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Category Archives: Algae

Update: Riverside Dam on the Speed River

The City of Cambridge is moving forward on a detailed design plan of the new rebuild of Riverside Dam on the Speed River.  Construction is planned for 2022 and work set for completion in 2023.  Meanwhile, the full price tag won’t be known until the dam’s design plan has been finalized.  This dam has been determined to be at “high risk” of failing within the next 2 to 10 years.

ORA worked extensively towards the decommissioning of this dam.  Removing the dam would have been much cheaper, safer and healthier for the riverine ecosystem.

Articles:
Riverside Dam construction delayed to 2022 with higher price tag, CBC News, 8 Sept 2020
Cambridge Council gives go-ahead to plan for Riverside repairs, CTV News, 8 Sept 2020


Simon Lake Community wants Reprieve from Algae

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Simon Lake – Summer 2009

The VRS clearly recognizes the serious concerns of the SLCSG, however; we urge caution in the City’s approach to mitigating the algae issue. VRS agrees that action must be taken by the City of Sudbury to resolve the long-standing issue of algae blooms once and for all; however, we differ in the recommended approach.

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Recommended Phosphorus Reduction Targets for Lake Erie

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Toxic and nuisance algal bloom occurrences in Lake Erie have increased over the past decade. The blooms threaten drinking water quality, increase costs associated with treatment needs, and occasionally force closures of treatment plants. They clog industrial water intake systems, adversely impact commercial and recreational fishing activities and other recreational pursuits, and degrade fish and wildlife habitat and populations.

Environment Canada solicited input on the draft target recommendations of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) Nutrients Annex Subcommittee from June 30 to August 31, 2015. Following consideration of input received, Environment Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will finalize targets by February 2016. Development of binational phosphorus reduction strategies and domestic action plans to meet the objectives for phosphorus concentrations and loading targets in Lake Erie will be developed by 2018.

For more information about the GLWQA please visit Binational.Net(External link).

Submissions:

Download (PDF, 229KB)

Download (PDF, 142KB)


Start of Summer Sparks Urgent Call to Action on Lake Erie Nutrient Crisis – Joint Letter

Chicago, IL (June 2, 2015) – As the summer season begins around the lakes, more than 50 groups sent a joint letter to the governors and premiers of the Great Lakes states and provinces urging action to ensure the lakes, especially western Lake Erie, are free of harmful algal blooms that threaten the region’s economy, drinking water and way of life. The region’s leaders will be meeting in Quebec City, Quebec for the Leadership Summit of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, hosted by the Council of Great Lakes Governors, on June 12-14, 2015.

Download (PDF, 31KB)


EBR 011-9290 – 8th Canada – Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health – Joint Letters

The Great Lakes are more than an alluring landscape – they are also a source of food and economic growth. Climate change, invasive species, habitat loss, and pollution now threaten to degrade that resource. We cannot afford to let that happen for both the sake of our economy and health.

The Great Lakes economy, which supports 56 million jobs and a GDP of $5.1 trillion, could be negatively impacted by a decline in water quality. In Ontario, the Great Lakes commercial and recreational fishing industries contribute about $234 million and $600 million annually to Ontario’s economy respectively. Over 73 million tourists visited Ontario in 2010, spending over $12.3 billion.

The health of 40 million people who live in the Great Lakes basin is also tied to the health of the Lakes. Over 70 per cent of Ontario residents, or three out of four residents3, get their drinking water from the Lakes, and yet toxic chemicals and other pollutants are building up in the water. Some of these harmful chemicals are toxic and could have long-term, chronic human health effects.

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Lively/Walden Wastewater Treatment System – Part II Order Request

The City of Greater Sudbury is proposing to decommission the Lively Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and upgrade the Walden WWTP.  Vermilion River Stewardship (VRS) has requested tertiary treatment, which is a third means of effluent treatment, to improve water quality on the lower Junction Creek, Simon Lake, McCharles Lake, and the lower Vermilion River.  VRS is making a request to the Minister of Environment to issue a Part II Order to elevate this proposal to an Individual Environmental Assessment.  See attached letter.

