New Burgee with Tekton
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 Volume 12 No. 28

As the summer season winds down (where did the summer go) and one begins to think about closing down for the year, please remember to think more proactively about where you store the boats that are normally left near the shoreline. Dave Sharpe urges everyone to strongly consider moving them to higher (than in past years) ground to avoid having them float away during an October (or anytime) storm.

With this eBlast, we will be closing down the 'weekly season' although we still will be in touch with you as we come up to, later this month, PaBIA's AGM, and throughout the upcoming winter months.

Hope to see everyone back in PaB next summer!
In this eBlast:
  • PaBIA EdCom - A Change of Seasons
  • PaBIA EdCom - "What's in Your Water?"
  • PaBIA's Marine Patrol - a Huge Thank You!
  • PaBIA EdCom: Is Georgian Bay TOO BLUE (part 3 of 3)
  • PaBIA's Photo Contest Still Ongoing!
  • PaBIA's AGM - Ask your questions NOW for the speaker
  • PaBIA's Prospective Candidates
  • PaBIA Sailing Race - Beyond the Lighthouse
  • Lake Michigan-Huron Water Levels - August 31, 2020
  • Yearbook Update as of August 25
Of Interest
Fall skies sm
EDCom Logo
A Change of Seasons

by Trudy Irvine, PaBIA Education Committee

A shift in energy is underway on Georgian Bay. Shadows are growing longer, fireplaces are flickering again, and wine choices are changing from white back to red. Red maples are also turning colour, pine trees are drooping with cones, and the chirping of crickets is louder than any birdsong. A few melancholy end-of-summer days will soon be replaced by the fresh energy of autumn.

Some of the animals observed this summer will leave Pointe au Baril for different wintering grounds:
  • Mergansers flock in large groups with other ducks on ice free lakes and rivers.
  • Loons from the Great Lakes migrate to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico - they stop on larger lakes with open water or in slow-moving rivers while traveling. They are a little trickier to identify in their grey winter plumage rather than their classic summer black.
  • Monarch butterflies and green darner dragonflies migrate hundreds of miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

Some animals live and forage year-round in the area:
  • Otters will be padding their dens or hollows with moss, leaves, hair, and anything soft and warm. They will slip through openings in the ice to hunt underwater throughout the winter, as will mink. Mink moult in the fall and grow thick fur for the winter, but the otter’s specialized fur serves them well year-round.
  • Lynx will be hunting snowshoe hares (which will have moulted their summer brown fur and turned white for the winter) on wide, furry paws that keep them from sinking into the snow.
  • October to January is the time for romance for Great Horned Owls, with egg laying happening in late March or early April. The owls may venture further afield for prey in the winter but mostly stay in a remarkably small home range of 8-10 square km.
  • Dragonfly nymphs will overwinter in the lake and river bottoms, morphing closer and closer to the forms we recognize.
  • Black bears will be fattening up for their winter hibernation and early spring scarcity on a diet of acorns, beechnuts, chokecherries, insects, and roots, among other foods. Female bears will den earlier than males (who don’t usually enter their dens until the first snow has fallen), and bear cubs will be born in January. Young of the year will den with their mothers - making for a very cozy spot with multiple cubs.

Pointe au Baril will move to a different rhythm in the late fall and winter, one with which most of us are unfamiliar, but not without its charms and wonders. 
As the flora and fauna of Georgian Bay emerge next spring as familiar and welcome as always, may the spring of PaB’s many far flung residents begin more familiarly, more joyfully, and allow friendships, traditions, and a deep and abiding appreciation for this special place to flourish once again for everyone.
EDCom Logo
“What’s in Your Water?”
The Invisible Plastics We Consume

by Janet Turnbull Irving, PABIA Education Committee

Recently, we’ve heard a lot about plastics polluting the oceans—notably, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a 1.6 million square kilometer mass of plastic debris the size of Texas. It floats from the west coast of Canada to Japan. But did you know that the Great Lakes contain a significantly higher concentration of plastic than that floating mass?  In our waters, this pollution is invisible to the naked eye, but it is ever-present in the water we drink and the fish we eat.

Half the plastics produced since the 1950s have been discarded, and the most prolific type of plastic, after single-use food items, is clothing fibers from synthetic fabrics. In their microscopic form, in our waters, these microfibers enter the food chain at almost every level. In fact, 96.9% of the plastics found in the fish of the Great Lakes are microfibers; in recent studies these fibers have been found in 100% of fish examined.

Microfibers from synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, also contain chemicals that are used by the fashion industry. They permeate not just the freshwater we see in front of us, and the fish that we eat, but also our municipal and bottled water, our beer, even our salt.  
So, how do these microfibers get into our water, and what can be done to eliminate them?  For the most part, the fibers enter our waters through our washing machines, after flowing through the municipal water treatment plants or our personal septic systems where they cannot be filtered out---given our current system capabilities. One water treatment plant can release as many as 4 million microplastics in a single day, most of which are microfibers. In a city the size of Toronto, 23 to 36 trillion microplastics are released into the Great Lakes every year.

As for how we can eliminate these plastics, there is good news, thanks to researchers at the University of Toronto and the cooperation of our neighbours and friends in Parry Sound, who are participating in an important Georgian Bay Forever funded project called the “Parry Sound Pilot Project to Divert and Capture.”

The Parry Sound Pilot Project has a three-part mission. First, to engage the community in hands-on shoreline and community cleanups; second, to educate the public on how to reduce plastic use. The most common large items found are cigarette butts and food wrappers, but the most prolific by far is dock foam.

It is the third part of the project’s mission---the installation of effluent filters in homes in Parry Sound---that is providing the best proof of what can be done to drastically reduce the tiny, invisible fibers in our water. 

After testing several devices to filter out microplastics in UofT labs, scientists found two that eliminate 87% and 89% of them when attached to washing machines. This would be a drastic reduction on a municipal level; in a city the size of Toronto this would reduce plastic pollution in the water by 20 trillion to 31 trillion fibers per year---using the second device, called an effluent filter (Filtrol™). 

Parry Sound has a population of about 6,000 residents---1,000 of whom use the municipal water system. In August of 2019, Georgian Bay Forever installed filters in 100 homes, or about 10% of these households. After several months, the first results from the water treatment plant showed a reduction of about 4.5 fibers per litre, which on a large scale translates into 3 million fibers per day; these fibers would otherwise enter Georgian Bay at Parry Sound. 

The Project will continue for another year, and similar positive results are expected. 

There are many things we can do to decrease the microfibers we put into our Georgian Bay waters. For example,
  • use your washing machine less often;
  • buy durable non-synthetic clothing rather than fast disposable fashion;
  • avoid fabric softeners that contain chemicals;
  • find textile recycling depots in your area. 

For more information, watch the Georgian Bay Forever Webinar here.
Ryan and G checkers
Have You Submitted your Picture(s) to PaBIA's Fun Photo Contest Yet -
It's for Everyone!

We've received pictures from many of you! Please know you are welcome to submit as many photos as you wish into the various categories and then share the story(s) that goes with each of the photographs!

Enter (please download the form to reference the information asked, then share by sending an email with the information and story while attaching the photograph and return it). Please put PaBIA Photo Contest in the subject line of your email and send it to Hilde. Please enter PaBIA's contest as often as you like - and please, don’t hold back - so we can together build a house of 2020 summer memories! You might even win a prize!!!
Marine Patrol LOGO
Thanks, Tom, Chris and Emma!

Wow do the summers ever go by quick up here in PaB! This year was the first year for the Marine Patrol consisting of Chris Lusty and Tom Wunderlich, and they couldn’t of asked for a better summer. Yes, the pandemic that is going on did change some of the Marine Patrol jobs and workshops, but nonetheless the MP’s were very grateful for the chance to serve PaBIA and help the community as safeguards. The program is running until Saturday September 5th and will return June of 2021! We hope everyone enjoyed their summer, and we from Marine Patrol want to wish you a happy Labour Day Weekend! Tom and Chris

From Tom Lundy, Director of Member Safety:

As the summer comes to a close, PaBIA would like to recognize our Marine Patrol Team for all their efforts during these unprecedented times this season. Our patrollers, Tom Wunderlich and Chris Lusty did an amazing job.

