Oct. 17 – Lake Superior Evening in Marathon
Posted on: October 1, 2017
Peninsula Harbour - 1884
Peninsula Harbour, the main Harbour at Marathon, Ontario, 1884.

LAKE SUPERIOR EVENING

7 P.M to 9 P.M.., October 17th
Moose Hall, 6 Stevens Ave.
Marathon, Ontario

ORDER OF PRESENTATIONS:

1. Peninsula Harbour’s “Thin-layer Cap” Environmental Cleanup Project
2. Peninsula Harbour Environmental Monitoring, an Overview

BREAK

3. CPR Construction in the Peninsula Harbour / Heron Bay Area – A Brief History – 1883-85

Free of Charge – Refreshments will be Served

Presented by the Peninsula Harbour Remedial Action Plan

Historical Presentation Tops off Evening:

After presentations about the Lake Superior environment, specifically cleanup in Peninsula Harbour, Thunder Bay historian and former head of engineering at the Red Rock mill, Bill Skrepichuk, will top off the evening with a presentation of local historical interest to Marathon, Pic River and area residents. Bill’s presentation is entitled, “A brief History of CPR Construction in the Peninsula Harbour / Heron Bay Area during the 1883 – 1885 era.” Bill’s talk will focus on the role of Lake Superior, especially Peninsula Harbour and Heron Bay, as materials were transported westward to build the railway. More information about Bill’s talk, along with sample historical photos, will be posted here, as this information becomes available.

thin-layer cap material
Sand and granular material stockpiled at the former mill in Marathon for use in the thin-layer cap harbour remediation project, 2012.

Presentations Focus on “Thin-layer” Cap

The evening starts out with presentations providing an overview of summer, 2017 environmental monitoring carried out in Peninsula Harbour at Marathon, Ontario. The presentations will provide an overview of the “thin-layer cap” project, completed in 2012, to deal with mercury and PCB contamination in Peninsula Harbour. This overview will be followed by a presentation, including photos, of the extensive suite of environmental monitoring completed during summer, 2017. Much of the monitoring is aimed at determining the effectiveness of the capping project. Representatives of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and Environment and Climate Change Canada will be in attendance.

Background: Peninsula Harbour Area of Concern Sediment Capping Project

Elevated levels of mercury and PCBs accumulated in the Jellicoe Cove portion of Peninsula Harbour adjacent to the former pulp mill. The source of harbour mercury was a chlor-alkali plant which at one time operated beside the pulp mill.  To create clean habitat for plants and animals and to accelerate natural recovery, Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and industrial partners put in place a project to cap this contaminated sediment with clean sand. The project was completed during the summer of 2012. The integrity of the cap and “re-colonization” of the area by bottom dwelling organisms, including plants, will be monitored for the next 20 years.

View an online presentation, including photos, about the capping project.

View photos of the project taken during a public tour organized by the Peninsula Harbour Remedial Action Plan.

What is the Peninsula Harbour “Area of Concern?”

In the late eighties, Peninsula Harbour was designated as one of several “Areas of Concern” around the Great Lakes for which a Remedial Action Plan would be required because a review of available data indicated that water quality and environmental health were severely degraded. Further monitoring showed high levels of contaminants in fish and sediment, loss of fish habitat, and degraded fish and benthic communities (worms and insects that live on the lake floor). These problems were caused by discharge of wastewater from the municipal sewage treatment plant, a former pulp mill, and associated chemical plant, and log booming. The situation resulted in six of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement’s 14 beneficial use indicators (BUIs) of ecosystem health being deemed as impaired.

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