In Bayfield and Nares we have been testing our water since the 1970s to see how our inlets are doing. Are they getting better or worse? How are they compared to other places?
We are part of the Lake Partner Program. It is an Ontario-wide program, publicly funded, and easy to participate in. Volunteers gather data using a Secchi dish (to measure water turbidity and transparency), temperature, weather and phosphorous.
It enables comparisons across Ontario and can enable comparisons to other testing programs of Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. There is a huge difference in nutrient levels and species detected in the inner embayments compared to the outer Bay. Some scientists have given the opinion that invasive species and climate change are the biggest stressors.
You can volunteer to be one of our water testers, especially needed in Bayfield Inlet. It involves testing your nearby open water for clarity and taking water samples several times per year. We’re holding hands-on workshops to demonstrate the program this year, as part of our Outings and Events. There are two dates, one in Bayfield and one in Nares. Register here.