Emma Burton filled the volunteer role of Assistant Supervisor. With Bill Culp not able to be here due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, she filled the void admirably. Emma worked as a Patroller 2 days a week in a training role, thus allowing us to have 6 days per week coverage.

We are delighted to report that Tom and Chris plan to return next summer.

On behalf of PaBIA, many thanks to Tom, Chris and Emma for their efforts this season.
EDCom Logo
Is Georgian Bay TOO BLUE?

by Helen Bryce, the PaBIA Education Committee

Here we are at the end of the series on dock foam which you see washed up into crevices, not only at your cottage but on the outer islands where you picnic. It is not the blue we want to see reflected in the Bay at all, but it's everywhere! We hope this series has been informative for you and others such that you have become educated about this issue. Now we hope you will take the ultimate step towards taking action against this ubiquitous pollutant and seek change. Here are several ways you can do this …

Take Action!
  • Clean up your shoreline Get your family together with clear plastic garbage bags and pick up all the foam on your property. Take those bags to the PaB Municipal Waste Facility on the South Shore Road.They will take bags of small pieces only. The very large pieces must be taken to Site 9 for disposal.
  • Do you own an older dock? The source of the dock foam pollution we are seeing is likely present in older or abandoned docks. If you have an older dock please consider replacing those XPS foam blocks before they continue to degrade releasing millions of styrofoam particles into the Bay. Then replace them with some of the newer products on the market today mentioned below.
  • If you have a new dock and have towed your old one somewhere and abandoned it, according to the TOA, you are still responsible for its safe removal. Abandoned dock materials can be dismantled into manageable sized pieces and disposed of at the Devil's Elbow, Sheep Head, Crane or Healey Lake transfer sites in the southern portion of the Township, as well as the Site 9 Landfill site in the north Archipelago. 
  • Secure your docks for the winter. With the high water, heaving winter ice and storm surges being the new normal, please ensure that your docks are well secured to withstand what Mother Nature brings to PaB this winter.

Seek Change!
Positive developments are occurring at the Township of the Archipelago (TOA). On December 13, 2019, the TOA passed a resolution to initiate an education program in cooperation with ratepayer associations, Georgian Bay Forever, Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve and the Great Lakes mayors regarding the environmental impact of foam docks, including lobbying efforts to encourage the provincial government to ban the use of foam for docks. A great start! (See Thompson, Sandy. “The Big and Very Tiny Problem with Dock Foam,” Georgian Bay Association, Vol.30, No, 1, Spring 2020. Sandy’s article was a major source of information for this piece.)
  • But let’s keep the momentum goingSeek change from politicians and keep the pressure on about this issue.
  • Contact dock manufacturers and retailers, such as our local contractors, Dock Kings, Scott Kemp at the Ironworker, McRhode, Premium Dock in Parry Sound, Rona and Canadian Tire. If they are selling XPS for docks, let them know your opinion of it. 
Because, sadly, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Approximately 22 million pounds of plastic enter the Great Lakes each year including Georgian Bay. Much of this plastic pollution is deposited on the ecologically diverse and productive shorelines, compromising these important habitats. (see “Top Ten Items You Picked up from Georgian Bay Shorelines,” Georgian Bay Forever, Vol. 10, Issue 3, Fall 2019, pg. 5.)

Individual actions can drive change …
Upcoming Events
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Notice of AGM
Change of date and venue

at 7 p.m. EDT, online.

The agenda and particulars for how to join our meeting virtually will be announced in forthcoming eBlasts so stay tuned!
AGM Speaker, David Sweetnam, with Latest on High Water Levels in Georgian Bay!
David Sweetnam
The Virtual PaBIA AGM is coming on Sept. 24 at 7:00pm. Details for online access will follow but you won't want to miss the meeting or our guest speaker, David Sweetnam* who is well positioned to present to us on the topic of Georgian Bay Water Levels now and in the future.
  • Unprecedented high and low water levels have become a major discussion point in the last seven years.
  • A major driver for the increasing variability in those levels is the balance between evaporation and precipitation which is driven by Climate Change.
  • The International Joint Commission (IJC) has only a few tools and mechanisms by which they can impact water levels.
  • Scientists around the world are saying that this new variability is "the new normal".
  • What are the projections looking like for the future?

Get your questions answered on this topic of
critical importance to all of us!
Please send your questions to Helen Bryce by Sept. 17. 
In the interests of our limited time,
there will be no live questions at the AGM.

*David Sweetnam is a scientist, researcher, writer and speaker who has spent his career in the environment and high tech industries. He is currently the Executive Director of Georgian Bay Forever.
Our Prospective GBA Representative
Mark Gwozlecky
Mark Gwozdecky -
GBA Representative

In 2019 I retired after 37 years in Canada’s diplomatic service where I (Mark Gwozdecky) served in South Korea, the Philippines, Syria, Lebanon and Austria. My final posting was as Ambassador to Jordan and Iraq. 

In 2015, after the death of my father, the family “camp” near Thunder Bay passed to someone outside our family and my wife Wendy and In went looking for a cottage of our own. We visited friends at their cottages all around the province but nothing came close to competing with where I spent every summer of my life or matched the grandeur of Lake Superior that was in my blood. Then we visited a friend at Pointe au Baril, and it was love at first sight. 

My interest in GBA comes from a determination to do my part in protecting the astonishing natural beauty of Georgian Bay for future generations of my children and yours. I also believe that my long experience as a public servant will be useful in understanding and moving the relationships that GBA has with the various levels of government.

Wendy and I live in Ottawa but our 5 kids (and one grandson) descend on the cottage from wherever they happen to live - most recently Ireland, Toronto, Waterloo and Ottawa.
Our Prospective New Board Members
Mike Berton
Mike Berton -
Director at Large

Having successfully passed his cottage test, Michael Berton has summered in Pointe au Baril for the last 28 years with his wife, Cathie Hurlburt, and three daughters. While he works as a Financial Planner most of the year, Mike likes to spend time at the cottage doing building projects, helping with the Ojibway Club Art Show, Regatta Photography, sailing, and playing his Bassoon. Having served for four years as one of PaBIA's representatives to the Georgian Bay Association (GBA), he believes he can contribute a strong regional perspective to the Board.
Cam Richardson
Cam Richardson -
Government Relations

Cam Richardson, married to Debbie Crossman, is a 3rd generation cottager in Pointe au Baril, with his children making it 4 generations and it is where we all call home. Cam has been involved with various Georgian Bay organizations whose main disciplines are to keep our Georgian Bay as pristine as when his Grandad first arrived in the 1920’s. Most recently he's served on PaBIA's Government Relations Committee for the Official Plan and subsequent CZBL.

In 1989 he started and subsequently expanded ITC Systems into a multi-national corporation by growing it both organically and through the occasional acquisition to ensure that the future of the company was robust and forward thinking.

His specialities are in negotiation, planning, crisis management and communication while his love of sailing never ceases! He looks forward to using his skill sets on the Board!
PaBIA Final Sail Racing to the One Mile Marker!
Sailing to the finish
Bell Buoy Race and Awards Ceremony Labour Day Weekend

The last race of the season will be on Saturday September 5 at 2 pm starting near the Lighthouse as usual. We we will be holding a casual BYOB and BYOF awards ceremony immediately afterwards at the cottage of Jan and Andrew Vanderwal's (A510-33). A clean washroom etc. will be available. Remember to sail distance and bring a mask if you cannot always do so.

Calling All Trophies
Please return any trophies you may have from prior years to my cottage or bring them to the awards ceremony.

Commodore PaBIA Sailing
Lakes Michigan/Huron Water Levels Aug. 31, 2020
To better read the charts, please click on the chart for the
Daily or Six Month Forecast Water level chart and the corresponding websites
Daily Water Level Key 2020
The Chart Below is from August 29, 2019 - the red line is 2019
Water Levels 8.27.2019
Yearbook Update
With each eBlast, we will provide you a list of names for those who provided updated information. The details of all the changes since the Yearbook's came out in April is provided in a printable format for you to print out and insert into your own Yearbook copy!
Advocating for the Island Community,

Your PaBIA Directors
Pointe au Baril Islanders' Association 

PaBIA reserves all rights regarding decisions on communications to its members
in accordance with the PaBIA Policy on Communications
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As of July 13, 2020 

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