On a day where storm warnings were in effect across Ontario, the town of Port McNicoll felt a reprieve during an information session on water quality and the environment.
The 2022 Lake Huron Georgian Bay Community Watershed Actions event was held by the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) this week in Port McNicoll.
“I think it’s a good example of the partnership that we were able to form some 20 years ago with local municipalities,” said Tay Township Mayor Ted Walker.
Approximately a dozen booths and information areas were set up in the Tay Community Rink surrounding the seating area, allowing attendees to ask questions of experts who provided insight to regional environmental projects.
Several speeches were made by dignitaries such as Mayor Walker as well as Simcoe County Warden and Tiny Township Mayor George Cornell, Tiny Deputy Mayor and SSEA chair Steffen Walma, and Councillor Justin Dumont of the Georgian Bay Métis Council.
Guest speakers included Kim Gavine, general manager at Conservation Ontario; former Muskoka Watershed Council chair and retired ecologist Kevin Trimble; and Glenn Cunnington, manager of watershed programs at District of Muskoka.
Julie Cayley, executive director for the SSEA, was pleased with the attendance, for those in person and at home.
“Hopefully, it will inspire people to understand that they are making a difference, that working together is how we make a difference,” said Cayley.
“For us at Severn Sound Environmental Association, this has been a great day to celebrate the fact that our eight municipalities in North Simcoe came together – to work together to protect water quality – which is a really unique situation. We’re very proud to be part of that.”
Other groups participating in the event included: Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority as the event co-host; Georgian Bay Forever; Grey Sauble Conservation Authority; Georgian Bay Biosphere; Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority; and the Simcoe County Soil and Crop Improvement Association. Miller’s Dairy from Creemore was also on hand to serve ice cream to the attendees.
Cayley provided advice for residents looking to assist in their own awareness of the environment, starting with what they can do in their own neighbourhoods.
“This is the time of year to start watching for algae blooms and different aspects of water quality,” said Cayley. “We would encourage anyone who sees something that they’re worried about, that they give the Severn Sound Environmental Association office a call or check our website and get in touch with us that way.”
The 2022 Lake Huron Georgian Bay Community Watershed Actions event was live-streamed and recorded for participants unable to attend in person, and is available on the SSEA YouTube channel.
Further details on the event and other information can be obtained through the Severn Sound Environmental Association website.
Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca