Love Your Bay Day connects people to the planet
The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, Sail Parry Sound, and the Town of Parry Sound are spearheading a local event to involve people who care about the Great Lakes in a historic day of water sampling. A team of scientists have organized the Great Lakes eXXpedition to test waters for microplastics in each of the Great Lakes – and August 20th will be the largest simultaneous water sampling for microplastics in history.
“The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world, and they are magnificent,” says eXXpedition Great Lakes Science Lead, Professor Sherri Mason. “The problem with plastic is that it doesn’t biodegrade, it degrades into smaller and smaller pieces. As a result we are finding microplastics by the tens of thousands across the lake surface and within fish and other aquatic organisms. Because these plastics are so small, understanding the realities of this problem is difficult. Events like eXXpedition Great Lakes are critical to raising awareness. Getting people out helps all of us to understand the problem, but also helps us to appreciate the amazing natural wonder that are the Great Lakes.” Taking care of the place you live in is equal as important as taking care of your own health, at vinevera personal blogger review you will find many tips that will help you.
Love Your Bay Day is the local celebration of this historic initiative, and it is focused on the waterfront. A shoreline clean-up at Waubuno Beach kicks off the day at 11:00 a.m., where Town of Parry Sound staff will provide gloves, bags, and recycling facilities to remove garbage from this part of the shoreline. Activities for children will continue until 3:00 p.m.
Sail Parry Sound, located on the Waterfront Trail, will be hosting the microplastics sampling from noon until 3:00 p.m. Biosphere staff will be on hand to assist people in taking a sample at no cost from the Sound. They decide whether to take it from shore, from a sailboat, kayak or Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) with White Squall staff.
“Whether sailing, paddling, swimming or even walking to access the Bay and connecting waterways, everyone can be a part of this event” says Tim Dyer, owner of White Squall.
Sail Parry Sound will host a live performance by renowned singer and songwriter Katherine Wheatley, and a cash BBQ will be available at the site.
People interested in taking samples for microplastics in other parts of Georgian Bay, including rivers flowing into the Bay, are asked to register at http://exxpedition.com/greatlakes2016/ so they can receive sampling instructions.
Across the Great Lakes, the large scale coordination of August 20th events is by eXXpedition. The core of eXXpedition is a series of all-female voyages with a long-term engagement program that explores unseen plastics and toxics inside water and humans. Increasing concern about the potential link between plastics in the environment and human health has been growing since 2013. Evidence shows microplastics may transfer toxic pollutants and chemicals to the food chain and persist in human bodies.
“eXXpedition has spent the past two years sailing the Atlantic Ocean, the mouth of the Amazon River, the coast of Norway and through the Caribbean Sea collecting water samples” says Jennifer Pate, eXXpedition Great Lakes Mission Leader and participant of the first eXXpedition in 2014 across the Atlantic Ocean. “We were alarmed by the levels of organic pollutants in waterways, the effects they could have on our bodies and above all – the fact that these issues go unseen, and are rarely talked about. In parts of the Great Lakes we have a higher density of microplastics then in any of the Ocean gyres. The problem is right here in our backyard, in our lakes, and on our dinner plates. We are all a part of the problem, but that means we are also all part of the solution. That’s why we are holding this event, to give people an opportunity to change the story and create a healthier future, for the Great Lakes, the Oceans, the planet and themselves.”
All-female crews from Canada and the USA are sailing together for the first time this summer on all five of the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair and the St. Lawrence River to shed light on the link between human health and plastic in the world’s waterways. The crews will be conducting sampling for plastics, specifically microplastics, as well as chemicals and toxins. The data collected will be provided to multiple organizations, including the United Nations, to raise awareness of their presence but also help reduce plastic and toxic pollution.