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North Shore RAP Summer 2013 Newsletter


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Summer 2013 North Shore Remedial Action Plan Newsletter

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North Shore RAP Summer 2013 Newsletter

  1. 1. Issue 2 Summer 2013 RAPort Quarterly Newsletter from the North Shore Remedial Action Plan Thunder Bay and Nipigon Bay How  to  Celebrate  Lake  Superior   Events! By  Ashley  Preim     Lake  Superior  day  is  a  special  day  that  encourages  people  to  celebrate  the   largest   freshwater   lake   in   the   world.   Lake   Superior   Day   is   a   FREE,   fun,   family   event   that   includes   something   for   everyone.   This   year   the   celebration  takes  place  at  the  Pool  6  Cruise  Ship  Dock  in  Marina  Park.       This  summer,   the  romance   of   the   high  seas   comes  to  Lake   Superior   Day   with  a  visit  from  the  tall  ship  Sorlandet.    Entry  to  Lake  Superior  Day  is  free   and   tickets   for   the   Sorlandet   tours   will   be   sold   on   site   for   just   $3   per   person,   under   3   years   of   age   free.   Guaranteed   to   bring   out   the   Jack   Sparrow  in  all  of  us,  a  deck  tour  aboard  the  Sorlandet  is  an  experience  not   to  be  missed.   The  57-­‐metre  (210   ft)  fully  rigged  sailing  ship  is  the   oldest   and  largest  fully  rigged  ship  in  operation   today.   She  was  built  in  1927  in   Norway  and  served  as  a  training  vessel  for  the  Norwegian  navy.       Lake Superior Day Kayak Tour Thunder Bay PAC Meeting July 21st 2013 @ 10am Pool 6 ship dock at Marina Park August 15th 2013 @6pm Marina Park Sept. 11th 2013 @ 6pm Current River Park at Fishermens Rd. Oct. 9th 2013 @ 7pm To be announced For more details check out: A  picture     of  the   Sorlandet   provided  by   Class  Afloat   Continued on page 4 Assuring environmental health on the North Shore of Lake Superior
  2. 2. 2 1 Issue 2 September  11th  PAC  Meeting  “Walk  the  Talk”     Summer 2013 Current   River   Fish   Ladder   –   The   Current   R.   has   approximately  50   km.  of  potential  spawning  and  nursery   habitat  available  to  rainbow  trout.  Passage  is  altered  by   the   dam   situated   approximately   600   m.   upstream   from   the   mouth.   PAC   members   will   visit   the   fish  ladder   at  the   dam   and   information   will   be   provided   as   to   potential   future  remedial  actions.     North   Harbour   Mercury   Contamination   –   Sediment   in   the   northern   portion   of   Thunder   Bay   Harbour   has   total   mercury   levels   that   exceed   the   Provincial   Sediment   Quality  Guidelines  severe  effect  level  in  an  area  covering   approximately  three  hectares.  This  is  in   an  area  adjacent   to   the   former   Cascades   Fine   Papers   mill.   PAC   members   will   view   this   area   from   the   shoreline.   The   geographic   extent   of   the   contamination   will   be   described,   and   information   provided   about   research   completed   over   the  summer.       If   you   are   interested   in   environmental   matters,   especially   as   they   relate   to   Thunder   Bay   Harbour   and   Lake   Superior,   please   feel   free   to   attend   the   Sept.   11th   meeting.   PAC   members   want   to   see   effective   solutions   put  in  place  to  address  the  above  issues  and  are  always   glad   to   see   broader   public   interest.  Feel   free  to  attend,   learn,   ask   questions   and   provide   comment.   The   complete   information   package   for   the   meeting   will   be   accessible   in   August   at   This   includes   the   agenda,   overall   meeting   format   and   all   documents   associated   with   the   meeting.   Contact   Thunder   Bay   Remedial   Action   Plan   Coordinator   Jim   Bailey   for   more   information   –   343-­‐8514   or   By  Matt  Quick                     Thunder       Bay  PAC   meeting       The   remediation   of   impairments   in   the   Thunder   Bay   Harbour   is   assisted   by   a   Public   Advisory   Committee   (PAC).   See   the   complete   list   of   PAC   members   in   a   separate   article   in   this   newsletter.   The   Public   Advisory   Committee   (PAC)   usually   meets   at   Lakehead   University   but   on   September   11th,   6   p.m.,   the   group   will   be   trying   something   a  little   different   when  they   meet   in  the   picnic   shelter  near  the  commercial  fishing  dock  near  the  mouth   of   the   Current   River   beside   Fishermens   Rd.   