GBF Winter 2022 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. GBF.ORG Design by Key Gordon ( Editor: Heather Sargeant 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 THANK YOU By Adam Chamberlain, Chair of Georgian Bay Forever From the point of view of the depths of winter (where we are as I sit to write this), summer on the Bay seems somewhat distant. That said, this wintery vantage point provides a clear view both of the year just past as well as the one yet to come. With COVID presenting new yet familiar challenges, one suspects that this year might look a bit like last year. Let’s hope that the similarities are passing and that we all start to see a world where COVID is more manageable. One way that I hope 2022 lives up to positive aspects of 2021 relates to the support so many of you provided to GBF, both financially and in the form of “elbow grease”. Whether you made a monetary gift/donation or helped with GBF’s various program efforts such as microfibre reduction, emission/pollution reduction, shoreline cleanups or Phragmites cuts, your contribution was essential to GBF’s work towards the protection of the Bay. One group of individuals who I would like to call out for recognition today are those who volunteer their time to serve on the various committees of GBF and on the GBF board. The two words I would repeat for emphasis are “volunteer” and “serve”. While GBF is fortunate to have excellent and dedicated staff, GBF would not be what it is without those who willingly spend their evenings, weekends and other personal time serving GBF. They deserve the recognition and thanks of those who value the Bay and all it provides to us. Being one of those who benefits from their service, I am pleased to thank them here on behalf of us all. Find out more online about: GBF’s Board of Directors – GBF’s Committees – REFLECTING ON THE 2021 PHRAG SEASON By Nicole Carpenter, GBF Project Coordinator Summer 2021 results are in — summer 2021 was an incredible success in our efforts towards eradicating Phragmites from the east coast of Georgian Bay. Phragmites is an invasive plant from Europe that if left unchecked threatens biodiversity, habitat, and proper wetland functioning. In total, GBF manages 904 coastal Phragmites sites across the eastern shoreline of Georgian Bay including the Township of the Archipelago, the Township of Georgian Bay, Tay Township and Matchedash Bay with the help of many community members, municipal funding, donors, organizations, and 4 summer student staff. This year we achieved eradication of a total of 45% of the stands and a further 30%were cut — putting us at a total 75% control management (i.e. at least one cut). This year approximately 38,000 kg of Phragmites was removed. [See the full online report by region at] In a new project area, Matchedash Bay, we discovered a total of 72 Phragmites sites, of which there was significant uncertainty of lineage at the time of mapping and cutting. In the fall, GBF sent in 7 samples for DNA testing, of which 6 turned out to be the native lineage. 28 of these 72 sites are native and mostly focused on the North and Coldwater River tributaries that flow into Matchedash Bay. (Online report at Due to the inaccessibility of many sites of invasive Phragmites found in the Matchedash Bay wetland, GBF is hoping to recruit volunteers to help with removal over the winter in areas we otherwise would not be able to reach in the summer. We are interested in the effects of winter removal and its implications on regrowth in the spring. Once safely frozen, this volunteer opportunity would involve snowshoeing or cross-country skiing short distances over the wetland to remove leftover dead stalks of Phragmites. If this is something you would be interested in, please contact Nicole Carpenter at or 905-880-4945 x 7. A scene fromMatchedash Bay in winter 2 | WINTER 2022 | GBF.ORG