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Microbes in the Bay: A Deep Dive into Algae

Microbes in the Bay: A Deep Dive into Algae

We all know what algae is. We see it every summer in our lakes and rivers, whether it be as floating mats, delicate strands, or something to slip on getting into the water. Algae may seem like a nuisance to some, but these microorganisms are vitally important. They are at the base of our food ...
The Aftermath of Parry Sound 33

The Aftermath of Parry Sound 33

Last summer the Parry Sound 33 (PS33) forest fire swept the northern coast of the biosphere region, starting at Henvey Inlet First Nation and spreading to surrounding areas. Reaching almost 12,000 hectares, it was a force that left people worried for not only their homes, but for the plants and animals that also inhabit those ...
A Closer Look at Algae

A Closer Look at Algae

Algae is a summer constant, and a constant source of worry for many cottagers. The presence of algae in the Georgian Bay area is often seen as a sign that something is wrong. Whether it be a faulty septic system, or phosphorus pollution, people worry that the algae they are seeing are the result of ...
What is Polluting our Water?

What is Polluting our Water?

You’ve probably heard of the legacy of DDT and its effects on species such as the bald eagle. When this chemical was being produced and actively used in the mid 1900s, the eagles were poisoned when they consumed the contaminated fish. In turn, this chemical interfered with the birds’ ability to produce strong eggshells. As a result, their eggs had ...
Is Chloride Contaminating our Bay?

Is Chloride Contaminating our Bay?

When salt from our roads makes its way into the Bay or inland lakes, the salt dissolves into two separate ions – sodium and chloride. Chloride is a greater threat to aquatic ecosystem health.
How does Road Salt Affect our Ecosystem?

How does Road Salt Affect our Ecosystem?

With our cold Northern Ontario winters comes icy roads and consequently, road salt. Trucks travel up and down the highways spitting out these pellets of sodium and magnesium chloride hoping to melt some of the ice build-up. But what are the effects of this salty solution on our ecosystems? Are there any alternatives?
The Ripple Effects of Climate Change

The Ripple Effects of Climate Change

The world’s leading scientists have stated that humans are causing the climate to change. By increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we have raised the global temperature by 1°C since the industrial revolution. The new IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report released earlier this year urges us to keep global warming ...
Nutrients Nearshore vs Offshore: What's the Difference?

Nutrients Nearshore vs Offshore: What’s the Difference?

Georgian Bay is a nearly 15,000 square kilometers, making it almost the same size of Lake Ontario! Consequently, it is hard to study the Bay as one whole body of water. To understand water quality we use two regions of focus: the nearshore and the offshore.
Endangered Species on the Rise

Endangered Species on the Rise

Monarch Butterfly. Eastern Foxsnakes. Massasauga Rattlesnakes. Whip-poor-will. Bald Eagle. Blanding’s Turtle. Little Brown Bat. Lake Sturgeon. What do all of these species have in common? Not only are they iconic species that we can find in our Biosphere, but all of these are also species at risk of extinction. Eastern Georgian Bay is home to over ...
Climate Change in Georgian Bay – Part 2: Many Ways to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

Climate Change in Georgian Bay – Part 2: Many Ways to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

Georgian Bay is warming, our local food web is collapsing, and invasive species are on the rise. With each passing decade, we make the ecosystems upon which we depend more vulnerable. Isn’t it time we stopped putting so much carbon dioxide into our own atmosphere? The most powerful computers on earth show that warmer winters in ...