Stewardship Gathering Highlights Exciting Work Happening Across the Region in 2024

Have you ever been boating on the Bay and seen a team taking water samples? Been paddling along the shoreline and seen volunteers picking up litter or cutting down a stand of invasive Phragmites? How about driving to your cottage or favourite camping spot and seeing biologists stopped at the side of the road, carefully digging up a turtle nest? These are just a few examples of the amazing research, monitoring, and caretaking activities happening on this coast every year.

On March 7, the Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere hosted a virtual gathering for groups that conduct environmental work in the region. The 2024 Mnidoo Gamii Stewardship Gathering was an opportunity for attendees to:

  • Listen and learn about what others are working on/towards;
  • Share details about their work planned for 2024 and areas where they could use support; and
  • Discuss potential collaborations, identify opportunities for resource sharing, and collectively address regional priorities.

Over 60 individuals registered for the gathering, representing approximately 30 different groups including not-for-profits, First Nations’ Lands Departments, provincial and national parks, government agencies, and academic institutions. 

Following an opening by Elder Dave Rice from Wasauksing First Nation, speakers provided information on their work planned for 2024 covering a wide range of themes including: reptiles and amphibians, fish, birds, landscape level research/monitoring, invasive species, water quality, coastal wetlands, and climate change. Some examples include:

  • Ongoing research focused on songbird movement ecology in coastal Georgian Bay, a partnership between Western University, Georgian Bay Land Trust, and Birds Canada. 
  • Studying at-risk bats in First Nations communities around Georgian Bay as part of the Apakwaanaajinh Mnidoo Gamii project led by Shawanaga First Nation with assistance from Myotistar.
  • Invasive species control at Killbear Provincial Park.
  • Turtle egg incubation led by GBB, supporting Moose Deer Point First Nation and Seguin Township.
  • Spring Walleye Index Netting in the Moon River conducted by the Upper Great Lakes Management Unit.

Coming together each year to share about the work happening in the region has proven to spark new ideas, partnerships, and collaboration on the coast. Furthermore, understanding what others are doing helps to avoid duplication and can point to gaps in our collective efforts. 

It is clear from these annual gatherings that participants share a sense of responsibility and commitment towards caring for this unique part of the world. GBB is inspired by the work of its partners and we look forward to continuing to host annual stewardship gatherings!

Miigwech! Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Thank you to our partners, sponsors, and many individual donors for your support and investment in a healthy Georgian Bay!