December 2021 Update

It’s Giving Tuesday!
Donate and you can make a difference
to help protect the Bay

Coming in January! Would you like an digital copy of one of Dr. Karl Schiefer’s amazing photos, donated to GBGLF by his family?

We’ve digitized over 400 of them, including more than 200 of his aerial shots. They’ll be searchable by year, region, area, and more. Donations to GBGLF will entitle the donor to a digital download of an image, suitable for viewing and printing. Details to come.

GBGLF’s progress report on protecting our Bay
– Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

Water levels are down 2in from October and are down 17in from one year ago. We are now experiencing wild 7 foot swings from the 2013 new record low to the recent 2020 new record high. This will remain a watching brief for GBGLF until we get our governments to develop a conveyance capacity change model for the St. Clair River and to figure out how best to stabilize that riverbed. But due to the very warm Great Lakes water temperatures we can expect heavy lake effect snowfall this winter before the ice forms. This could also lower our water levels since most of that snow evaporates.

We are happy to let everyone know that we have developed – along with McMaster U’s Prof Pat Chow-Fraser – a research partnership with Moose Deer Point First Nations and Whitefish River First Nation. Together, we have applied for new innovative research funding to be able to take our turtle research to the next level by using GPS tracking devices to track Species At Risk turtles. Last summer working with the Tadenac Club we learned that these turtles can move very long distances – well beyond what was previously known. That means that if they are to be protected, we need to consider a much wider habitat protection range. But by using GPS tracking devices their movements can be followed by satellite wherever they go – much easier. Both First Nations people will have their own young science researchers working alongside the McMaster researchers. We’ll keep you posted in the New Year.

Watch for the new videos on TVO in the New Year by the Water Brothers featuring McMaster U researchers out in the field including Kelton Heron-Addersly seen below in a large vernal (inland) pool wetland using an aerial to track turtle movements.

We are very pleased to announce that we have been granted registered charity status by Canada Revenue Agency. We will still use Huronia Community Foundation (HCF) to issue tax receipts and HCF provides us with financial statements for their reasonable 2% fee.

The Township of Georgian Bay (TGB) has again provided GBGLF support funding to GBGLF to carry out water quality assessments in the coastal waters. Working with McMaster U researchers we have learned that the same “hot spots” we found were also found by Dr. Karl Schiefer for 10 years from 1999 to 2009 also with TGB funding. There may be waters that are unsafe for swimming and we all need to know where they are. Next summer McMaster U’s Prof Pat Chow-Fraser will take this work to a much higher level by focusing on the hot spots and undertaking special in laboratory bacteriocide tests to determine once and for all if the bacteria are human or animal sourced. Those results will be shared with the Township so that hopefully measures can be taken to eliminate the land or water source of the elevated human bacteria levels.

Good news that steps are being taken to establish a Georgian Bay Research Centre on donated land at Honey Harbour in memory of our former Premier Bill Davis who died last summer in his 90’s.
The William Grenville Davis Education Centre for the Great Lakes, named after the late Bill Davis who served as Premier from 1971 to 1985. Both the District of Muskoka and Township of Georgian Bay have approved $15,000 for the feasibility study to begin with plans to begin construction as soon as next fall. This is a project of Peter Cooper, a Georgian Bay and District Councillor, who knows well the fact that Georgian Bay has the most extensive, diverse and highest quality wetlands found anywhere is the Great Lakes. Cooper says there’s already been some interest within McMaster University and Mohawk College, with Dr. Pat Chow-Fraser, an ecology professor at McMaster offering to help with the centre’s curriculum, and Dr. Nick Eyles, a geology professor at the University of Toronto, is also interested in being involved.

A dead bird is found on the shoreline in Wasaga Beach, Ont. CTV News Barrie

The one not good news item is that once again there were a significant number of birds that died as a result of botulism this fall. The dead birds washed up on the beaches from Severn Sound to Collingwood. This is related to the invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels releasing feces into the very warm waters allowing for the growth of toxic algae. It is a one two punch of climate change and invasive species impacts. We are applying for ECCC funding to be able to collect water and mussel samples in these waters nest summer. Your donations could help speed this up.

On behalf of our entire board and all our wonderful donors,
Mary Muter, Chair, Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation

PS. We are looking for a few new board members. Interested in our research – water levels, water quality, wetlands, SAR turtles? Want to learn more? Contact Us!

Here is how to donate so we can continue this important scientific research following Roy Schatz’s wishes.


Donations help us make a difference
because we can continue our work and bring it to a conclusion for future generations. We depend on private donors, foundations and sponsors like you.

Charitable donations can help reduce, or even cancel out, the tax
you would otherwise have to pay to the government.


Please make out your cheque to
Huronia Community Foundation

and mark in the notation line
“for Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation”
and mail it to:
Huronia Community Foundation,
P.O. Box 324, Midland, Ontario, L4R 4L1



Donate Securities to the Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation Fund
through the Huronia Community Foundation

To ensure that we credit the right fund, ask that donations be directed to:
Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation Fund 

Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation is a Federally registered charity
(Charitable number: 74856 7096 RR0001)
affiliated with the federally-registered charity, Huronia Community Foundation

You can get more information about claiming donations from the CRA website and your Financial Advisor.