Georgian Bay is Unique
Its 30,000 islands form the world’s largest freshwater archipelago. And it is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
But what is the state of Georgian Bay?
This report gives you a snapshot of the environmental health for eastern and northern Georgian Bay. From the Severn River up to Killarney and McGregor Bay, this region contains an important diversity of habitats – including rocky shorelines, coastal wetlands, sand beaches, and distant outer islands, each of which support an amazing array of species.
Our team has reviewed some of the research from the Great Lakes, Lake Huron, and Georgian Bay to give you a summary of environmental conditions in your community. Measuring indicators helps us to better understand the environment along Georgian Bay. It helps to focus our efforts where they are needed most. It also allows us to identify healthy and ecologically important areas that require protection or enhancement.
We have found that although good environmental research has begun, there is a need for more research and monitoring. Look for stewardship programs that you can do with your family and your neighbours.
We all live, work or play in beautiful Georgian Bay.
Let’s protect it for future generations.
What is an Indicator?
An “indicator” is a feature of the environment that gives us signs as to whether the environment is healthy and when it is changing. For example, in this report, measuring phosphorus helps to tell a story about water quality. Past results can be compared to the present and future, to see trends.
Working with partners, we identified seven ‘aquatic ecosystem health’ indicators that help us to tell the story of the nearshore and offshore waters of Georgian Bay. It’s a complex story that has seen a lot of change, from the introduction of chinook salmon, the collapse of lake trout, and the arrival of quagga mussels. These indicators help us to better understand the state of the aquatic ecosystem as a whole – from the lower food web through to top predators.