GBBR Receives Environment Canada’s Lake Simcoe South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean Up Fund Grant

“Coordinated Nutrient Monitoring” project, led by the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve in partnership with the townships of Carling, the Archipelago, and the Township of Georgian Bay has been funded $191,300 over two years to make water quality monitoring more consistent, in order to help research and government decision-making.untitled-40
Working with these 3 municipalities, as well as volunteers, partners, and government  agencies over two years, this project will establish common monitoring objectives and expand the monitoring activities in Georgian Bay, ensuring that nutrients are measured by stakeholders in a similar and comparative fashion.
“With over 15 different water quality monitoring programs in use on the Bay, we need to focus on the priorities for scientific purposes, and then train volunteers within the Townships and cottage associations, to collect consistent data. We need to compare apples to apples to improve our understanding of how water quality might be changing and help local governments respond,” says David Bywater, project coordinator with the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.
Activities will include volunteer training and 10 workshops in the region; and developing a user-friendly water quality website that maps nutrient monitoring activities, research, and stewardship activities.
“One of the key objectives of Environment Canada’s Lake Simcoe & Southeastern Georgian Bay Clean Up Fund,” says Bywater, “is conservation of critical aquatic habitats and species, as well as reducing pollution. We hope that this project will begin to give people the tools to track water quality and put those environmental management programs in place based on better science.”
Data and trends collected as part of this project will also be reported in a special update of the State of the Bay ecosystem health report card program for eastern Georgian Bay in 2018.

Biosphere Celebrates a Decade; Equipped to Aid Municipalities

Delegations from three Parry Sound organizations – the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve (GBBR), the Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce, and the West Parry Sound District Museum – were delivered at the Seguin council this past Monday, Jan. 15.

Rebecca Pollock, GBBR’s communications manager, presented on behalf of the organization making it known to council that, after celebrating their tenth anniversary this past year, have now successfully developed the capacity to work more effectively in partnership with municipalities. Read More…

Mayor Celebrates 2014, Hints at Growth in 2015

2014 saw many changes for the town, but it continued to spend wisely and looks to the future for some exciting new business opportunities, according to Mayor Jamie McGarvey.

On Sunday afternoon more than 50 community members attended the mayor’s annual levee inside the Bobby Orr Community Centre to hear his annual summary of the year’s successes, and a hint of what’s coming in 2015. Read More…

Biosphere Highlights Notable Successes

In the last decade the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve has had a notable impact on the region.

At a meeting last month, town council heard from the biosphere’s communication manager Becky Pollock about the gains the organization has made since its inception and highlighted some of the opportunities for partnerships with the town. Read More…

Biosphere Charter Member Profiles

demasdonsDesmasdon’s Boatworks in Pointe au Baril has been a Biosphere Charter Member since 2012. Designated a Clean Marine since 1998, Desmasdon’s Boatworks recycles all the plastic used to shrink wrap boats in addition to 200 other measures designed to reduce environmental impact. Co-owner Tonia Blenkarn explains: Desmasdon'sKnowing that our industry has a reputation of not being environmentally conscious, we are part of truly trying to change that. We are all proud of being a part of the Biosphere and what that means for our business and for our community.”

Since 1946 Desmasdon’s Boatworks has prided itself on being a family owned and operated business: the motto is “Desmasdon’s… Where relationships matter”. While Desmasdon’s has grown immensely, owners Andy and Tonia Blenkarn still take the time to chat with each and every customer and instill those values and the belief that every customer is equally important.

Desmasdon’s Boatworks has also been a proud sponsor of the Kids in the Biosphere Program in Pointe au Baril since 2013. The program is geared for getting kids ages 8-12 to learn about the Biosphere right in their own backyard through fun activities, games, experiments, and more. Families receive ‘kits’ at the beginning of the summer to assist their adventures and can earn points and prizes for the activities they complete.

This year will be 11th annual Family Fun Day, another staple of Desmasdon’s Boatworks and very popular with over 500 people attending in past years. Fun for the entire family with delicious food, cotton candy, floater mat fun, turbo paddler rides, extreme face painting, activities with GBBR, boat and Yamaha Waverunner demonstrations and more! This year join the Desmasdon’s team any time between 10am and 3pm for a gourmet catered meal and fun for all ages on Saturday, July 4th. For more information on this event or other inquiries please contact

Building in the Biosphere Reserve?

UPDATE:  Due to snow squalls and road conditions we have postponed the workshop scheduled for Thursday, November 20th.  The new date is Friday, November 28th from 9 am to noon at the Museum on Tower Hill.

Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve invites you to a workshop to learn about cash subsidies and resources to help you protect wildlife habitat and water quality.

Building a bunkie on Georgian Bay

Building a bunkie on Georgian Bay

Friday, November 28th

Museum on Tower Hill, Parry Sound

9 am to noon




Presentations include:

Lake Simcoe & South-eastern Georgian Bay Community Stewardship Program

Both financial and advisory support is available for residents interested in undertaking positive environmental actions on their properties that help improve the water quality and aquatic habitats of Georgian Bay. This includes subsidies of up $6000 to replace failed septic systems and $15,000 to restore shorelines.

For more information, please see: Grants and Incentives

How To Identify Species At Risk Habitat

Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve will introduce an on-line resource to help you determine which at-risk species and their associated habitat may be found on your building site. This will help you better understand the steps you can take to conserve these species and comply with the Endangered Species Act.

For more information, please see: Habitat Screening Tool

Lake Simcoe Georgian Bay Wetland Collaborative

Ducks Unlimited staff will share about the types of projects that are eligible for funding and recommend best techniques to restore wetlands. Funding for wetland projects can cover 25 to 90% of costs depending on project type.

For more information, please see: Wetland Collaborative

Grown by the Bay Food Festival

You’re invited to the  “Grown by the Bay Food Festival” on Saturday, September 27th from 9-4 pm at Parry Sound High School. jam

A full day of cool workshops will be offered on topics ranging from saving seeds, honey production, school-yard gardens, pickling and fermenting. There will also be an indoor farmers’ market and kids workshop at 10:30am.

Admission is free; however, a donation to Harvest Share is appreciated. A lunch featuring local produce may be ordered in advance for $5.  Please contact us at for more information.bees

The “Magical McKellar Farm Tour” will be held on Sunday, September 28th from 9-3 pm This is a great opportunity to see, taste and learn about local food production.

A bus will take you on the tour, and seats are $5. Space is limited so please contact us to reserve a seat.  A tasty lunch featuring Mrs Wilson’s homemade meat pies may be pre-ordered for just $5.birds

Learn more: