Month: February 2019

February 23rd: Snowshoe Safari to Lloyds Lookout

Join Parks Canada and and graduate foresters Karin and Gordon Mackenzie at 1 p.m.on Saturday February 23, for a Snowshoe Safari on the Nipigon River Recreation Trail in Red Rock.

Join Parks Canada on Saturday February 23, for a Snowshoe Safari on the Nipigon River Recreation Trail in Red RockParks Canada and graduate foresters Karin and Gordon Mackenzie will share their knowledge about the forests along Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, including how to ID the many tree species that call the area home.


The hike begins at the Nipigon River Recreation Trailhead in Red Rock at 1:00 PM, with snowshoeing to Lloyd’s Lookout, a campfire and hot chocolate (2.6 km round-trip). A limited number of snowshoes are available at no charge, or bring your own! Parks Canada asks that participants dress appropriately for weather conditions. Parks Canada staff hiked the trail recently, and there is a TON of white, fluffy snow.

For questions, contact Petri Bailey at 705-465-0158 / petri.bailey@canada.ca


Over the last several months, Parks Canada has had the pleasure of delivering the #WeLoveSuperior Series, where expert speakers share their knowledge about unique features of our Great Lake. Try the snowshoe hike for a new way enjoy stunning vistas of Lake Superior. Lloyd’s Lookout provides beautiful views of Nipigon Bay.

Link:

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area Events Calendar

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Tumblr
Tumblr
0Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email

Lake Superior Ice Cover at 70%

Almost all recent NOAA satellite photo are obscured by cloud but this February 11th, 2019 photo clearly shows the solid ice (in white) at the top of Lake Superior in Thunder Bay, Black Bay, Nipigon Bay and between the Slate Islands and Terrace Bay, Ontario.

Data in this article is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s  Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory


It’s a Big Lake – Perspective Depends on Location

Many of the 1500 or so subscribers to Infosuperior live directly on Lake Superior’s shore or have a view of the lake from where they live or work. We also know from correspondence with readers that many visit the lake almost daily to walk, snowshoe, ski, run or photograph. 

Infosuperior readers hail from around the entire lake, observing ice and lake conditions from Michigan, Ontario, Wisconsin and Minnesota shores. Depending upon location, perspective is unique. If you’ve been regularly looking out at Lake Superior and have seen nothing but endless, snow covered ice, you may be thinking that the entire lake is ice covered. Conversely, if you are seeing open water you may think the lake has yet to freeze over, but this is not the case across the entire lake. Even while partially obscured, the above February 11th satellite photo shows that part of the lake is completely ice covered, part is less than solid ice and part is open water.


Approximately 70% of Lake Superior was covered by ice on February 13th, 2019.

Mid-February Superior Ice Cover at 70%

At time of writing (February 13th, 2019), ice cover on Lake Superior stood at about 70%. Last year on the same date ice coverage was similar, at about 69%. In 2017, however, Lake Superior ice cover stood at only 6% in mid-February.

As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite photo accompanying this article shows, the Ontario bays in north-central Lake Superior are completely ice covered. This includes Thunder Bay, Black Bay, Nipigon Bay, Jackfish Bay, Port Caldwell, Peninsula Harbour at Marathon, and even out to the Slate Islands off Terrace Bay, north of Pic Island in the Neys Provincial Park area. Conditions across the rest of the lake are not nearly so uniform. Although all recent satellite photos are heavily obscured by cloud, it is still possible to see that a great deal of open water and less than solid ice is present in the February 11th satellite photo.


USCG Mackinaw breaks ice north of Thunder Cape. March 29, 2014. Maximum Lake Superior ice cover in 2014 was near 96%. Credit: NOAA

Several Recent High Ice Cover Years

The most recent winter in which NOAA lists ice cover as 100% is 1996, although ice cover in other winters over the last 10 years has also been quite high, as laid out below:

  • 2015 – 95.7%
  • 2014 – 95.8%
  • 2009 – 93.7%

Ten Year Averages Highlight Ice Cover Trend Over Time

Ten year Lake Superior annual maximum ice cover averages, beginning in 1973, are laid out below:

  • 1973–1982 – 77.2%
  • 1983–1992 – 68.61%
  • 1993–2002 – 49.9%
  • 2003–2012 – 50.1%

Source: https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/data/ice/AMIC-by-lake-2018.pdf


LINKS:

Infosuperior provides access to a wide range of Lake Superior data, all in one place. Ice cover is the top link at:

Other Links:

