Month: August 2013

Thunder Bay PAC Meeting – Sept. 11, 2013

Fisherman's Park, Current River Mouth
The mouth of the Current River. The September 11th Thunder Bay PAC meeting began at 6 p.m. in the picnic shelter near the Current River mouth.

Information about the September 11, 2013 meeting:

The most recent meeting of the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan (RAP or Thunder Bay Harbour cleanup plan) was held at 6 p.m., September 11th, 2013 beginning in the picnic shelter at “Fisherman’s Park” near the Current River mouth. The meeting was open to the public.

The objective of the meeting was to gain input in determining an effective route forward to address loss of fish habitat. A light supper was served at 6 p.m. with the formal meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. A walking tour began at 7 p.m. which will took in the following locations:

  • Current River mouth (completed habitat work, challenges outstanding, path foward)
  • Current River fish ladder at the Boulevard Lake Dam (what is working, what is not)


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Kayakers Get Up Close With Harbour

(ensure your computer volume is turned up)

Thunder Bay daily regional Chronicle Journal newspaper article about the tour…

Photos of the kayak tour…

Fifteen kayakers got up close with environmental issues and projects in Thunder Bay Harbour on a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) evening kayak tour August 15th. The Tour was sponsored by the Lakehead University Remedial Action Plan office, with support from Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The Canadian Coast Guard kindly provided an accompanying vessel and crew for safety.

Departing from the marina to Sanctuary Island, near the mouth of McVicar Creek, kayakers learned about “nursery habitat” for juvenile fish provided by this RAP project, completed in 1993. Paddlers then moved inland, up McVicar Creek estuary. Here they learned about growing urban stormwater management efforts aimed at retaining stormwater in the ground and wetlands. They also learned that stormwater “attenuation” assists in reducing erosion, property damage and huge flushes to streams and Lake Superior, often containing toxic substances, especially from hard, paved surfaces.

A remnant wetland near the former Northern Wood Preservers site was the next stop, with information provided about important wetland functions such as their role in improving water quality and providing a “biodiversity reservoir” for a multitude of birds, animals, fish and plants.

Kayakers then paddled to the former Northern Wood site to learn about the creosote cleanup project there, completed in 2003 at a cost of 20 million dollars, with contributions from Abitibi Price Inc., Northern Wood Preservers Inc., Canadian National Railways, Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Paddlers learned that because a portion of the lake was dredged and then infilled in the cleanup process, compensating measures were required to ensure no net loss of fish habitat. The tour travelled in and amongst the many islets and baylets around the Northern Wood property developed as part of this “habitat buffer.”

The Remedial Action Plan, or harbour cleanup plan, works to address issues associated with Thunder Bay’s 1987 International Joint Commission designation as an environmental “Area of Concern.” The public is welcome to attend the next meeting of the RAP public advisory committee at 6 p.m., September 11th beginning in the picnic shelter near the mouth of the Current River.  All information associated with this meeting is accessible at or by calling Jim Bailey at 343-8514. Meeting participants will tour and learn about progress and challenges associated with Current River mouth habitat restoration work, north harbour contamination and the Current River fish ladder

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Superior is “Up”

The compensating Gates structure at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
The Lake Superior Compensating Gates structure at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on the St. Marys River. Six gates have been opened to significantly increase outflow form L. Superior yet water levels are well up over a year ago.

Water levels on Lake Superior are up significantly to about:

  • 16 cm. or 6″ in comparison to levels of one year ago
  • 26 cm. or 10″ above Lake Superior chart datum level.

The above data represent a rise of 14 cm. or 5″ during the month of July 2013 (normal rise during this period is 4 cm. or 1″)

Read More in a recent article in Sault This Week…

Go to the “Great Lakes Water Levels Dashboard” accessible on at (scroll down to “Great Lakes Water Levels Dashboard”). The Dashboard provides fascinating up-to-the-minute and historical data on lake levels.


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