Month: June 2015

Nipigon Bay “Delisting Report” – More Input Received

Red Rock Treatment Plant Upgrades
Members of the public at a December 5th, 2012 open house held in Red Rock focusing on plans for upgrades to the towns wastewater treatment plant. Upgrades to the plant figure largely in comments received from several organizations about “delisting” The Nipigon Bay Area of Concern. An announcement was made that the plant would be built in 2009 but construction has not started.

At their June 9th meeting, the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan discussed the “Report Recommending Delisting and Path Forward.” The group “commends the authors for accurately reporting on work completed to address environmental impairments in Nipigon Bay.” PAC members encourage the federal and provincial governments to provide an ongoing environmental monitoring plan, ask for input into Town of Nipigon plans for stormwater management and also ask for completion of upgrades to the Red Rock municipal wastewater treatment plant. PAC members say they support delisting the Nipigon Bay Area of Concern once the above mentioned items are in place.

Comment has also been received from the Towns of Nipigon and Red Rock. Nipigon supports delisting and Red Rock notes, “the volume of work that has been completed and great strides that have been accomplished in cleaning up Nipigon Bay over the past 20 years.” Deputy Mayor Steve Carruthers, in a letter dated June 24th, says Red Rock councillors do not favour delisting Nipigon Bay at this time. He says council feels that removing the Area of Concern designation might jeopardize federal funding for wastewater treatment plant upgrades.

IJC Responds to Draft Nipigon Bay Report Recommending Delisting

Mathew Child
Mathew Child of the International Joint Commission has visited Nipigon and Thunder Bay several times, most recently at the May 7th RAP open house in Nipigon.

The International Joint Commission has responded with comments to the Draft “Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan Report Recommending Delisting and Path Forward” as presented to the public by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Environent Canada at a Nipigon Bay RAP Open House in Nipigon on May 7th. Read the cover letter and comments from the IJC here.

Lake Superior Conservation Area Reaches Important Milestone

Schreiber Point
Schreiber Point viewed from Wilson Island near Rossport, Ontario in the heart of the proposed Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area.

An important milestone has been reached on the road to establishing The Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area in the Canadian waters of Lake Superior. On June 2nd, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced  introduction of the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area Act to formally establish the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area. This  step comes after many years working through requirements for establishment. The conservation area is located in an area bordered by the tip of Thunder Cape (the Sleeping Giant) near Thunder Bay in the west to Terrace Bay in the east. Read more…

Excellent Participation at Cloud Lake Open House

Cloud Lake Open House, May 30, 2015
Tom Kleinboeck, a volunteer with the Superior Streams organization, presents information about a project to quantify environmental conditions in Cloud Lake, southwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the May 30th Cloud Lake open house at Blake Hall in the Municipality of Neebing near Thunder Bay, Ontario. Thanks also to volunteer Tom Kleinboeck, Lakehead University graduate student Nathan Wilson and university representative Jason Freeborn for the excellent information about this summer’s project to gather data quantifying Cloud Lake and River environmental conditions. Thanks to Neebing Councillor Brian Wright and wife Laurel, with the support of Neebing Council, for setting up the event. More pictures from the open house event are available here.

The purpose of the Cloud Lake research project is to gather information to provide a report card on the overall health of the lake. The project will gather information about water quality, fish populations/habitat, algae and shoreline health. Based on findings, overall intent is to provide outreach materials and recommendations to shoreline residents about practices that can be adopted to make the lake even more enjoyable. This includes potentially improving water quality and the fishery.

A copy of a draft report on Cloud Lake produced by Dr. Rob Foster of Northern Bio-Science Inc. was available at the open house and is accessible here.

All of the comments made at the open house are highly valued and will be of assistance as the project moves forward. If you have any comments, personal observations, or suggestions about the draft Cloud Lake report linked above, please contact Jim Bailey at Lakehead University –  343-8514 or jfbailey at . If you have any other comments, questions or concerns, project organizers would also be glad to hear from you, whether you attended the open house or not. If you live on the lake and have an interest in participating in (or even observing from your own boat) the water quality sampling and fish community index netting that will be carried out, please let us know and arrangements can be made regarding upcoming environmental monitoring activities.

This project was developed by a group of volunteers involved in an organization called Superior Streams. The purpose of Superior Streams is to gain a better understanding of environmental conditions in area waterways and if possible, endeavour to improve conditions, where warranted. The Thunder Bay Stewardship Council (a group of volunteers working on a variety of environmental projects) cooperated to make this project a reality.  These groups will be involved in various stages of the project as it progresses. Funds to make this project possible have been provided by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Lakehead University is coordinating the Cloud Lake project and university staff and students will be conducting the research. Lakehead University representatives will be assisted by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in order to gain a better understanding of the Cloud Lake fish community and by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change who will assist in water quality research.

After collection of this summer’s field data, work to develop a summary and conclusions will be continued in the fall. This work will likely be completed by next winter when it will be shared with Cloud Lake and area residents.

Meanwhile, further information about Cloud Lake project activity will be forthcoming over the summer and Infosuperior will be periodically updated as information about the project becomes available. Feel free to contact Jim Bailey at 343-8514 or jfbailey at anytime.