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Our Water is Polluted by More than just Phosphorus

Contaminants in the Bay impact our own health and the health of our environment. Some toxic chemicals in the Great Lakes have declined substantially over the past 40 years, but others are still persistent.

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?

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 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?

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.
Helping a Blandings Turtle cross the road Meg Wallace Photography

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 ...
Earth from space.

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 ...
Carling Thom Morrissey Photography

Climate Change in Georgian Bay – Part 1

Since the Industrial Revolution, when we began burning coal and then oil, people have been changing the planet’s climate. According to NASA and the world’s scientists, burning fossil fuels and other human activities has increased the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere from 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million in the last ...

A Connected Landscape is Necessary for Healthy Ecosystems

When the United Nations launched the World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 1970, one of its main goals was to conserve landscapes, ecosystems, individual species and genetic variation. Core protected areas within a biosphere reserve, such as national and provincial parks, provide the physical space—or ecosystems—species need to thrive. In eastern Georgian Bay, we have ...
Walleye at the Seguin spawning bed

How Are The Fish of Georgian Bay?

One of the best ways to study the state of Georgian Bay is to look at the fish community, and specifically whether each species of fish is naturally reproducing – or if the population is declining. Fish are a useful indicator of aquatic ecosystem health because they reflect changes in nutrients, prey availability, water quality and ...