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Nipigon Bay Open House & Presentation – May 7th

April 21, 2015

Nipigon Bay RAP History and Progress. Click the arrow to view the slideshow. Once the show starts, click the symbol (four arrows) bottom right to view full screen. Click “Show Info”, top right, to view the caption with each slide.

The Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan (RAP) will host an open house event from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 7th at the Nipigon Recreation Centre, 138 Wadsworth Drive, Nipigon, Ontario. A presentation, along with question, answer and public comment period begins at 7 p.m. The event is an opportunity for residents of Nipigon, Red Rock, Lake Helen, Dorion and area to find out about completed RAP actions to restore environmental quality in Nipigon Bay. Ongoing monitoring and environmental programs for Nipigon Bay will also be outlined. Completed actions incude:

  • a Nipigon River Water Management Plan limiting water level fluctuations impacting fish populations
  • a new secondary municipal wastewater treatment plant for the Town of Nipigon
  • substantial work to remove garbage/debris and rehabilitate Clearwater Creek
  • a marina in Red Rock incorporating fish habitat features

Ongoing work includes:

  • environmental monitoring
  • a stormwater management plan for Clearwater Creek and the Town of Nipigon
  • construction of a secondary wastewater treatment plant for the Town of Red Rock.

Displays and information about completed RAP actions, ongoing environmental programs and monitoring will be included at the event. Representatives from the RAP Public Advisory Committee, Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will be on hand to answer questions/comments and discuss concerns. Coffee, tea, juice, water and light snacks will be available. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

Nipigon Bay was originally listed as a Great Lakes “Area of Concern” because water quality and environmental health were severely degraded. This situation was due to industrial and municipal effluent discharges, accumulation of wood fibre and bark from log driving and fluctuating river flows due to hydro-electric generation. These factors caused several environmental problems, including heavily impacted fish populations. Work to implement remedial actions in Nipigon Bay has been ongoing since this location was identified as an Area of Concern in 1986 by the International Joint Commission in conjunction with the governments of Canada and USA.


Thunder Bay PAC Meeting – Wed., May 6

April 20, 2015

The Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan, or harbour cleanup plan, will meet at  7 p.m. on May 6th at the Balmoral Street Centre on the Lakehead University campus (Room: HS 1029). Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

Links to Related Documents and Information:

RAP Newsletter Outlines 2015 Activities

April 15, 2015

Click here to access a Remedial Action Plan newsletter outlining 2015 activities to date. The newsletter covers January, February and March, outlining activities aimed at cleanup of Lake Superior environmental issues in Nipigon Bay and Thunder Bay. Don’t forget our Nipigon Bay RAP open house event on May 7th in Nipigon.

Great Lakes Water Levels Surge

March 25, 2015

An article in Earth and Space Science News notes the largest surge in Great Lakes Water Levels in recorded history has recently taken place. The article has a focus on the upper lakes, including Superior. View this very interesting and well researched article here.

Lake Superior Biodiversity Conservation Strategy Released

March 13, 2015

The Lake Superior Biodiversity Conservation Strategy is now complete and freely available . This Strategy provides a summary of the health of and threats to the biodiversity of Lake Superior, and presents a guide to implementing effective lakewide and regional conservation strategies.

This Strategy contributes to the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement commitment of developing lakewide habitat and species protection and restoration conservation strategies. To learn more about all of the binational implementation activities, documents, and engagement opportunities, please visit

Government agencies, local stakeholders, organizations, and groups such as your own have all been instrumental in developing the Lake Superior Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. We encourage you to use the information in the Strategy to identify and apply necessary actions within your watersheds, coasts, and Lake Superior waters.

Twenty corresponding regional plans, which identify local and regional conservation opportunities, are being drafted and will be released for your review and input shortly. Together, the Strategy and the regional plans will support the implementation of actions around Lake Superior to meet the overarching goal of protecting and restoring Lake Superior’s habitat and species.

Please visit for more information. The website contains the background information and documents that were used to develop the Strategy. For an overview, be sure to check out the Lake Superior Biodiversity Conservation Strategy: Background Webinar. Any questions and comments can be sent to a regional contact for your area.

Thunder Bay PAC Meeting – Wed., March 11

February 23, 2015

A report on the status of fish populations and habitat in Thunder Bay will be provided at the March 11th meeting of the Public Advisory Committee to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan. The photo above shows kayakers taking a first-hand look at “Sanctuary Island” habitat creation project near the mouth of McVicar Creek in Thunder Bay Harbour. The purpose of this successful Remedial Action Plan project was to create nursery habitat for fish.

The Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan, or harbour cleanup plan, will meet at  7 p.m. on March 11th at the Balmoral Street Centre on the Lakehead University campus (Room: HS 1029). Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

Ontario Introduces Legislation to Protect the Great Lakes

February 18, 2015

The government of Ontario is introducing legislation aimed at protecting the Great Lakes. All of the Great Lakes, including Superior, are covered by the proposed legislation but “nutrients” from substances like agricultural fertilizers and phosphorous from sewage treatment plants get special attention. The lower lakes, especially Lake Erie, have been heavily impacted by nutrients causing large-scale algae blooms. Impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes are also included. The Ontario Government says that, if passed, the new legislation would:

  • Help fight climate change, reduce harmful algal blooms, and protect wetlands and other coastal areas.
  • Monitor and report on the health of the lakes.
  • Bring people together to take action on priority issues.
  • Build on Ontario’s leadership in protecting the Great Lakes, including the Great Lakes Strategy and partnerships with Canada, Quebec, U.S.A., and the Great Lakes states.

Read more about the proposed legislation.


February 2, 2015
Nipigon Bay

A satellite photo of Nipigon Bay on Lake Superior.

The next meeting of the Public Advisory Committee to the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan (RAP) will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on February 18th in the Community Resource Centre (main hall) at Lake Helen, Ontario. The general public is welcome to attend and the meeting is free of charge. Click here for the meeting agenda.

Presentations about sea lamprey control will be made at the meeting by Lakehead University Masters student and former Nipigon Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry staffer Kathy Sakamoto and also by Paul Sullivan of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Paul has been invited to speak but is not yet confirmed.

Additionally, methods for making the general public aware of the Nipigon Bay RAP Completion Report and for soliciting public comment into the report will be discussed. The report is the culminating RAP document outlining environmental restoration efforts and conditions in Nipigon Bay and the Nipigon River. The Public Advisory Committee has already provided review and comments about the document which will soon become available to the general public.

Other information related to the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan:



Where the Great Lakes Begin

January 27, 2015

A new book by Nancy Scott provides a wealth of information about Lake Nipigon, the true headwaters of the Great Lakes.

Some people call it the sixth Great Lake and it is the true headwater of the inland seas. Other than the people who live around it though, few people know much about it.  This is Lake Nipigon.

An exploration of this body of water is presented in a new book by Nancy Scott entitled, “Lake Nipigon: Where the Great Lakes Begin.” The book provides geographical, environmental, historical and cultural information about Lake Nipigon through chapters like “Wildlife”, “European Contact”, “Settlements” and “Commercial Fishery” among several others. The book can be purchased through major outlets like Amazon and Chapters. If you would like more information about the book, turn up the speakers on your computer because a recent CBC radio interview provides an excellent overview.


January 13, 2015

PROJECT: ICE – Official Trailer from PROJECT: ICE on Vimeo.

PROJECT: ICE is a feature length documentary that brings to light the story of the Great Lakes through the prism of ice and viewed from the crossroads of history, science and climate change. Significant segments and interviews were shot in Marquette, Munising and across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.