Download (PDF, 649KB)


Experimental Lakes Research in Kenora Reveals just how Dirty Hydroelectric Really Is – Groundbreaking Information

Harper seals our fate on water and energy sustainability

By Emma Lui | March 5, 2013
Note:  This is an excerpt of the original article – access by clicking here.

The federal government states that Fisheries and Oceans Canada no longer need to do this type of research. And yet when we look at the research being conducted at the ELA, the scientific data is sorely needed for a sustainable energy strategy.

One ELA study assesses the effects of hydroelectric development. Hydroelectric dams are often touted as a ‘clean’ energy solution. However, the ELA study raises questions about whether hydroelectric dams have similar impacts as burning fossil fuels.

“There’s a new idea around that reservoirs may be significant sources of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. And we want to test that idea, ”says Drew Bodaly, Research Scientist at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in this Experimental Lakes video (see below). Continue reading


Blue-green Algae bloom on Ella Lake, Vermilion River – November 2012 to March 2013

An Ella Lake resident has just reported that the Blue-green Algae bloom is still persisting.  So all local residents, cottagers and fishermen should continue to refrain from drinking, boiling, or using the water for the sauna.

Dr. Andrea Kirkwood, Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology has taken a special interest in our winter outbreak, and has offered to examine a sample to determine the strain of blue-green algae present in Ella Lake.

Vermilion River Stewardship and the Beaver Lake Sports and Cultural Club are very concerned about public safety, and have requested signage warning of the blue-green algae to be posted at Ella Lake and Wabagishik Lake boat launches. Continue reading


Overload – Lake Erie Blue Green Algae: Problems & Solutions

The Vermilion River had a confirmed Blue-green Algae bloom in February of 2013, and it had persisted since November of 2012.  The Vermilion River Watershed has 9 City of Sudbury Waste Water Treatment Facilities releasing treated, untreated and undertreated effluent into its waters.  With climate change upon us it is imperative that treatment methods be significantly improved, and that further development  be restricted.  Our fresh water resources are quickly becoming one of our greatest concerns.

The film below was produced by the Windsor Essex County Environment Committee in partnership with the Essex Region Conservation Authority and the International Joint Commission, this 5 minute video promotes steps we can all take to reduce the problems contributing to blue-green algae.


Des algues bleu-vert même en hiver près de Sudbury – Blue-green Algae on Ella Lake, Sudbury

To view news video – click here.

Plus tôt ce mois-ci les riverains du lac Ella dans le Grand Sudbury ont été avisés de la présence de cyanobactéries communément appelées algue bleu-vert dans les eaux de leur lac.

Normalement, les cyanobactéries envahissent le plan d’eau pendant les derniers mois de l’été.

Le phénomène est surprenant en hiver. C’est d’ailleurs la première fois qu’on rapporte la présence de ces algues en plein hiver dans la région.

Un résident des environs, lors d’une partie de pêche blanche, en a retrouvé par hasard au bout de sa canne à pêche. Aussitôt alertées, les autorités sanitaires ont alors distribué un avis recommandant d’éviter d’utiliser l’eau du lac pour la consommation et pour se laver.

Elles ont mandaté le ministère de l’Environnement pour faire des tests approfondis.

L’analyse de ces tests a été publiée cette semaine. Les résultats indiquent que la concentration de toxines n’est pas assez élevée pour être nocive pour la santé humaine.

D’un point de vue scientifique, la découverte d’algue bleu-vert en hiver ne surprend pas le biologiste marin, Charles Ramcharan, du Centre pour la vitalité des lacs de l’Université Laurentienne. « Les lacs ne dorment pas sous la couche de glace qui les recouvre », dit-il. « Les organismes vivants ne gèlent donc pas et les cyanobactéries sont reconnues pour ne pas avoir un si grand besoin de lumière. Cela peut expliquer leur présence au lac Ella cet hiver », ajoute-t-il.

Le Service de santé publique de Sudbury conseille à tous les riverains, de la région, d’être vigilants devant l’apparition imminente d’algues bleu-vert. Celles-ci se multiplieront avec l’arrivée des mois chauds d’été.

D’après le reportage d’Olivier Charbonneau.