Previous Articles About Lake Superior Ice Cover:


Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Infosuperior…only #LakeSuperior news.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Tumblr
Tumblr
0Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email

Two Events to Get You Closer to Lake Superior in Red Rock This Month

Snowshoe to Lloyd’s Lookout with Parks Canada for the #WeLoveSuperior Series Snowshoe Safari event and enjoy a campfire and hot chocolate. (Photo: Petri Bailey)

Enjoying Lake Superior with Parks Canada

Parks Canada has two fun outdoor activities for the public to attend in Red Rock this month. The first event involves skating for all ages, a great way to spend Family Day, while the second event, part of Parks Canada’s ongoing #WeLoveSuperior Series, involves snowshoeing into the Lake Superior wilderness and learning about local forests. So whether you like skating or snowshoeing, read on for more information from Parks Canada.

Skating the Lake Superior Ice Trail at Red Rock’s Winter Carnival

 Parks Canada is excited to launch a truly unique winter activity this Family Day, Feb 18th: the Lake Superior Ice Trail. As part of the township’s Winter Carnival, Parks Canada is hosting a Fire and Ice event on the ice trail. The event runs from 2-8 pm at the Red Rock Marina.

 Designed, maintained and built in collaboration with the Township of Red Rock, this trail is quite unlike anything else along the north shore. It is a skating pathway approximately 1.5m wide and approximately 700m long, and allows for a new and fun experience for skaters of all levels.

 Parks Canada and the Township of Red Rock staff and volunteers will offer the warmth of both fires and hot chocolate as part of Red Rock’s Winter Carnival. The Fire and Ice evening will run past sunset, providing a great chance to skate under the stars and warm glow from the firelight.  

 If you are interested in additional information or have any questions about Parks Canada’s participation in the event please contact Alex Thompson at 807-346-2897, or at alexander.thompson@canada.ca

Snowshoe Safari on the Nipigon River Recreation Trail

Over the last several months, Parks Canada has had the pleasure of delivering the #WeLoveSuperior Series, where expert speakers share their knowledge about unique features of our Great Lake.

But this time, we’re doing things just a little bit differently.



On Saturday February 23, we hope you’ll join us for a Snowshoe Safari on the Nipigon River Recreation Trail in Red RockParks Canada and graduate foresters Karin and Gordon Mackenzie will share their knowledge about the forests along Lake Superior NMCA, including how to ID the many tree species that call the area home.

The hike begins at the Nipigon River Recreation Trailhead in Red Rock at 1:00 PM, where we will hike to Lloyd’s Lookout and enjoy a campfire and hot chocolate (2.6 km round-trip). A limited number of snowshoes are available at no charge, or bring your own! We ask that participants dress appropriately for weather conditions. I just hiked the trail this weekend, and there is a TON of white, fluffy snow.


Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Infosuperior…only #LakeSuperior news.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Tumblr
Tumblr
0Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email

IJC Seeks Public Candidates to Join Great Lakes Advisory Boards

Many of the Great Lakes are shared between Canada and the U.S.; The International Joint Commission (IJC) helps to ensure that governments on both sides have the Great Lakes’ best interest in mind when dealing with boundary water issues. (Photo: Public Domain)

Self-Nominate to Join the Great Lakes International Joint Commission

The International Joint Commission (IJC), established in 1909 to resolve and prevent issues along the Canada-U.S. boundary area of the Great Lakes, is seeking interested candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds and specialized fields to join multiple key advisory boards that engage Canada-U.S. cooperation on protecting and restoring Great Lakes ecosystems.

The IJC will be accepting self-nominations for their candidate pools of potential nongovernment members for the Great Lakes Water Quality Board, the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board and the Health Professionals Advisory Board until March 1, 2019. The members of these boards usually serve two- to three-year terms and they participate in advising the IJC on the implementation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The IJC states that although board members are not paid they may receive reimbursement for travel to board meetings, dependent on government policies.

The Great Lakes Water Quality Board (WQB)

  • charged with assessing progress in implementing the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, identifying emerging issues and recommending approaches to address challenges facing the Great Lakes
  • principal adviser to the IJC with respect to Great Lakes Water Quality Issues
  • has provided valuable advice that was essential to many Great Lakes Water Quality Reports presented by the IJC to governments

For more details about the WQB click here

Great Lakes Science Advisory Board (SAB)

  • principal adviser to the IJC on scientific matters, research and environmental monitoring
  • composed of two standing committees: the Research Coordination Committee, which addresses research management issues and supports the IJC in identifying programs where binational and international efforts are essential; and the Science Priority Committee, which provides expertise in Great Lakes research, science, engineering and monitoring.

