Month: November 2014

Thunder Bay PAC Meeting – Wed., January 7

At the January 7th Thunder Bay PAC meeting, Eric Hanson (seen here) of Ontario Power Generation and Mike DesChamps of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry provided an overview of the Kaministiquia River Water Management Plan. Flow regimes in the Kaministiquia River have direct impacts on both fish habitat and fish populations.

The Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan, or harbour cleanup plan, met at  7 p.m. on January 7th at the Balmoral Street Centre on the Lakehead University campus (Room: HS 1029).

The agenda included a presentation about the Thunder Bay Stormwater Management Plan by a representative of Emmons and Olivier Resources (Minneapolis) and City of Thunder Bay representatives. A second presentation about the Kaministiquia River Water Management Plan was provided by representatives of Ontario Power Generation and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Agenda and Complete Information Package:

New Great Lakes Monitoring Website

Great Lakes Monitoring
A new website developed by Indiana-Illinois Sea Grant presents a wide range of data from all the Great Lakes, including Superior.

The site provides easy access to long-term, environmental monitoring data collected throughout the Great Lakes. There are a range of environmental parameters to choose from such as nutrients, contaminants and physical properties of water from various sources.

  • Explore trends across the basin and visualize available data from a variety of sources
  • Compare data among various locations or parameters
  • Search for specific data and download

Click the photo or the lnk above to visit the site.

Livable Thunder Bay – An Introduction to EarthCare

For the past ten years EarthCare has been a changemaker in Thunder Bay – creating a more sustainable, healthy and livable city. Each year over 180 working group members and EarthCare partners rally together to take on meaningful projects and initiatives that ultimately create the future our community is looking for. The Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan is represented on EarthCare through their Water Working Group (WWG). This video, produced by EarthCare, provides an introduction to their work and goals.

More information on EarthCare can be found at: or on Facebook:

[vimeo 113109782 w=600 h=400]

New Website Explores L. Superior’s Wisconsin Shipwrecks

A fascinating new website explores yet another dimension of Lake Superior.

What do the following names have in common – Fedora, Lucerne, Noquebay and Pretoria? They are all Lake Superior shipwrecks which have sunk in Wisconsin.

A fascinating new website with many excellent photos and videos is up and running are you are invited to “Dive In.” Check it out. The website is a fascinating way of exploring yet another dimension of Lake Superior.

Nipigon Bay PAC Meeting – Tues., January 6th

Thunder Bay Television filmed a portion of the January 6th Nipigon Bay PAC meeting and conducted interviews with Red Rock Mayor Gary Nelson, PAC Chair Dave Crawford and representatives of the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan. The footage will be aired on “Northwest Newsweek.”

The Public Advisory Committee to the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan met at 7 p.m. on January 6th at the Recreation Centre, 39 Brompton Rd., Red Rock, Ontario. At the meeting, representatives of Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change presented a draft Nipigon Bay “completion report”, outlining progress to address environmental issues identified by the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan. A detailed agenda, minutes of the previous meeting and other meeting information is posted below.

Agenda and Complete Meeting Package:


How Much Habitat is Enough?

The lower Nipigon River where it meets Nipigon Bay on Lake Superior. A provincially significant wetland complex in the lower Nipigon provides important fish and wildlife habitat.

Work to address impaired fish and wildlife habitat is central to Great Lakes Remedial Action Plans. A per-requisite in this work is knowing how much habitat is necessary to support a particular wildlife population.

To help answer this question Environment Canada produced the document “How Much Habitat is Enough? – (3rd edition, 2013)” (available here). The document describes the minimum amount of wetland, forest, riparian and grassland habitat needed to support populations of wildlife. The report also provides an extensive literature review and 21 habitat guidelines to assist land planners and other conservation practitioners to restore and protect wildlife habitat.

Guidelines include: 30% to 50% minimum forest cover, the greater of 10% wetland cover per watershed or 40% of historic wetland cover, 75% of the length of a stream naturally vegetated, less than 10% impervious cover in a watershed, and average grassland patch sizes of greater than or equal to 50 hectares. This publication has influenced land use planning, restoration projects and land purchase initiatives across multiple jurisdictions and has become a standard conservation biology and landscape ecology reference.

Thunder Bay PAC Meeting – November 12

The Remedial Action Plan is working to improve environmental conditions in the Thunder Bay Harbour area. This aerial photo of the harbour taken in the thirties demonstrates historical conditions. More historical harbour photos. Photos courtesy Ontario Ministry of Environment & Climate Change.

The next meeting of the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan, or cleanup plan, will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12 at the Balmoral Street Centre on the Lakehead University Campus (directions). The general public is welcome to attend and there is no charge.

Links to Important Documents:

Special Presentation on Chemicals of Emerging Concern in the Great Lakes

Presence of Chemicals of Emerging Concern in the Great Lakes & Impact of Advanced Technologies on their Removal.
Dr. Saad Jasim, Director of SJ Environmental Consultants (Windsor) Inc.

November 20, 2014 — 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
ATAC building (Room 1003) at Lakehead University.

The Great Lakes and their connecting channels form the largest fresh surface water system on earth. Over the past 10 years, focus on environmental monitoring has shifted to an array of recently discovered compounds known as ‘chemicals of emerging concern’ (CEC). These chemicals are found in products used daily in households, businesses, agriculture and industry, such as flame-retardants, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and pesticides.

Wastewater treatment plants are among the important pathways by which CEC enter the Great Lakes, with concentrations highest in the vicinity of wastewater discharges. Treated sewage is often discharged into the nearshore waters, which also provide a source of drinking water to the public. They are released into aquatic environments mainly via sewage treatment plant effluents and agricultural runoff. Since conventional sewage treatment processes fail to eliminate them efficiently, they end up in natural waters.

Despite high transformation and removal rates, many EDCs and PPCPs are persistent in the environment due to their continuous release. Adverse impacts of this diverse group of chemicals have been documented for wildlife including increased feminization of fish, sexual disorders in snails and juvenile alligators, and kidney failure in vultures leading to death. Ozonation and advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been reported to be extremely effective in removing these compounds.


November 2014 Podcast

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Carri Lohse-Hanson, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

To listen to the interview, click here.

Carri Lohse-Hanson of Minnesota Pollution Control.
Carri Lohse-Hanson of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

In the November 2014 edition of InfoSuperior’s podcast, or audio interview series, Thunder Bay Remedial Plan Coordinator Jim Bailey speaks with Carri Lohse-Hanson of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Carri is a long-serving member of the Lake Superior Binational Program to Restore and Protect the Lake Superior basin ecosystem. She is the Lake Superior Binational Program Coordinator with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and works in St. Paul, Minnesota under the direction of MPCA’s Duluth, Minnesota office. 

Carri is well known to many, many agency people and citizens from around the entire lake, both in Canada and USA, who have been active in Lake Superior restoration and protection. Carri has been a driving force in the Binational Program and has overseen multiple successful efforts aimed at reducing chemical contamination. These efforts include mercury reduction, PCB reduction, pesticide reduction and open burning reduction aimed at dioxins. Carri currently serves as U.S. Co-chair for the Binational Program Chemical Committee. Carri will be retiring in January, 2015.