Nipigon Bay International Coastal Cleanup
Posted on: September 1, 2017
Mountain Bay
(View a larger size version of the above map.) Cleanup participants meet at 38 Mountain Bay Drive at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16th. Mountain Bay Drive is just east of the Gravel River Bridge on the Trans-Canada Hwy., approximately 47 km. east of Nipigon and 24 km. west of Rossport, Ontario. Participants must register in advance with Parks Canada. See below for details.

Join Parks Canada staff for the International Coastal Clean-up

on Saturday, September 16!

    Update posted at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 15th:

Due to a special weather statement issued by Environment Canada, the event is now rescheduled. It will still run on Saturday, September 16th but from noon to 3 p.m., rather than from 10 a.m. to noon. The even will start with lunch.

From 12 noon-3 pm, Parks Canada will be conducting a shoreline clean-up along the shores of Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area. This international clean-up is part of Ocean Conservancy efforts and happens all over the world on the same day. The Parks Canada event will be focused on the shores of the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, including Mountain Bay, with the help of the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan and students from Lakehead University’s Outdoor Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Program. After the clean-up, volunteers will be provided lunch.

When: Sat. Sept. 16 from 12 noon – 3 pm

Where: 38 Mountain Bay Drive
What to bring: a reusable bag (please no plastic bags), sturdy shoes, weather appropriate clothing.

Please note that this is a rain or shine event, however it will be cancelled in the event of a thunder storm. Cancellation will be posted on the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area social media pages.

Please RSVP by Tues. Sept. 12 and notify Parks Canada of any dietary restrictions by contacting Sarah Shruiff at or by phone at 705-255-8070.

La Grange
Nipigon Bay lies in the northernmost Canadian waters of Lake Superior and is characterized by beautiful, high islands like La Grange, pictured here.

Plastic micro-beads or “nurdles” on a Nipigon Bay beach.

Lake Superior Action and Management Plan


Nipigon Bay has been especially impacted by microplastics, particularly “micro-beads” or “nurdles.” Lake Superior’s Lakewide Action and Management Plan,┬ádeveloped by federal, state, provincial, tribal and First Nations organizations working to restore and protect the lake, sets out specific goals to addresses this issue, as follows:

Increase efforts to educate the public on new and emerging chemicals; their potential toxicity; pathways into fish, wildlife and humans; and how the public can help remove these chemicals from the basin. Put special emphasis on the topics of microplastics and safer alternatives for personal care, household cleaning products, and pesticides/herbicides.

There is broad understanding that addressing the issue of microplastics at the source, rather than cleaning up after these substances enter the lake, is fundamental in addressing this issue. Cleanup is part and parcel of improving the situation however, increasing public understanding and engagement.

Members of the Public Advisory Committee to the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan, or cleanup plan, will be participating in the cleanup. This group of volunteers from the Nipigon, Red Rock, Lake Helen area has been active over many years in assisting with actions to clean up Nipigon Bay.

Originally identified as one of several Great Lakes “Areas of Concern”, Nipigon Bay’s original suite of environmental issues have now been addressed through the Remedial Action Plan, or cleanup plan.

The International Coastal Cleanup is not specifically focused on plastics but is an example of an activity which addresses one of the emerging issues identified in the action plan for the lake. The Nipigon Bay Public Advisory Committee has decided to transition to an ongoing environmental group and the September 16th cleanup is an excellent example of an activity which positions the group to become involved in actions beyond those originally identified through the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan.

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