The Biosphere News
A major focus of the Biosphere Association over the last several years has been to improve water quality. Initially we focused on restoration projects. We have provided alternate watering sources for five thousand cattle, and installed over 13 km of fencing to keep cattle from the streams. We have financially supported 90 property owners to replace, upgrade or inspect their septic systems that influenced a watercourse. We have planted thousands of shrubs and trees along stream banks and promoted the use of cover crops and best management farming practices such as low tillage to reduce soil erosion into streams.
Three years ago, we initiated a research project bringing together the farming and academic communities to look at ways to improve water quality through better management of algae-causing phosphorus and turbidity-causing soil sediment.
You are invited to come to our AGM Thursday May 30th, 7:30 pm at the Rotary Hall in Lion's Head and hear the results of this research.
Professor Bulent Mutus of the University of Windsor will speak about his recently published research to remove phosphorus in water runoff from a winter manure site using bioremediation. Fascinating stuff and it works!!!
Professor Jaclyn Cockburn of University of Guelph is a specialist in “sediment transport”. She will explain how her research project using sediment core samples from Little Lake at Barrow Bay provides 100 years of locally-based evidence of how land use changes affect the amount of sediment deposited in our streams. Sediment brings along phosphorus and creates cloudy or turbid water. Sediment transported into the streams also “silts” up the streambed destroying habitat important for fish spawning and for the microorganisms upon which young fish feed. Such local evidence of sediment transport can be used to promote further adoption of best management practices to prevent soil erosion into streams and lakes, e.g. the use of silt fences during construction and cover crops instead of bare fields.
During the AGM we will also review other projects completed in 2018 and discuss plans for the coming year. All are welcome to attend!
Old favourites and an exciting new line-up
We are heading into our second full season of guided, educational programming at EcoAdventures, giving participants the opportunity to play, learn, and make a difference!
Our Snowshoe to the Grotto and Owl Prowl adventures sold out this past winter season! So be ready to sign up, as our summer program of EcoAdventures has launched.
June 2 - Birding by the Bay features an exclusive visit to the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory research station at Cabot Head. Enjoy opportunities to observe a colourful warbler up close; gain a behind the scenes understanding of the thousand mile journeys they take and experience the ins and outs of bird migration monitoring.
June 9 - Eco Home Tour Don’t miss it as it too sold out last year. Tour 5 unique buildings, each showcasing various environmentally friendly designs.
Returning this year are our popular Brave the Caves an interpreted tour of Greig’s Caves, our 4 Elements Hike which explores a stunning section of the Bruce Trail explaining how the beautiful landscapes of the Bruce have been created and our Soul Stroll, a walk of mindful meditation with beautiful views.
New is our Forest Based “Escape Room” See if you can solve the puzzles and escape. And on Saturday afternoons this year we will offer “Off Track” adventures where we will share the less visited, less known special spots on the Peninsula.
MyEcoAdventures are fun, guided tours where ecological knowledge is seamlessly interwoven as you hike, bike and snowshoe in the spectacular Bruce Peninsula, a biodiversity hotspot. MyEcoAdventures is a social enterprise of the Biosphere Association. The net proceeds from our fun and educational EcoAdventures go directly to support our conservation, stewardship and sustainable economic development work. For more information or to register go to www.myecoadventures.ca
Special Upcoming Events
If you are biking enthusiast mark Sunday October 6 on your calendar as we have something special planned, and proceeds go to the Biosphere Association.
Keep visiting our website for updates...
Also in the late Fall keep an eye out for our popular Forest Festival. We have special speakers and fun family friendly activities in this one-day celebration We have the largest connected forest in Southern Ontario!
Starts on the July long weekend
Over 12,000 people have enjoyed this free program of guided star gazing where our volunteer astronomers use their personal telescopes to give you a guided exploration of our fabulous dark sky, one of the darkest in Southern Ontario. Beginning Friday of the July long weekend in Lion’s Head and continuing through the summer on Friday and Saturday nights in Lion’s Head, at Singing Sands Sunday evening and during the week, at Miller Lake Family Camp and Summer House Park. Kids love it almost as much as the adults. See Saturn’s rings, the moons of Jupiter and the spot on the moon where Apollo 11 first landed. Learn about star nurseries and other mysteries of the universe.
For the first time, this year we will be hiring and mentoring Two summer students for Bayside Astronomy! They will operate our 20” diameter telescope which gives amazing views!
Our lottery enables us to offer this amazing program for free so please be generous in your support and, hey, you might win the first prize: a $500 Visa gift card to buy whatever your heart desires. Tickets available at local retailers. We are also thankful of the support of HRSDC, the Lion’s Club, Rotary and Municipality who contribute to covering the costs to operate this program (primarily student salaries.)
Conservation and Restoration
Improving Water Quality
Environmental programs in Ontario have been drastically cut and we need your support to continue the important work to maintain and improve water quality in local streams and coastal waters of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. While we recognize that spending reductions may be necessary, we have been unable to identify any environmental grants to apply for at the provincial level this year.
With funding approved last year, we are working with a local farmer on Stokes River to fence his cattle out of the stream and are hopeful a federal grant we submitted will be approved to work on an important site at Crane River. Under a three year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation that was approved last year we have also been able to expand beyond the original Six Streams project area.
As you are aware there is NO septic re-inspection program in the Northern Bruce. Our septic system program that was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Environment to encourage people to have their septic systems inspected and to provide financial assistance to help people replace their septic systems if they are polluting a water course is on hold. We have facilitated the replacement of 30 failing systems and inspection of 60 more. This year no funds are available from the provincial government for this purpose.
Working with local Property Owners Associations we have identified and mapped 1,100 phragmites sites in North and South Bruce. We mobilized the public to work with us to cut this invasive plant that is destroying wetlands and limiting property owners’ access to their shorelines. Provincial government cuts have effected our ability to continue our efforts to control phragmites. There is no money available.
As you may have noticed in the newspaper, Municipal Council granted $5,000 of the $20,000 we requested. This was our first desperate request to them for money to fight phragmites in several years.
If you could make a donation to support the continuation of this program it would be greatly appreciated.
We need members and volunteers to continue our work. The number of members is being cited as evidence that actions are supported. Therefore, we have decided to focus some efforts to build our membership base. Membership is only $20. Please add your voice to support efforts on the Northern Bruce to protect our coastal and interior wetlands, improve water quality, ensure forest connectivity and conserve our natural night sky.
Here is the link to our online membership form (to pay with credit card):
To print a membership form and mail it in with a cheque, here is the link:
Connect with Us
If you have any questions, want to learn more, or are interested in volunteering, email us at email@example.com.
Our mailing address is:
Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association
P.O. Box 3, Tobermory, Ont. N0H 2R0
Copyright © 2016 Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association