GBF Newsletter Winter 2018

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! Did you know that microbeads and micro- plastics are tiny pieces or particles of plastic found in many personal care products and synthetic clothing fabrics? These plastics are then flushed down our drains through show- ers and washing machines and can end up in our food chain. These kinds of microplastics were found in 29 tributaries flowing into the Great Lakes from the US. Once in our waters, they ebb and flow with the currents, infesting all of our precious water! Even though these plastics are tiny, collectively they cover a huge surface area, allowing them to absorb large quantities of toxins and other pollutants. Yikes! Then fish and other aquatic animals foraging for food can ingest those plastics into their bodies. As we catch and eat the fish, we then ingest those very same microplastics into our own bodies! Oh my! So let’s all watch the products we use, cut down on our consump- tion of synthetic clothing — like fleece — and keep cigarette butts off the ground! THAT’S JUST GROSS! SEWAGE OVERFLOWS DO RUN INTO YOUR BAY! Many people have no idea that raw, untreated sewage water routinely overflows into the Bay frommunicipal treatment plants when they’re overwhelmed by too much rain! Can you imag- ine finding out that the very place you and your family sail, canoe, kayak, boat and swim — and often draw your drinking water from — had over 1.3 million litres of raw sewage dumped in it over a four-year period? This happened in Midland, and let’s be honest, the Township of Midland is unlikely to be alone in having outdated facilities. We’re sure this is a huge problem in small Townships all around the Bay. Stormwater management infrastructure is needed! Investments in water treatment plants and processes are needed! Support public disclosure of when and where overflows happen! THAT IS NOT PRETTY GRASS! BUST THAT PHRAG AND ELIMINATE IT FROM OUR WET- LANDS! We’re on the cusp of a major invasion, and the battle to save our precious wetlands is just beginning! Our Georgian Bay coastal wetlands are home to 80% of the Great Lake’s 3500 species and are considered to be among the most productive and diverse ecosystems in the world. However, invasive species like Phragmites are already having a tremendous and devastating effect on native ecosystems. Phragmites are threatening wetlands, impor- tant habitat for our native fish. That “grass” may look pretty — it’s anything but! Phragmites are a nutrient bully, hogging all the nutrients for themselves, while dispers- ing a harmful chemical from their roots that hampers the growth of our native plants. This species has no natural controls and can grow in almost any condition. One seed, seemingly small and insignificant, has the potential to produce 40 stems in just one season. Since there are up to 2,000 of these seeds in one Phragmites seed head, a single seed head has the potential to generate 80,000 new stems. They grow into dense monocultures and cre- ate dead zones where nothing can grow. In one square metre, it is not uncommon to see 200 or more stems growing. Invasive Phragmites are not impossible to stop, but the longer we leave it, the more chal- lenging and costly the cleanup will be. Please become a Phragbuster. Inspect your own properties for signs of a Phrag invasion, get some training and then get into the water and do your part for your local shoreline! THREE GREAT REASONS TO BECOME A WATER GUARDIAN AND SUPPORTER THIS YEAR! coast towards Killarney. Family, friends and members of the Bayfield Boat Club support her efforts by purchasing and proudly wear- ing her many creations. GBF and our staff are honoured and humbled by Sydney’s first and generous contribution and her pledge to give more! She is a shining example of how younger generations of Georgian Bay lovers can get involved and protect the waters they’ve grown up on. Thank you, Sydney, for ensuring your Bay stays pristine. If any of these issues make you concerned about the future of Georgian Bay, please consider becoming a supporter of water protection work and make a donation. With your help, we can ensure the pristine water of the Bay remains clean, safe and healthy for genera- tions to come! To donate visit: or call: Amber at 905-880-4945, ext. 3 DONOR PROFILE