To   access   this   site,   turn   off   Cumberland   St.   North   towards   L.   Superior   onto   Shipyard   Drive,   proceed   a   few   hundred   meters   then   turn   right   onto   Shipyard   Rd.,   proceed   a   couple   of   hundred   meters   then   turn   left   onto   Fisherman’s   Rd.   beside   the   Current   R.   You’ll   see   the   picnic  shelter  on  your  right  beside  the  Current  R.    After  a   bite   to   eat   (provided)   the   “meeting”   will   begin.   The   general   public   is   welcome   to   attend   and   there   is   no   charge.     The  term  “meeting”  is  used  rather  loosely  when  it  comes   to  Sept.   11th.     Actually,  the  PAC   will   tour   three   areas   of   interest,  all  within  walking  distance  of  the  picnic  shelter:     Current   River   Mouth   –   Work   has   been   completed   to   rehabilitate   degraded   walleye   spawning   habitat   at   the   Current   River   mouth.   PAC   members   will   visit   this   location   in   person;   rehabilitation   work   and   subsequent   monitoring   will   be   described   and   information   provided   as  to  potential  future  remedial  actions  for  this  site.       2 Geotechnical and environmental sampling is being completed to further assess the characteristics of mercury impacted enriched organic sediment in Thunder Bay North Harour. This picture shows the barge and drill rig used for the work.
  3. 3. 2 1 Issue 2 Summer 2013 Thunder   Bay  Yacht   Club  has   close  ties  to   the   Harbour             By  Jim  Bailey   On   May   21st,   the   Public   Advisory   Committee   tried   to   change   this   situation.   Lakehead   University   Remedial   Action  Plan  representatives  Jim  Bailey  and   Matt  Quick,   accompanied   by   Public   Advisory   Committee   Outreach   Chair   Bruce   Pritchard,   presented   an   overview   of   the   Remedial   Action   Plan   to   the   Yacht   Club   board.   The   presentation   included   past   success   stories   like   cleanup   of   creosote   at   the   former   Northern   Wood   site   and   outstanding  challenges  like  how  to  address  the  problem   of   mercury   contamination   in   the   north   portion   of   Thunder  Bay   Harbour.  Bruce   Pritchard  pointed  out  that   the   Red   Rock   Marina,   which   many   Thunder   Bay   Yacht   Club  members  have  visited,  was  actually  a  Nipigon  Bay   Remedial  Action   Plan  project  incorporating  fish   habitat   features.       This photo   features "AirAura" sailed by   Thunder Bay Yacht Club   members Chris and   Susan Bailey.     The   Public   Advisory   Committee   to   the   Thunder   Bay   Remedial   Action   Plan   is   always   seeking   perspective   on   cleanup   plans   for   Thunder   Bay   Harbour.   Current   members   include   a   broad  range   of   members   including   a   science   teacher,   representatives  from  industries   such   as   Resolute   Forest   Products,   Erco   Worldwide   (chemicals),   Richardson   International   (grain   elevator),   the   North   Shore  Steelhead  Association,  EcoSuperior  and  Lakehead   University.     Subsequent   to   the   May   21st   meeting,   the   Public   Advisory   Committee   received   notice   that   Yacht   Club   board   member   Denette   Maslach   would   represent   the   club   as   a   Public   Advisory   Committee   member.   The   Committee   is   very   pleased   to  have   representation   from   a   group   with   such   strong   ties   to   the   harbour   and   Lake   Superior.     To   date   however,   the   PAC   has   not   included   representation  from  the  largest  recreational  group  using   the   harbour,   the   Thunder   Bay   Yacht   Club.  The   Thunder   Bay   Yacht   Club   has   approximately   400   members   with   sailboats   and   powerboats   both   large   and   small.   Members   utilize   the   harbour   and   lower   Kaministiquia   River  on  a  regular  basis,  some  almost  daily.  In  fact,  some   members   of   the   club   are   involved   in   harbour   sailboat   races  several  nights  per  week.  Many  members  know  all   areas  of  the  harbour  and  lower  Kam  River  intimately.   Community Outreach Subcommittee The   Public   Advisory   Committee   has   also   given   presentations   to   other   groups,   like   the   March   28th   presentation   to   the   local   chapter   of   the   International   Grain   Elevator  and  Processing   Society.  At   this   meeting,   30  people  who   depend   on   the  harbour   to   make  a   living   learned   about   Remedial   Action   Plan   progress   and   challenges.     Want to get more involved with upcoming Outreach activities? Meetings will occur every 1-2 months. Contact Matt Quick if interested: 3
