GBF Newsletter - Spring 2019

GBF.ORG | SUMMER 2019 | 3 FAMILIES FOR CHANGE 2 | SUMMER 2019 | GBF.ORG MESSAGES FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CHAIR SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES By Anne Randell, Chair MOBILIZING FOR THE BAY By David Sweetnam, Executive Director “We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change. Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later before it is too late.” – António Guterres (UN Secretary-General), COP24, December 3rd, 2018. We are hearing about global warming and the resulting dire economic, ecosystem and social justice issues and seeing the submerging of coastal communities beginning globally, but we are also feeling significant changes closer to home: a seventy one percent decline in ice coverage since the 1970s; wind speeds increas- ing five percent per decade; increasing surface water temperatures; precipitation patterns resulting in wetter winters, less spring run-off and dryer forests; increasing extreme storm events resulting in property damage and more raw sewage — containing pollutants like mi- crofibers — going directly into our waters due to torrential downpours that surge through outdated combined sewer and storm water pipes. These are some of the local impacts of what the UN describes as “the single most important issue we face”. “Scenarios with large and rapid warming illustrate the profound effects on Canadian climate of continued growth in greenhouse gas emissions” according to April 2019’s “Canada’s Changing Climate Report”. The report notes that Canada is experiencing almost double the rate of change over the global aver- age. According to a recent Ontario government climate change report, the most vulnerable species are aquatic. It is not good news for the ecosystem of our beloved Bay. The causes of global warming are clear and so are the solutions. We need to overcome the forces that make us resistant to the amaz- ing and inevitable changes that we all must make. Themost important step is to start to act. This is the impetus for our new Families For Change program. Shoreline plastic clean ups, waste reduction and invasive species removal days are tangible actions that make a lasting impact. Our Divert & Capture project will trap microfibres before they go down the drain, and contaminate our water. As Guterres appealed, “we need a full-scale mobilization of young people.” I am happy to welcome Cassie and Brooke and all our summer students helping us with this most important work. For those who are young, and young at heart — you are welcome to help us too. Spring is finally in the air, and glorious summer times with friends and family on Georgian Bay are just around the corner. It’s also shaping up to be a difference-making summer in safeguarding the water we all love — for GBF, our municipal partners, our organization friends, hard-working volunteers, and our generous donors. GBF will start conducting research in Parry Sound to see how many plastic micro- fibres can be diverted from the water with 100 household volunteers and their washing machines. We'll have the inaugural launch of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (somewhat like an underwater drone) that will exponentially increase data capture on lake chemistry and the underwater physical land- scape; information needed to keep pace with looming threats. And we'll be working with you on Phragmites eradication, Divert and Capture shoreline clean-ups , and Families For Change challenges. So many opportunities to help - we'll see you out there! I am also thrilled that Joe Tucker recently joined the GBF Board of Directors. He has been on the Bay for almost 35 years at Snug Harbour, and his expertise is most appreciat- ed. He has already started serving as the Chair of our Finance Committee. Welcome Joe! 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.O RG Design by Key Gordon ( ) Editor: Heather Sargeant Follow us on Derek Bowen Helen Bryce Janet Burt Anne Randell, Chair Adam Chamberlain Terry Clark Paul Emond Jennifer Ferguson Doug Heintzman Neil Hutchinson Laren Stadelman Joe Tucker GBF is always working to preserve and protect the waters of Georgian Bay and the creatures that live in it. We engage in scientific research and with like-minded partners , pose the tough questions that lead to viable and responsible solutions. Thanks to all our donors, we can do this critical work. Now you and your family can help us work toward our shared goal! Why? Climate change, pollution, and wetland deterioration are complex global issues involv- ing politics, economics, science and most importantly, the human will — or the lack of it. Plastic and greenhouse gas emissions are overwhelming our planet, and we are losing wetlands every day. Most of us have no idea what we can do to help solve these problems. What? If you and your family are concerned about climate change, plastic pollution and wetland health, but don’t really know where to start doing something about it, GBF has a program for you. It’s called Families For Change (F4C). GBF has identified different things cottagers and area residents can do to help combat climate change and protect Georgian Bay. How? GBF’s new F4C program can take as much or as little time as you and your family have to devote to it. You can choose from a variety of tasks in different categories or you can simply focus on one or two. It’s entirely up to you. There are lots of choices and lots of things we can all do to protect ourselves, our families and the Bay from climate change, plastic pollution, and wetland loss. 1 2 3 4 Clean up your Shoreline Improve environmental choices daily Choose fashion that matters Preserve Wetlands F 4 c challenges families to work in the following four areas: May 17 - Aug 31 2019 F4C challenges families to work in the following four areas beginning May 17th through August 31, 2019: The F 4 C Contest: 2 ways that your family could win prizes from Patagonia by registering online at www.gbf/org/F4C. • First grand prize consists of one (1) basket of pre-selected Patagonia goods of an approxi- mate retail value of $700 Canadian dollars (CAD). The grand prize will be awarded based on the highest number of cumulative points achieved by the winning family for complet- ing tasks of the contest. Tasks are assigned point values of 5, 10, 25, and 50. • The secondary prize will be awarded via random draw of eligible registered entrants and consists of one (1) basket of pre-selected Patagonia goods of an approximate retail value of $240 Canadian dollars (CAD). Eligible entries must have completed at least four (4) tasks. • Registered entrants must submit their filled-in “GBF F4C TASK CHECK LIST” PDF or word file to by August 31, 2019. If you are unable to scan or email your results, you will be asked to contact KimWoodhouse at (905) 880- 4945 x 2 by August 31, 2019 who will assist you. Full rules: Our goal GBF wants all families who share a love for Georgian Bay to have fun and take action by changing their habits in ways that will benefit the Bay, and ultimately, the globe. If you need any further encouragement to join F4C, watch this 6-minute video: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open May 17, 2019 to August 31, 2019 to legal residents of the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence. If under 18 years of age, participants must obtain a parent’s or legal guardian’s prior permission to par- ticipate and be eligible. Two (2) prizes available to be won. Odds of winning depend on number of eli- gible entries received. Correctly answering a math skill-testing question is required for all prize winners. Take the GBF Families For Change (F4C) challenge: pledge to make a difference as families! Visit to sign up today. Written by Helen Bryce and Sara Carter, with consultation from education committee members Jennifer Ferguson, Dawn Drayton, and Paul Emond.