GBF - 2019 Winter Newsletter

10 | WINTER 2019 | GBF.ORG DONOR PROFILE Every once in a while, if you are lucky, you meet a kindred soul. Someone who believes in the same things as you do—like making the world a better place, protecting natural resources for future generations and doing it all without being asked! Our little team here at Georgian Bay Forever has been so fortunate to find such a soul in Tom Fitzgerald, owner of Bin City based out of Victoria Harbour. Having been lucky enough to grow up on the shores of Georgian Bay, and spending most of his time at his parents’ waterfront campground, Caswells—a love of Georgian Bay and it’s water are part of his heart and soul. As so many of us can relate to, Tom truly feels that there is nowhere in the world he is supposed to be but on the shores of Georgian Bay. So, when he had an opportunity to expand his expertise in the “bin” business and, as he laughingly put it “bet on myself rather than someone else”, he became his own boss, opening Bin City, located in Victoria Harbour, in April of 2018. Although only fresh in the business, Tom is already giving back to his community, in a big way! After seeing the devastating effects of Phragmites on the property at Caswells, and attending a GBF sponsored workshop on this invasive reed, Tom and his Dad decided they had to support an organiza- tion working on ridding the coastal wetlands of this terminator-like plant. Together, they decided to generously donate the use of the Bin City bins, as well as covering all of the disposal fees to GBF in our quest to Fight the Phrag in and around the area of Tay and Tiny. This busy “Jack of all trades” gives credit for his common sense, strong work ethic, integrity, ambition and sense of civic respon- sibility to his parents. “Having watched them work hard my whole life, and give back what they could to the various causes in the com- munity, helped me realize that I needed to carry on their tradition and follow in their very big footsteps,” Tom said when asked about why he chose to become a sponsor of the Small Business Program at GBF. “I love the water, love the peace and joy I feel when I look out over its shimmering surface during a sunset frommy favourite spot behind the family “lookout”. I love Georgian Bay because it gives life to many animals on this earth, which is the reason I would like to help protect it for the generations that follow.” Tom, we thank you for your kindness, for volunteering your bins, for giving of your time and your manpower to eradicate Phragmites from the shores of Georgian Bay. We applaud you for helping to ensure that the water of Georgian Bay stays pristine for the seventh generation to come after you. We wish you success in your endeavor and look forward to continuing our partnership for as long as it takes to eradicate Phragmites from Georgian Bay! TOM FITZGERALD MAKING THE BAY A BETTER PLACE By Amber Gordon-Bunn, Director of Development TOP 5 TAKE-AWAYS FROM 1. Scientists the world over have proven that global warming is upon us and that we only have 10–12 years to change course before the effects of climate change become irreversible. 2. Individuals and municipalities need to take serious action now in the face of larger governmental insecurity on implementing effective policies such as putting a price on carbon emissions. Examples of actions that can be taken now include buying electric cars and enacting local energy efficient by-laws and policies. 3. The impacts of climate change on Georgian Bay will be extensive and include rising water temperatures; changes to the food web, lower water levels over the long-term; loss of wet- lands and the species who depend on them; shoreline erosion; the increas- ing risk of new invasive species; and wilder weather patterns. 4. We are eating and drinking our own garbage in the form of microplastics that are potentially chemical-laden and that have been found through out the Great Lakes waters and fish. Plastic pollution reduction requires a willingness by individuals to change every day consumption habits. 5. More research is needed to understand the impact of net-pen or open cage aquaculture in freshwater lakes and how to manage the potential conse- quences in order to feed people. Want more? Find the full video presentations from H 2 O 2018 at Thank you to Bert Liverance for his help filming and editing the videos. Thank-you to the speakers, audience and these partners from H 2 O 2018. Looking ahead into the future, I am scared. Scared for my children and their children. Scared because climate change is happen- ing faster than anyone expected and we are almost out of time to stop the effects; micro- fibres are entering our waters, being ingested by our aquatic species or found in our beer and tap water at an alarming and increasing rate; invasive species seem to be everywhere along our coasts and roadways. I am scared for the health of the water that has been such a big influence in my life. But, I am also hopeful. Hopeful, because I am a member of a team of 100s, if not 1,000s in our Bay communities and even beyond our own coastal borders, who are doing all they can to mitigate these looming threats. I am convinced that EVERY POSITIVE ACTION, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, will have an effect on our Earth’s precious resources and its ability to heal itself. I know that without our efforts to thwart Phragmites and divert microplastics/fibres, our cause would already be lost. If every small act can make a difference, think what we can do together, if we all take action NOW! Action can take on many forms— it can be volunteering to cut Phragmites , hosting a workshop, shar- ing communications or installing a filter on your washing machine. It can be joining our Board or one of our public committees dedi- cated to tackling big picture problems and helping to provide solutions to the numerous threats we face. And of course, taking action can be supporting those efforts financially through annual or monthly giving or by providing a bequest in your will. However you are able to take action, we implore you to start now! Time is running out to help save our freshwater resources. A CALL TO ACTION By Amber Gordon-Bunn, Director of Development for Georgian Bay Forever. GBF.ORG | WINTER 2019 | 11 INSIGHTS FROM H 2 O CONTINUED