GBF 2021 - Fall Newsletter

Georgian Bay Forever is a community response to the growing need for major research and education to sustain the Georgian Bay aquatic ecosystem and the quality of life its communities and visitors enjoy. We help monitor the Bay’s well being, throughout the seasons, year after year. We fund the research needed to protect the environmental health of Georgian Bay and the surrounding bodies of water. Using our research findings, we inform and educate the general public and governments about threats to environmental health and propose possible solutions. Through workshops, seminars and online, we are educating the Georgian Bay community. By teaming up with reputable institutions, we enhance the credibility of our research and strengthen our ability to protect what’s at stake. Georgian Bay Forever is a registered Canadian charity (#89531 1066 RR0001). We work with the Great Lakes Basin Conservancy in the United States, as well as other stakeholder groups all around the Great Lakes. Deeply rooted and broadly drawn, Georgian Bay Forever is steered by lifelong devotees of the Bay. We are committed advocates, educators, environmentalists, realists, idealists, and of course, residents. DIRECTORS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR David Sweetnam OUR CONTACT DETAILS Georgian Bay Forever PO Box 75347, Leslie St., Toronto, ON M4M 1B3 tel: 905-880-4945 You can reach David Sweetnam, our Executive Director, at or at 905-880-4945, ext 1. Canadian citizens may send their donations to the address above. U.S. citizens wishing to make a donation to support our work can do so by giving to: Great Lakes Basin Conservancy PO Box 504, Gates Mills, OH 44040-0504, USA This newsletter is just a snapshot of our work. For the most up-to-date information on our projects, longer versions of newsletter articles and breaking news about Georgian Bay, please become a regular visitor to our website and Facebook page. GBF.ORG Design by Key Gordon ( Editor: Heather Sargeant Cover Photo: Andy Metelka Follow us on Janet Burt Adam Chamberlain, Chair Terry Clark Paul Emond Jennifer Frew Margaret Hastings Doug Heintzman Neil Hutchinson Sally Leppard Anne Neary Anne Randell Joe Tucker Will Thompson MUCH MORE TO DO By Adam Chamberlain, Chair of Georgian Bay Forever Recently I have been reminded that this isn’t the first time a pandemic has impacted the shores of Georgian Bay. The last time it happened on a scale similar to today was a century ago when the 1918 Flu Pandemic left a devastating toll worldwide and locally. Back then, there were many fewer cottagers on the Bay (it was hard to get here at the time) and the impact would have been more notable among year-round residents. Many of those affected residents were Indigenous. Accounts I have read of the impacts of the 1918 Flu Pandemic on members of First Nations and Métis communities in the area reflect devastation that would seem all too familiar to us now—but made much worse given the absence of vaccines and medical assistance we now enjoy. Indeed, stories passed down by elders (most of whom had yet to be born when that pandemic landed in their communities) speak of terrible illness and many deaths. Without modern medicine and vaccines these communities experienced losses equal or greater to those we have seen with COVID. Further, as Canadians are increasingly coming to appreciate, our society did not (and still does not) provide the same level of medical and other support to Indigenous citizens as it does to those who are non-Indigenous. While much has changed, there is a great deal to do to rectify this imbalance. Reconciliation is needed and non-Indigenous Canadians need to become more active in this regard. I might suggest a good start can be made by reading, considering and discussing the 94 Calls to Action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission—it can be found easily online. A final note. One First Nations elder related stories of how community members were told to stay apart to protect themselves from becoming sick. I was struck by how familiar that sounded to public health advice we have been provided more than 100 years later. To join an exclusive group of committed Georgian Bayers working hard to protect our water quality, every single month. With your commitment to monthly giving in any amount, you will become a member of the new GBay Keepers Circle! Why join? Because our work together is not done. The Bay is still under threat to climate change, invasive Phragmites, plastic pollution, sewer overflow runoffs and so many other issues. GBF is not operationally funded by any government entity, and the only way we can implement our critical programs is through donations, annually and monthly! But here’s the best part— when you join the GBay Keepers Circle, you get peace of mind, convenience, and confidence that your gift is providing stable and reliable income to plan for the future. Monthly giving also allows us to have the pleasure of thanking you instead of always asking for a gift, and it helps GBF be more efficient which means more of your contribution is spent on things that really matter. Email to join the other members of the GBay Keepers Circle today and help to make a difference for your Bay! YOU’RE INVITED! 2 | FALL 2021 | GBF.ORG