This fall, Freshwater Future Canada staff have been busy travelling to communities across the Great Lakes to learn about local threats to water quality and what we can do to help. We’ve been inspired by the creative solutions and hard work of community groups who are passionate about water.
At the Lake Huron Summit in Collingwood our Manager of Partnerships, Nancy Goucher, heard about the efforts of many groups working to improve it the health of Lake Huron. She was surprised to learn that trout—a keystone species—almost disappeared due to the invasive sea lamprey but that lamprey control efforts are starting to pay off. We’re even beginning to see a slight recovery to the trout population. Nancy was impressed by the work of more than 18 local organizations that address everything from stream restoration to phragmites control to water quality monitoring. Freshwater Future Canada is proud to support a number of these organizations in their efforts to protect Lake Huron.
Our project manager, April Weppler, also got to pay a visit to the shores of Lake Huron for the Bayfield Sustainability Summit. The day-long event focused both on protecting drinking water and on reducing climate change impacts. Maude Barlow from the Council for Canadians inspired audience members while also providing a reality check on the severity of problems facing water in Canada. Her presentation was followed by a number of interactive sessions dealing with plastic pollution, home energy efficiency, waste reduction, and climate change. Bayfield is a highly engaged community and Freshwater Future Canada enjoys working with a number of local groups there, including Blue Bayfield and the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation.
Last but not least, we thoroughly enjoyed being part of the annual Gathering of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance—attended by land trusts, conservation authorities, and other environmental groups from around Ontario. Land trusts play such an important role in protecting our watersheds and improving water quality, and we are proud to have supported the Ontario Land Trust Alliance in developing their new strategic direction that will promote excellence in land conservation throughout the province.