For more details about the SAB click here

Health Professionals Advisory Board (HPAB)

  • provides advice about clinical and public health issues in the area of environmental health across the U.S.-Canadian boundary
  • developes recommendations for effective communication of health knowledge and information across the U.S.-Canadian boundary

For more details about the HPAB click here

IJC website: Open Call for Public (Nongovernmental) Candidates to serve on the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board, Science Advisory Board and Health Professionals Advisory Board

In your self nomination you will need to provide the following items:

  •  a one to two page letter of interest — be sure to indicate which board(s) you are interested in and what makes you well-suited for that or those board(s)
  • your CV/resume
  • any other items you would like to submit to provide additional information on your areas of expertise (optional)

If you are employed, appointment as a board member will be dependant on your ability to occasionally work on board-related activities during regular business hours and as such, you will need to obtain a letter from your employer confirming that this is reasonable before being appointed as a board member.  

The IJC makes this statement of commitment to diversity in their open call on the IJC website, “The International Joint Commission is committed to building a diverse and skilled pool of candidates for our boards that is reflective of Canadian and US societies. We encourage candidates to indicate if they identify to a particular designated group. We thank all those who apply.”


Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Infosuperior…only #LakeSuperior news.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Tumblr
Tumblr
0Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email

Renewed Thunder Bay Harbour Cleanup Effort

This undated photo shows the Thunder Bay North Harbour site when the adjacent mill was in operation (mill since demolished). Richardson’s grain elevator and a ship berthed at the shipyards, now owned by Heddle Marine, are visible to the right in the picture. Photographer unknown.

Strong Interest in Harbour Cleanup

On February 5th, approximately 40 people attended an open public meeting at Lakehead University hosted by the Public Advisory Committee to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan (PAC). At the meeting, potential options were presented for cleanup of contamination in the northern portion of Thunder Bay Harbour near the mouth of the Current River. The main contaminant of concern in this area is mercury, which is contained within some 400,000 cubic meters of pulp material that is up to 4 meters thick in sections and sits on the harbour floor. The pulp material was expelled from the former mill that, until its recent demolition, was situated on the harbour shore near this contaminated harbour area.

Samuel Pegg of the North Shore of Lake Superior Remedial Action Plans office at Lakehead University provided background information on this Thunder Bay environmental “Area of Concern,” one of several around the Great Lakes. A presentation about North Harbour cleanup was provided by Tera Yochim Hope of Transport Canada (TC) (owner of the harbour bottom at the site in question, other than any private water lots, and at federally designated ports across Canada) and Roger Santiago, sediment remediation specialist for Environment and Climate Change Canada. Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks‘ Great Lakes Advisor Dawn Talarico clarified points that arose concerning the former mill site. Dr. Rob Stewart of Lakehead University’s Department of Geography and the Environment facilitated the session, which included questions from the audience.

Cleanup Options Fall Into Two Main Groupings

Presenters pointed out that potential options for cleanup could be grouped into two main categories:

A) on-site or near-site containment

B) transport 12 km across the harbour by barge and disposal at the Mission Bay Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) — This facility is located near Chippewa and is comprised of a series of large cement cells with entryways through which tugs and barges can enter to dispose of material. The Mission Bay CDF is managed by the Thunder Bay Port Authority and has already operated for decades, acting as a deposition and containment facility for dredged material from navigational dredging for harbour shipping. The facility has abundant capacity, even beyond the material from North Harbour.

Presenters noted that each of the two main categories of options described above have several variations. In case A), they said that on-site/near-site options could potentially include deposition of the contaminated material in the effluent lagoons associated with the former mill, a containment cell or large “box” in the contaminated area, or a berm surrounding a larger area — the area of highest contamination.

As for case B), with disposal at the Mission Bay CDF, presenters noted that due to the nature of the contaminated material, further study would be required to determine whether modifications or enhancements to the facility would be necessary. Such modifications could include construction of a smaller cell within one of the larger existing containment cells, at the CDF. The smaller cell could be specially designed and built to hold mercury contaminated material from North Harbour.

How Have Other Great Lakes Sites Been Cleaned Up?

By way of comparison, another Great Lakes site with serious contamination issues is Hamilton Harbour. This site was severely impacted by the steel industry. The basic concept underlying Hamilton’s “Randle Reef” environmental project is quite simple; that is to “box-in” the area of highest harbour contamination with steel sheet piling and then scoop any remaining contaminated material located outside the box into the box, which could then be sealed to create a long-term containment unit.

