Month: April 2014

North Harbour – PAC Sediment Committee Makes Recommendations

Sediment Committee
The Sediment Sub-committee of the Public Advisory Committee to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan met April 8th to discuss options for cleanup of mercury contaminated sediment in Thunder Bay North Harbour.

The Sediment Sub-Committee of the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan met April 8th to discuss options, as presented by Cole Engineering Inc., for cleanup of contaminated Thunder Bay North Harbour sediment. Approximately 55 acres of fibrous, pulpy material contaminated with mercury lies in the northern portion of Thunder Bay Harbour near the shipyards.

Sediment Committee recommendations are draft only and will be tabled for approval by the entire PAC at their May 14th meeting. Draft recommendations are as follows:

1. The favoured cleanup option is on-site disposal in a new Confined Disposal Facility utilizing the existing mill effluent lagoons.

2. Effort should be made to achieve synergies or “co-benefits”; at a minimum these should include soft engineering for habitat but could include recreational, industrial or other benefits.

3. There should be public access to the remediated site.


Click here to view the March 19th presentation to the PAC by Cole Engineering Inc. outlining cleanup options.

Stream Restoration and Enhancement Projects: Is Anyone Monitoring?

In a 2002 article Jeffery Bash and Clare Ryan noted that concerns about declining salmon stocks and general watershed health in Washington State has led to an increase in stream restoration and enhancement projects throughout the state.  With the increasing number of projects Bash and Ryan wanted to know if any one was monitoring these efforts.

As part of their research, project managers receiving hydraulic project approvals (HPAs) were surveyed to determine whether monitoring was taking place on their projects. About half the project managers surveyed reported the collection of baseline data and the use of biological, physical, chemical, or other water quality measures for their projects. Of those who reported collection of monitoring data, only 18% indicated that monitoring was required.

Respondents were also asked to rank the importance of various project goals on a Likert scale. Project managers with projects focusing on “engineering” goals (e.g., roadbed stabilization) were less likely than other project managers to collect baseline monitoring data. Project managers with projects focusing on “restoration/ ecological” or “fisheries” goals were more likely than other project managers to collect monitoring measures.

Although monitoring appears to be taking place in slightly more than half of the projects surveyed, the nature of the data collected varies widely across projects, and in most cases the monitoring effort is voluntary. This suggests that project sponsors, funders, and managers must consider the issues involved in requiring appropriate monitoring, establishing standardized monitoring guidelines, the time frames in which to monitor, providing other incentives for conducting monitoring, and ensuring adequate funding for monitoring efforts.

Link to FULL ARTICLE (pdf)

Law Suit Over Fish Ladder

Current River Fish Ladder
The fish ladder at the Current River Dam at Thunder Bay’s Boulevard Lake. Photo taken September, 2013.

The operator of a hydro-electric generating station at the Current River Dam at Boulevard Lake is suing the City of Thunder Bay, alleging the Corporation did not exercise proper care in ensuring sufficient water flow to the power facility at the dam. Current River Hydro alleges that the City diverted increased water flow to the fish ladder, thereby creating problems for the hydro operation.

View a related April 8th, 2014 article by CBC Radio

View a related April 9th article by the Chronicle-Journal newspaper.

Podcast Series – April 2014 Edition

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Dr. Andrew Dean, Tallie MacDonald, Jim Bailey

For the April edition of Infosuperior’s podcast, or audio interview series, Remedial Action Plan (RAP) Outreach Coordinator Lauren Stoot has produced a short interview focusing on the June 18th – 20th, 2014 Great Lakes Emerging Issues Student Conference hosted by the Lakehead University Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies.  The student conference is being held in conjunction with the Thunder Bay Great Lakes Mayors Conference or Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative Annual Conference on the same dates.

In this edition RAP Coordinator Jim Bailey interviews Lakehead University Dean of Science and Environmental Studies, Dr. Andrew Dean and conference organizer Tallie MacDonald, a Lakehead University Biology Program Master’s student.

To listen to the interview, please click the above photo!

Caribou Move from “The Slates” to Mainland

We may be only beginning to understand what extensive Great Lakes ice cover could me A Slate Islands caribou moving on Lake Superior ice toward the mainland near Jackfish Bay. This photo was received by Infosuperior on April 7th, 2014. The Slate Islands and Jackfish Bay are located near Terrace Bay, Ontario See one more photo. These photos were taken by George and Janice Danio.
We may be only beginning to understand the effects of changes in Great Lakes ice cover.  One thing that is being clearly documented is movement of caribou from Lake Superior’s Slate Islands over the ice to the mainland near Jackfish Bay. Until now, there has been no movement of caribou between the Slates and the mainland for decades.  The photo above was received by Infosuperior on April 7th, 2014. The Slate Islands and Jackfish Bay are located near Terrace Bay, Ontario See one more photo. The photo above was taken by Lisa Jacques and the photo which includes the snowmobile (linked above) is taken by Paul/Allison Dennis.