  4. 4. 2 1 Issue 2 Summer 2013 Continued  from  page  1   the   Pearl   Street   Marina   Park   entrance,   the   public   is   encouraged  to  park   off-­‐site  and   walk,   bike  or  take   the   free   shuttle   bus   to   the   Cruise   Ship   Dock.   There   is   no   public  parking  available  at   the  Pool   6  site  Sunday,   July   21   or   Monday,   July   22,   2013.   Limited   spaces   available   on   site   for   handicap   parking.   The   City   Shuttle   Bus   will   pick   up   and   drop   off   at   the   following   locations:   Thunder   Bay   Community   Auditorium,   Heart   of   the   Harbour   Parkade   (parking   fees   applies)   and   Water   Street  Terminal.       Something  to  keep  in  mind  as   you  attend  Lake  Superior   Day  is  the  very  large  Thunder  Bay  Remedial  Action   Plan   project   completed   just   across   from   the   Pool   6   Cruise   Ship  Dock.  About  500  meters  south  of  the  Pool  6  Dock   and   just   north   of   the   former   ore   dock,   cleanup   of   a   portion   of   the   harbour   contaminated   with   creosote   took   place.   Cleanup   centered   around   the   former   Northern   Wood   Preservers   site   and   was   completed   in   2003.   Contributions   from   the   former   owners   of   the   site,   as   well   as   from   the   federal   and   provincial   governments,   made   the   project   possible.   Looking   across   from   the   Pool   6   dock   you   should   be   able   to   easily   see   the   “habitat   buffer”   which   surrounds   the   Northern   Wood   cleanup   project.   The   buffer   is   comprised  of  small  islets,  bays   and  coastal  indentations   and  is  designed  to  increase  aquatic  habitat   for   fish   and   wildlife.                 2011   Lake   Superior   Day event     She   was   later   used   for   accommodations   for   German   submariners   in   World   War   II.   Currently,   the   ship   hosts   Class  Afloat,  an  exclusive  floating  school  offering  a  unique   way   to   finish   a   high   school   diploma   while   visiting   ports   around  the  world.     The   Sorlandet’s   first   trip   across   the   Atlantic   was   in   1933   when   she   was   a   highlight   of   the   Chicago   World   Fair   and   served   as   the   Norwegian   pavilion.   This   year,   the   ship   is   re-­‐enacting   that   historic   voyage   with   a   visit   to   Chicago   and  many  other  Great  Lakes  ports  as  part  of  the  Tall  Ships   Challenge  2013.   The  Lakehead  University  Remedial  Action  Plan  office  will   also  be   attending   Lake  superior  Day.  Be   sure   to   check   out   our   booth   featuring   information   about   cleanup   of   the   Thunder   Bay   Harbour   including   the   lower   Kaministiquia   River.     This   year’s   festivities   also   include:   educational   displays,   the   Science   North   Cool   Science   Caravan,   a   Canadian  Coast  Guard   Search   &  Rescue   b oat,  a   Tug  Boat,   a   nearshore   clean   up   by   Thunder   Bay’s   EcoDivers,   and   food  vendors.     *Be   advised   that   while   transportation   to   the   site   is   accessible,  the  ship  itself  is  not  wheelchair  accessible.   Lake  Superior  Day  starts  at  10:00  am  on  Sunday  July  21st   and   ends   at   5:00   pm.   The   Sorlandet   is   also   open   for   public   tours   on   Monday   July   22nd   from   10:00   am   until   4:00  pm  with  n o  other  associated  activities.     This   year’s   event   takes   place   at   Marina   Park,   Pool   6   Cruise  Ship   Dock.   Although   Pool   6   can   be   accessed   from   A  picture     of  the   Sorlandet   provided   by  Class   Afloat   4