Presenters pointed out that in the Thunder Bay North Harbour situation, the various options would be examined by the Sediment Management Options Working Group, who would recommend a preferred option. Additionally, they pointed out that further research was necessary on a number of aspects for the intended project. They explained that detailed engineering, design and costing would come later in the process, while initially, only cost estimates would be made in order to compare options. Presenters said that public input would be integral to the process and that public engagement in this regard could continue next winter.


This 2013 photo shows an excavator on a barge undertaking work to quantify the nature of the contaminated pulpy material that sits up to 4 meters thick on the Thunder Bay North Harbour floor over an area of some 26 hectares or 64 acres. Photo: Environment and Climate Change Canada

Public “Q and A”

Attendees at the session raised a number of questions ranging from the impact of the project on future economic development through to the potential for added costs if underwater debris like logs and cables are encountered during dredging. Presenters said they were very aware of these concerns. They also affirmed that ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the site upon project completion was a key aspect. They said that due to these considerations, clarification of site ownership was a pivotal factor in putting together the project, especially since some on-site and near-site cleanup options might straddle land presently held by two different owners. Presenters said that the City of Thunder Bay was part of the Sediment Management Options Working Group and might be able to assist when zoning for future use of the area is considered.

A question was raised as to whether only the contaminated pulp material would be dealt with or if contaminated sediment on the harbour floor would also be addressed. Presenters answered that the project would include the bottom sediment and estimates of overall volume would need to include this material.

When asked whether incineration of the contaminated pulp was a viable option, presenters answered that this option had already been examined and was deemed to be ineffective, largely due to the high costs of dewatering. They said further research would be done in this regard because incineration technology has advanced over time since eliminating the option.

The option of depositing the contaminated material on an upland portion of the former mill site was also broached. Presenters pointed out that a permitted landfill existed on the mill site but that it was full or even over capacity. They explained that, in 2015, material dredged from the mill’s harbour-side effluent lagoons had been placed in the upland former mill landfill. The process of developing another permitted landfill on the site was described as being especially arduous and costly, likely making some of the other options more cost-effective.

Questions about bioaccumulation and the potential impacts of the contamination on aquatic and other organisms were also asked. Presenters answered that questions such as these had been answered in the 2013 Franz Environmental Report, which documented various impacts to aquatic organisms, animals and human health, concluding that cleanup was warranted. They said that peer review of this report would be undertaken.

Working Group Broadens Membership

The Sediment Management Options Working Group is currently responsible for developing solutions at North Harbour and has added important participating organizations to its ranks, but groups have been working toward resolving the North Harbour situation since before it was formed. The Public Advisory Committee to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan (PAC) has been pushing for cleanup for years and one of their fundamental tenets is open communication with the public about environmental issues in Thunder Bay Harbour, including North Harbour contamination.Tera Yochim Hope of Transport Canada pointed out that a previous committee, the North Harbour Working Group, had also worked to address the North Harbour situation and included federal and provincial government agency representatives, as well as former mill owners. The Thunder Bay Port Authority attended meetings of this group as “observer.”

The current Sediment Management Options Working Group has been broadened with several additional organizations now participating. The most important addition is Transport Canada, the owner of the harbour bottom at the site in question. This change in group composition is significant because carrying out cleanup without the participation of the owner would have been difficult, if not impossible. Transport Canada has stated publicly, on a number of occasions, that they are committed to cleanup. The Public Advisory Committee to the Thunder Bay Remedial Action Plan (PAC) is also represented on the new working group.

The North Harbour Sediment Management Options Working Group is comprised of representatives from the following organizations:


This 1977 photo shows the mill and effluent lagoons adjacent to the North Harbour site. Photo: Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

Next Steps for North Harbour

According to representatives of the Sediment Management Options Working Group, technical studies, clarification of site ownership and further public engagement will continue through spring 2020. Once these activities have been completed, the working group will recommend a sediment management option to senior management at Transport Canada, the Thunder Bay Port Authority, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Links:


Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Infosuperior…only #LakeSuperior news.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Tumblr
Tumblr
0Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email

Comments Sought on Potential Long-term Solutions for Encroaching Stamp Sands at Buffalo Reef


Short Term Solutions Facilitate Long Term Planning

Buffalo Reef is an area of productive Lake Superior fish habitat located on the east side of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Historical waste material called “stamp sands,” from copper mining, is encroaching on the critical fish habitat of Buffalo Reef.

