Lake Huron e-news - February 2017

Lake Huron e-news - February 2017

A message from our Executive Director box_top.gif

Welcome, and thank you for taking the opportunity to read our monthly newsletter. This month’s message comes with mixed emotions. For those of you unaware, Geoff Peach, a founder of the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation passed away recently. Geoff was a strong proponent of coastal environmental preservation and promotion. His ground-breaking work has left a huge footprint on the landscape of Lake Huron. For details about Geoff and to donate to his memorial fund please visit our webpage. 

We are committed to continuing the important work that Geoff started, along with Pat Donnelly. In order to continue this work, we have added a dedicated and experienced member to staff at the Coastal Centre. Hannah LaCroix has accepted the role of Coastal Technologist. The following article has been written by her as her introduction to our readers and the LHCCC. Please join me in welcoming her to our team. 

-Matt Hoy, Executive Director. 

Coastal Wetlands as Natural Infrastructure to Protect Against Extreme Weather Events

February 2nd is the date many of us know to look for Wiarton Willy’s prediction, but it is also World Wetlands Day! This year the theme of, “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction” was selected to bring awareness to the vital role wetlands play in reducing effects of extreme storm events such as floods. With so much interest on the changing water levels of Lake Huron, we at the Coastal Centre think this theme is relevant to our livelihoods and investments along the lakeshore. 

Resilience to extreme events is an issue those that live on the lakeshore think about on a regular basis. Wetlands are called ‘natural infrastructure’ because they reduce stress on water treatment plants and water retention structures ie. dams. Many of us are familiar with wetlands along the lakeshore like those in Oliphant and Port Franks, but fewer of us understand that coastal wetlands occur within 2 km of the Lake Huron coast.  Many wetlands within this 2 km lakeshore zone exist as small swamps dominated by Maple and Ash trees. Although inconspicuous, swamps provide benefits to Lake Huron’s shoreline residents; they filter pollutants, nutrients and sediment from upstream sources, which reduces the amount of algae blooms that occur on the lake. Coastal wetlands prevent flooding by slowing the flow of water during heavy precipitation events and snow melt; and provide wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities including fishing, bird watching, and canoeing. 
You can make a difference by not using all-terrain vehicles within wetlands; keeping the shorelines and water inflows/outflows unhindered and natural; keeping your septic system in good working order to reduce nutrient outflow; and eliminating chemical fertilizer use near wetlands. Visiting public wetlands offers a great family outing, and can be an interesting change of scenery.
There are financial incentives to having a wetland on your property. The Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program allows landowners to qualify for 100% tax exemption for the wetland area. Conservation Authorities and Non-Profit organizations like Ducks Unlimited Canada offer programs to build or expand wetlands at no cost to the landowner. If we work together to invest in natural infrastructure, we all benefit, including the plants and animals that call these areas home.box_bottom.gif

A Coastal Action Plan for Lake Huron

The Coastal Centre is working on the creation of a Coastal Action Plan for Lake Huron, encompassing the shoreline from Sarnia to Tobermory. This is a new initiative intended to join the shoreline together with a common action plan. This plan will enable a coordinated approach to address common issues and goals of communities along the shoreline.

We would like to invite you to attend one of our Coastal Community Workshops, which will allow communities to learn more about the coastal processes that shape Lake Huron, and also share their values, ideas and opinions regarding our lake.

Coastal Community Workshops:

February 07, 2017, 7:00pm, Bayfield Town Hall, Bayfield, Huron County
 
February 23, 2017, 7:00pm, Clearwater Arena, Sarnia, Lambton County
 
February 28, 2017, 7:00pm, Sauble Beach Community Centre, Bruce County

Fill in to win!

If you are interested in providing us with information to shape our Coastal Action Plan, we would appreciate your help by completing our short questionnaire. Visit: http://www.lakehuron.ca/coastal-action-plan-questionnaire

You will be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card from Mountain Equipment Co-op, or a 1-year subscription to Alternatives Journal!

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Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation

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Geoff Peach (right) with organization co-founder Patrick Donnelly

 

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adult and chick  June 24 2010

 

hairy puccoon - Port Franks 2

 

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