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.