  5. 5. 2 1 Issue 2 Summer 2013 Nipigon  Chair  Outlines  Successes   By  Jim  Bailey     Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey,   Public Advisory Committee members Dave   Crawford, Betty Brill and MPP Michael Gravelle   Dave  Crawford,  current  chair  of  the  Public   Advisory   Committee   (PAC)   to   the   Nipigon   Bay   Remedial   Action   Plan   (RAP)   is   a   long-­‐ serving   member.   Betty   Brill   and   Bruce   Pritchard   have   also   been   involved   from   the   late   eighties   inception   of   this   cleanup   plan  for  Nipigon  Bay.     generation.   The   agreement   really   helped   the   trout  fishery.  I’m  not  saying   things   are   perfect   but   it   is   much   better   than   it   was   before  this  agreement  was  put  in  place.   Another   big   success   was   putting   in   place   secondary   municipal   wastewater   treatment   for   Nipigon.   The   RAP   played   a   large   role   in   bringing   in   funds.   I’m   proud   of  this.   We   know  Red  Rock   will   be   putting   in   place   secondary   treatment   in   the   near   future.     Dave   says   his   interest   in   the   outdoors   forms  the  basis  for  his  involvement  in   the   RAP,   “As   kids   we   were   always   in   the   outdoors,   whether   fishing,   hunting,   biking   or   hiking.   I   really   learned   to   love   the   area   around   Nipigon;   the   lake,   the   river,   the   inland   lakes,   bush   roads   and   trails.   As   I   grew   older   I   really   wanted   to   ensure   the   natural  environment  was  protected.”   I  also  have  to   mention   the   marina  in   Red   Rock.   It’s   great   to   see   the   new   marina   building.     What   a   beautiful   facility.   The   RAP   program   assisted   in   putting   in   place   the   large-­‐scale   funds   necessary   to   construct   the   marina   in   the   first   place.   The   marina   is   unique   in   that   it   was   designed   to   incorporate   fish   habitat.   The   RAP   program   has   been  beneficial   to   both   Nipigon   and   Red   Rock,   primarily   in   an   environmental   sense   but   also   in   an   economic  sense.”   The  RAP  has  dealt  with  issues  such  as  loss   of   fish   and   wildlife   habitat,   the   health   of   fish   populations   like   the   Nipigon   Bay   walleye   population   and   excess   nutrients   and  undesirable  algae  in  the  lower  Nipigon   River.   The   PAC   offers   local   input   to   RAP   government   agencies   like   the   Ontario   Ministry   of   the   Environment,   the   Ontario   Ministry   of   Natural   Resources   and   Environment  Canada.     RAP   work   on   the   environment   has   gone   hand-­‐in-­‐hand   with   other   community   efforts   like   construction   of   the   Nipigon   River   trail.   “We’ve   had   as   many   as   240   people  out   on  the   Hike   for   Health.   People   connect  with  n ature  on  the  trail.    They  are   happy   and   healthy.   The   trail   passes   the   lower   river   wetlands.   These   are   an   important   fish   habitat   component   and   should  be  p rotected,”  says  Dave.   “I   think   our   first   really   big   success   was   putting   in   place   an   agreement   with   Ontario   Hydro   (now   Ontario   Power   Generation)   to   limit   water   level   fluctuations   in   the   Nipigon   River.   There   was   a   real   problem   with   spawning   areas   being   left   high   and   dry   due   to   big   water   level   swings   from   hydroelectric   In   closing   Dave   adds,   “The   Nipigon   is   the   largest   river   entering   the   Great   Lakes.   When   you   consider   all   of   the   water   coming   down   through   the   Ogoki   diversion,   we   really   are   the   Great   Lakes   headwaters.   I   think   this  needs   to   be  kept   in  mind,  even  when  considering  issues  like   potential  nuclear  waste  storage.”   5 Public Advisory Committee Members for Thunder Bay: Co-Chairs Frank Edgson Northshore steelhead Association Jean Hall-Armstrong Thunder Bay Field Naturalists Members Gerry Heinrichs Richardson International Ashleigh Marchl Resolute Forest Products Bruce Pritchard Lake Superior Discovery Place Jamie Saunders EcoSuperior Carl Taylor Erco Worldwide Gordon Van Fleet Confederation College General Public Members Charlene Carson Jessica Dyczko Duncan Hutchison Samuel Pegg Josh Singh Heidi Strobl Chris Walton If interested email
  6. 6. 1 2 Issue 2 Improving  Fish  Populations   By  Samuel  Pegg     Kaministiqua   to   understanding   the   fish   community   across   the   whole   AOC.   The   AOC   includes   the   entire   Thunder  Bay  Harbour  area.                 Summer 2013 Some  of  the  projects  the  RAP  is  working  on  to  better   understand  and  improve  the  fish  community  include:   a   fish   community   index  netting   program,   a  multi-­‐year   radio   telemetry   program   to   document   the   seasonal   distribution   and   movement   of   adult   walleye,   a   study   of   lake   sturgeon   spawning   sites   just   below   Kakabeka   Falls,   and   an   assessment   of   spawning   walleye   near   the   mouth   of   the   Current   River.   