In October of last year a contract was awarded to Peterson Companies, Inc., of Minocqua Wisconsin, to finally begin the process of dredging enough stamp sands from Grand Traverse harbour and an underwater trough north of Buffalo Reef to stave off encroachment on Buffalo Reef for the next 5 to 7 years. While that dredging project, set to commence in spring 2019, was undergoing comment and planning in 2018, the Buffalo Reef Task Force (BRTF), a panel of federal, state and tribal agencies, was reviewing potential alternatives to deal with the stamp sands problem for the long term.


An aerial view looking north of the Grand Traverse Harbor in Houghton County. This photo shows dredging operations in progress in 2017. The stamp sands are being dredged from the harbor channel. Natural sand beach is seen in the bottom left of the image, with stamp sand beach extending from the harbor to the top of the photograph. (Photo courtesy of Neil Harri)

Draft Buffalo Reef Alternatives Report Released

This month the BRTF released the Draft Buffalo Reef Alternatives Report 2019, on which they are now seeking public comment. The report includes background information on the project’s development thus far and a brief description of thirteen separate alternatives and their associated risks. The solution for the complex issue of relocating millions of cubic yards of stamp sands will most likely involve a combination of two or more of these alternatives. Public comments at this stage will help guide the BRTF in selecting three or four of the alternatives for further assessment and more detailed analysis based on effectiveness, risks and costs (both immediate and long term). The report is open for public comment until March 8.

For Information on how to submit comments Click Here


Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Infosuperior…only #LakeSuperior news.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Tumblr
Tumblr
0Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email

Soo Locks Close for Seasonal Maintenance

The last vessel to traverse through the Soo Locks for the 2018-2019 shipping season was Motor Vessel Manitoulin. (Photo by Michelle Briggs)

As ice coverage impedes lake transport, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closes up the Soo locks to navigation in order to complete critical annual maintenance on the MacArthur and Poe Locks. They will pump all water out of the two locks in order to update and maintain the mechanical features of the locks.

Mlive.com: See the Soo Locks drained of 73 million gallons of water

These maintenance steps will be more essential than ever as the Army Corps begin building the newest Soo Lock that was approved this past year. The last vessel, Motor Vessel Manitoulin, passed through Jan. 15, marking the end of a very productive shipping season. More than 4 500 vessels and up to 80 million tons of cargo pass through the Soo Locks each year.

This shipping season saw dramatic increases in Great Lakes cargo transportation by U.S.-flag Lake Carriers of 17.5% versus the 2017 season according to the Lake Carrier’s Association: U.S.-Flag Great Lakes Fleet Finishes 2018 on Strong Note. The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership has also noted a hugely productive year of shipping through the Saint Lawrence Seaway with the greatest increase in cargo shipments since 2007: Best Year for Seaway Shipping in Over 10 Years.


Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Infosuperior…only #LakeSuperior news.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Tumblr
Tumblr
0Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email

Watching Climate Change: Polar Vortex Hits Great Lakes

A swirling polar vortex is depicted by the Goddard Earth Observing System Model on Jan 29, 2019. (Photo: NASA Earth Observatory)

What Does the Polar Vortex Really Indicate?

For much of the Great Lakes region that has been caught up in a polar vortex this past week it may not seem like the climate is warming. But NASA shows that the transfer of cold air from the North pole towards the surrounding regions is actually related to warming at the poles: The Other Side of the Vortex.


Predicting High Temperatures and Extreme Precipitation

Despite the cold weather, a research article published October, 2018 by Elsevier suggests that we can expect a continued increase in temperatures and precipitation across the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin in the next several decades.

The article was produced by researchers from the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Windsor, Canada; the Aquatic Research and Development Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; and the University of Exeter, United Kingdom.

Full Research Article: Projected Extreme Temperatures and Precipitation of the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin by Liang Zhanga,b, Yingming Zhaoa,b, David Hein-Griggsc, Lyndon Barra, and Jan J.H. Ciborowskia.

