. The Group of Seven visited this area almost 100 years ago to paint and enjoy the area for the same reasons we live, visit, enjoy and protect this area today. Enjoy this amazing film.

Lake Superior Waterspouts Sighted Near Marquette

October 16, 2015

You’ll have to watch an advertisement first but several people have captured video of
October 15th waterspouts off Marquette, Michigan. Click the video above to view.

Marathon Mill Demolition Nears Completion

October 13, 2015
Marathon mill

The mill at Marathon, Ontario prior to 2015 demolition.

Demolition of the former pulp mill at Marathon, Ontario is proceeding and expected to be complete by December, 2015. The mill is located on the shore of Lake Superior at Peninsula Harbour, the main harbour in the town of Marathon. The mill was closed 6 years ago and current owner Tembec Inc. has been ordered to clean up the mill site and ensure all envirornmental issues are addressed. A harbour remediation project for sediment contaminated with mercury was completed in 2012.

Ontario’s Great Lakes Protection Act Passed

October 13, 2015


Great Lakes

The Great Lakes Protection Act, put forward by the Ontario provincial government, has passed in provincial parliament, adding an enhanced level of protection to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The basic purpose of the act is to ensure waters are clean, swimmable and fishable and the act also incorporates new initiatives such as:

  • a Great Lakes Guardian Council
  • establishment of environmental monitoring and reporting programs
  • incorporation of traditional knowledge offered by First Nation and Métis communities.

Read the Ontario Government news release.

Access the full text of Bill 66, the Great Lakes Protection Act.

Sudbury’s Clearwater Lake recovers naturally from mining pollution

October 13, 2015
Smallmouth Bass from Clearwater Lake

Hillary Quinn-Austin, a student from Queen’s University, shows off some small mouth bass caught in Clearwater Lake. The lake was considered dead due to a history of acid and metals released during nickel smelting operations in Sudbury (Photo: Megan Thomas/CBC).

A lake in Sudbury that was intentionally left untouched after damage from mining emissions has managed to make a recovery.

Scientists have been monitoring Clearwater Lake since the 1970s when acid and metals released by nickel smelting operations in Sudbury left the water body all but void of life.

The lake was left to recover on its own so it could serve as a barometer of the environmental health of Sudbury, said John Gunn, the director of the Living with Lakes Centre at Laurentian University.

“It was set aside in Sudbury’s official plan as a way to monitor the health of the city,” he said.

About a decade ago, small fish started showing up in Clearwater Lake, and last week students on a field course at Laurentian University discovered a healthy small mouth bass population in the water.

The presence of multiple fish species means the lake can now be considered recovered, something Gunn attributes to improvements in Sudbury’s air quality.

The complete CBC News story is available here.