There   is   some   indication  that  fish  populations  are  slowly  improving;   however,   continued   monitoring   needs   to   be   conducted  to  ensure  this  trend  continues.   Rainbow   Trout   during   spring   migration   on  a  north   shore   stream.   In  1987,  the  governments   of   Canada  and   United   States   identified   43   locations   around   the   Great   Lakes   where   the  quality  of  the  environment  had  declined  to  the  point   that   it   hindered   enjoyable   and   sustainable   use   of   the   area.   Thunder   Bay   was   listed   amongst   the   43   Areas   of   Concern   (AOCs)   largely   because   of   historic   industrial   discharges   and   increasing   urbanization   of   the   waterfront,  leading  to  loss  of  fish  and  wildlife  habitat.   The   Lakehead   University   Remedial   Action   Plan   office   coordinates   efforts   aimed  at   improved  environmental   quality   in   the   Thunder   Bay   AOC.   The   lead   agency   working  to  improve  the  dynamics   of  fish  populations   is   the   Ontario   Ministry   of   Natural   Resources.   MNR   is   assisted   by   the   Ontario   Ministry   of   the   Environment   and  Environment  Canada.   To   deal   with   environmental   issues   in   these   areas,   Remedial  Action  Plans  (RAPs)  were  established  to  guide   restoration   efforts.   The   Thunder   Bay   Remedial   Action   Plan   Stage   I   Report   identified   fourteen   beneficial   use   impairments   (BUIs),   which   would   require   action   before   the  area  could  be  d eemed  remediated.     Dynamics   of  fish  p opulations   is   one  such  impairment.   At   the   time   the   Stage   I   report   was   prepared,   there   were   low   levels   of  dissolved  oxygen   coupled  with   high  water   temperatures  in  the  Kaministiqua   River.  This  resulted  in   periodic   fish   kills   and   a   difference   in   fish   community   structure   above   and   below   the   Bowater   outfall.   Since   then,   very   substantial   investment   to   upgrade   mill   effluent   treatment   has   taken   place   resulting   in   improved   water   quality.   Strict   environmental   regulations,   a  cessation  of  river  log   drives  and   an  overall   reduction   in   shipping   traffic   have   also   assisted   in   improving   environmental   conditions   in   the   lower   Kaministiquia.   The   current   focus   of   the   RAP   has   now   expanded   from   specific   impairments   on   the   Fisheries   biologist   holding  a   walleye.   Information  Bulletin  Board   If   you   have   an   interest   in   environmental   matters,   the   harbour,   Lake   Superior   in   general   or   if   you   represent   a   group  which  does,  the  Public  Advisory  Committee  would   be   glad   to   have   you   as   a   member.     Also,   if   your   group   would  like  a  presentation  about  the  Remedial  Action  Plan   for   either   Thunder   Bay   or   Nipigon   Bay,   please   get   in   touch.   Contact   Jim   Bailey,   343-­‐8514   or   6
  7. 7. Issue 2 Summer 2013 SUMMARY OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Environmental Issue 1991 Status 2004 Status 2011 Status (Stage 1) (Stage 2) (Update) Dynamics of Fish Populations I I I Loss of Fish Habitat I I I Fish Consumption Restrictions I I RFA Fish Tumours & Other Deformities I I RFA Degradation of Benthos I I I Restrictions on Navigational Dredging I I *NI Restrictions on Drinking Water Consumption or taste and odour problems NI NI NI Excess nutrients and/or undesirable algae NI NI NI Added cost to agriculture and industry NI NI NI Beach Advisories I I I Degradation of Zooplankton & Phytoplankton I I RFA Degradation of Aesthetics I I I NI NI NI RFA NI RFA Loss of Wildlife Habitat I I I Dynamics of Wildife Populations I I I Impairments to Fish Health Impairments to Sediment Quality Impairments to Water Quality Impairments to Wildlife Wildlife Consumption Restrictions Bird and Animal Deformities or Reproductive problems I = Impaired, NI = Not Impaired/No Longer Impaired, RFA = Requires Further Assessment, Asterisk* = Proposed Designiation 7
  8. 8. The Remedial Action Plan is undertaken with the financial support of: Environment Canada Ontario Ministry of the Environment Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources North Shore Remedial Action Plan Office Thunder Bay and Nipigon Bay Lakehead University RC 3000 955 Oliver Road Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1 /Info   Superior