Ice: Great Lakes, Great Change
The Great Lakes are showing great change from last year as warmer winter weather has caused huge impacts on Great Lakes ice cover. Another significant change is the amount of cloud cover, a result of lake effect warm weather. Read an article on mlive.com characterizing this winter’s Great Lakes ice patterns and weather. The article contains some great photos.
Draft Lake Superior Action Plan Available
The draft Lake Superior Action and Management Plan is available, as developed by government agencies and tribes involved in the Lake Superior Binational Partnership. This draft document does not yet incorporate the latest public comment. January 29th, 2016 was the last day for public comment, which will now be incorporated into a revised document which will be made available on the Infosuperior website as soon as it is available. View the draft action plan below.
Thunder Bay PAC Meeting – January 20
A well attended meeting of the Public Advisory Committee to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan took place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20th at Lakehead University. At the meeting, Tara George of the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change presented new information about phytoplankton and zooplankton populations. The PAC supported Tara’s assessment, opting to remove plankton from the list of impairments in the Thunder Bay Area of Concern. This decision was based on the rationale that there had been no scientific determination that plankton populations were impaired in the first place. Additionally, with several sources of pollution having been resolved since inception of the RAP program, Tara pointed out that environmental conditions for plankton were much more favourable. The Northern Wood habitat project and Slate River watershed management plan were also discussed. The presentation on phytoplankton and zooplankton populations provided by Tara George is accessible below:
- Meeting Agenda
- Campus map showing ATAC building (AT).
- Diagram of ATAC Building showing 3rd floor meeting room
- Presentation: Assessment of the Degradation of Phytoplankton and Zooplankton Populations Beneficial Use Impairment
- Degradation of Phytoplankton and Zooplankton Populations Beneficial Use Impairment Information
- A range of documents about Northern Wood habitat restoration including diagrams and a Northern Bioscience assessment (scroll to locate documents)
- A range of documents related to Slate River including a review of the Slate River Watershed Management Plan (scroll to locate documents).
- Minutes of previous meeting – December 1, 2015
Nipigon River Bridge Reopens
After being closed at approximately 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 11th, the bridge crossing the largest river entering the Great Lakes, the Nipigon, has been reopened to one lane of traffic. The bridge was closed yesterday afternoon when the decking at the west end of the bridge lifted by some 60 cm. above the level of the highway leading up to the structure. A couple of eastbound vehicles struck the raised portion of the bridge and one or two westbound vehicles also drove over the drop before the bridge could be closed. This new suspension bridge, opened in November 2015, is the only suspension bridge in Ontario.
The bridge is a vital link between western and eastern Canada. Whether travelling the northern route through Greenstone (Geraldton, Longlac, Nakina) or the southern route along Lake Superior, all travellers must cross the bridge. Transport trucks and other vehicles were packed in communities like Nipigon, Terrace Bay, Schreiber and Greenstone as officials determined a course of action to reopen the bridge. Area communities have taken steps to provide shelter and other services to travellers.
There is no guarantee that the bridge will remain open as engineers may need to effect repairs. A parallel bridge, just upstream, was used until very recently and is being demolished. Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey says this older bridge can no longer be used. Read more about the Nipigon River bridge situation in a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article…