GBF 2020 - Winter Newsletter

2 | WINTER 2020 | GBF.ORG LORUM IPSUM TITLE MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CHAIR GEORGIAN BAY NEEDS YOU By Adam Chamberlain, Chair of Georgian Bay Forever A new decade lets us review how Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) has protected our beloved Bay. Our work on Phragmites eradication has helped to protect Georgian Bay coastal wetlands, critical for habitat and keeping our water clean for at-risk species and our families. Janice Gilbert, Executive Director of the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre, acknowledged our 8-year effort saying: “I commend you on your excellent work to date on reducing Phrag in the Georgian Bay area. Without your efforts it would be a disaster up there.” About 8 years ago, the findings in the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) Upper Great Lakes Study process, got us talking about climate change as the major driver of extreme water levels in Georgian Bay. While it was more popular at the time to talk about the Chicago diversion or erosion in the St. Clair River, GBF focussed on the scientific evidence. We are now clearly seeing the dramatic reaction of Mother Nature through increased storm size, altered lake levels, decreased ice cover and higher water temperatures in Georgian Bay. Evaporation overtook precipitation as the driving force in the decade before 2013. Then, increased precipitation and larger storms took over, swinging lake levels from record low levels to almost record high levels in shorter time. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that global climatological conditions effecting the Great Lakes weather patterns are similar to this time last year, so we can expect record levels this coming year. Decreasing our carbon footprint is a must. Look to our Families For Change program for 2020 for suggestions on how you can make a difference. Our 2016 engineering study “Creating Cli- mate Resilience” for the Great Lakes showed the potential for structural intervention to mitigate water levels at both the high-highs and low-lows. We were the first organization to call for a Great Lakes systemwide approach when it comes to regulating water levels. With all 6 of the IJC’s Commisioners appointed, GBF will be taking our report back to the IJC to help them in their efforts and ensure that the water is protected. The past decade has proven out our strategies to protect our beautiful Bay. We look forward to the next challenging decade and to continuing to serve our Georgian Bay community. Many of you contribute financially to GBF and other Bay related causes and organizations. That is of course how we keep doing what we do around the Bay. Your financial donations are gratefully received and are crucial to the health of the Bay. However, they are not the only way to help protect the Bay. GBF and the other Georgian Bay organizations rely on the time and effort of people who care about the water. For example, while GBF has a fantastic staff, we also rely on a volunteer Board, a host of volunteer commit- tee members and many others who contribute to a variety of activities in the field. It is volunteering time that I would like to make an appeal to you about today. We are all busy with our non-Georgian Bay lives but most of us are able to contribute a little time. Take me for example. I was happily going about my life working as an environmental lawyer when I received an offer I could not refuse. As part of my day-job, I was active in water quality and quantity protection for different clients. Through some work related to water transfers between Great Lakes watersheds, I got onto the radar of a producer of the Agenda (the TVO show hosted by Steve Paikin). That led to my one and only TV appearance (ever, I am sure) as one of four panelists addressing the (then) extraordinarily low water on the Bay. Well, the call came the next day from a friend on the GBF Board…. “Would you be inter- ested in serving the Bay”, he asked. I considered it for a minute, “yes” was my answer. Fortunately, you don’t have to go on TV to support the Bay! GBF is (as is always the case) actively on the lookout for volunteers to assist us in a myriad of ways. Please reach out to GBF or any of the GB organizations and community associations—the Bay, and all who enjoy it, will benefit from your participation. 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 Follow us on Derek Bowen Helen Bryce Janet Burt Adam Chamberlain, Chair Terry Clark Paul Emond Jennifer Ferguson Doug Heintzman Neil Hutchinson Anne Randell Laren Stadelman Joe Tucker LOOKING BACK By David Sweetnam, Executive Director