Using a regional climate model they predicted a general rise in the annual number of extremely hot days (≥32°C) and decrease in annual number of extremely cold days (≤18°C) in the Great Lakes Region. Models like this one are great for getting an idea about what we might expect for the future, but knowing what is actually happening requires monitoring in the present, and one of the easiest things to monitor is ice coverage


Satellite image of Laurentian Great Lakes on Jan 27, 2019. (Photo: NASA Earth Observatory)

Ice Coverage as a Monitor for Climate Change

Ice coverage on Lake Superior is a useful indicator for climate change effects, as we learned from last issues article, linked below. Furthermore, Lianna Lopez of York University published The Meltdown: How Climate Change is Affecting Ice on Lake Superior on Jan 11, where she states that lake ice is an essential factor in fish spawning, fish species competition and phytoplankton blooms. You can get involved in monitoring lake ice as well by registering with IceWatch as a Citizen Scientist, just Click Here.

Links

InfoSuperior: How Well Do We Know Lake Superior As an Indicator Of Climate Change?

CBC: Saugeen Ojibway Nation confronts effects of climate change on whitefish fishery

National Geographic: Lakes Are Shedding Winter Ice at Record Pace

Inside Climate News: New Great Lakes Governors target Climate Change


Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Infosuperior…only #LakeSuperior news

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Tumblr
Tumblr
0Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email

Sustainable Agriculture in the Great Lakes Region

Conservation Integral to Great Lakes Agriculture


The great lakes region is home to some of the most fertile soil in both Canada and the United States, and that soil brings in substantial monetary benefits. But farming has the potential to endanger aquatic environments due to the phosphorus and extra sediment in agricultural runoff. Phosphorus is known to increase the production of harmful algae blooms that hurt both ecosystems and economies. The good news is that farmers, lawmakers, and environmental groups like the Sustainable Farming Association, The Nature Conservancy, and the Great Lakes Protection Fund know that conservation is key to a sustainable agricultural sector in the Great Lakes basin.


In Canada

On the Canadian side, a collaboration lead by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, with funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, is evaluating agricultural phosphorous in Lake Erie. They are testing the effectiveness of various methods to remove phosphorous and sediment from agricultural runoff as part of the Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan to reduce the amount of phosphorous entering Lake Erie by 40% by the year 2025.

Blackburnnews.com: Evaluating Agricultural Phosphorus


In the U.S.

Just last month, a new bipartisan farm bill that increased funding and implemented policy reforms to ensure that Great Lakes priorities were upheld in the U.S. agricultural sector was signed into law by the United States Federal Government. The Great Lakes Commission (GLC), who applauded the new farm bill, are now seeking proposals to gain a thorough understanding of how the past Great Lakes Restoration Initiative’s agricultural conservation investments have impacted the region, particularly in the Lower Fox, Saginaw, Maumee, and Genessee River watersheds where conservational investments were focused.

Proposal deadline is 5PM (EST) Friday March 22, 2019: Click Here for the full Request for Proposals document.

This socio-economic analysis is part of the GLC project titled Researching the Effectiveness of Agricultural Programs (REAP). The GLC will be awarding between $100,000 and $150,000 to an individual or team of qualified and informed researchers and/or organisations so that they can work with the GLC, Ohio State University, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to collect data between May and December 2019.


Agricultural Events Ramp Up

Although the soil remains frosty, agricultural conferences and events in the Great Lakes Basin are ramping up, especially due to Michigan State University’s 103rd Agriculture and Natural Resources week (March 3-8), which hosts a variety of speakers and events.

See below for a list of other agricultural events being hosted in the Great Lakes Basin in February and March:


Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Infosuperior…only #LakeSuperior news.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Tumblr
Tumblr
0Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email

Great Video Places Spotlight on Legendary Fishing in Nipigon River

The Male brook trout (Salvelinus Fontinalis); illustrated by Sherman Foote Denton (1856-1937) from Game Birds and Fishes of North America (1913). (Photo: By Rawpixel – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64762470)

Learn what makes the Nipigon River the ideal fishing spot, plus some interesting history about the 1800s fishing tourism scene on the Nipigon River, in this enchanting little video with local fishermen and environmental experts.

Videos like this one remind us why it is so important to protect our natural habitats. The Nipigon River, original home of the world record brook trout, almost lost its brook trout population to overfishing and poor water management, but thanks to government backed efforts, today things are looking up for the Nipigon River brook trout.

The Nipigon River empties into Lake Superior through Nipigon Bay, one of the four areas of concern covered by the North Shore Remedial Action Plans (RAPs), of which Infosuperior is a part. The RAPs aims to solve pollution problems and restore wildlife habitat in each Area of Concern. Nipigon Bay is now approaching delisting as an Area of Concern but you can Cick Here for details on the extensive work done to reach this point.


Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Infosuperior…only #LakeSuperior news.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Tumblr
Tumblr
0Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email