July 2019

Keeping a Great Lake great since 1998!

 

 

Dude, Where's my Beach?

 

Water levels on Lake Huron are constantly changing. They can change within a few hours in response to a storm system, undergo seasonal changes in response to higher evaporation rates in the late fall, winter and spring, and higher precipitation and melting snowpack in spring, to long-term changes that can see Lake Huron fluctuate within a range of about two metres between highs and lows. There are also many other factors that influence water levels on Lake Huron, both human and natural drivers of change.

 

Long-term changes are determined by the difference between the amount of water coming into the lake, and the amount going out. When several months of above-average precipitation occur with cooler, cloudy conditions that cause less evaporation, the levels gradually rise. This summer on Lake Huron weíre experiencing continuing high water levels, partly due to the high amount of ice cover we had this winter, combined with a wet and cold spring. Although these natural processes are the main driving factor behind water level changes, human activities can have a major influence as well, such as water diversions and human-induced climate change.

 

Water levels tend to peak each year mid-summer, and begin to decrease as we move into the fall. If you are interested in learning more, the Great Lakes Water Levels Dashboard, found here, is an interactive online tool that allows you to see current and historical water levels all the way back to 1918, along with predictions for upcoming changes.

 

Fluctuating lake levels are part of the magic of living along the coast, and many coastal ecosystems, such as coastal wetlands, depend on these changing water levels to thrive. The dramatic changes experienced recently underscore our need to be adaptable and flexible to the natural rhythms of the lake. That said, we understand that the higher levels we've been experiencing can be disheartening to many people who have shoreline cottages or visit our beaches. As people made their way to the beach last summer, some arrived wondering where the beach had gone! Particularly in dune areas, the shoreline appeared to be overtaken with dune grasses. This can be frustrating to people who are looking for "towel real estate" during the summer, however dune grass serves an important function! The vegetation and root structure provides some resistance to erosion, and allows for a gradual and sustainable exchange of sand between the dunes and the beach. Removing dune vegetation can accelerate erosion and alter the natural balance, causing beaches to deteriorate over time.

 

So how can you aid the long term protection of your beach?:

 

     Leave native dune vegetation, such as Marram grass, to perform its role.

 

     Hardened structures, like seawalls, revetments and groynes can disrupt sand movement, can diminish the amount of sand available to the beach, and cause issues in other nearby areas of the shoreline. Avoid hardened structures in beach and dune areas (and most coastal areas, for that matter).

 

     Motorized vehicles, like all-terrain vehicles, can be very destructive to dunes. Use these vehicles on roadways and designated pathways away from the beach. 

 

 

 

 

 

Message from the Chair

Jim Roberts

 

 

Through consumption of the daily news itís easy to become disheartened by stories that document the negative impacts humans have had, and continue to have, on the natural world. It is my belief that in many cases itís not malice or greed, but our ignorance of natureís systems that is the root of the problem. We simply donít understand the impact of our behaviour.

 

One can become resigned to believing humans canít or wonít change. We need to resist this temptation. One way to do so is to support directly (by volunteering), or indirectly (by offering financial support), organizations dedicated to preserving what we have and restoring what has been degraded or lost. Organizations donít necessarily need to have a large international footprint in order to have an impact. Local organizations, backed with an expert knowledge base, and an ability to efficiently leverage limited resources into tangible results can make a significant positive impact.

 

The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation is doing exactly this. The LHCCC is a local organization dedicated to improving our relationship with the Lake Huron coast line. Since joining the Board in 2015, I have seen firsthand LHCCCís effectiveness in providing education and guidance to individuals, groups, corporations and municipalities regarding Lake Huronís coastal processes and natural assets, and how best they can be preserved and enhanced, while continuing to be utilized and enjoyed for the long term.

 

Did You Know

Your donation's help us, and they help you too!

 

 

Donations over $25.00 made to the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation are eligible for a charitable tax receipt. You can use this receipt when filing your income taxes in the next few months to help offset the amount you may need to pay back!

 

What is good for us, is also good for you, too!

Thank you for contributing to Coastal Conservation efforts across Lake Huron!

 

 

 



 

 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation. Founded in 1998, the Coastal Centre has completed work along the shorelines of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. With the priorities of protecting and restoring water quality and biodiversity, and addressing the issues of climate change and coastal processes, the Coastal Centre has used science-based research to link and inspire coastal communities.

 

Our partnerships with local, provincial and federal organizations in addition to other grassroots groups, NGO's and community champions have contributed to the incredible success and ongoing achievements in Lake Huron's coastal communities. Thank you to all of our incredible supporters for helping us protect our lake. 20 great years, and many more to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.Ditch Single Use Plastics

 

Straws, plastic bags, coffee cups, disposable water bottles - what do they have in common? They all have better reusable alternatives! Consider bringing reusable grocery bags and reusable food options to minimize your plastic waste production in 2018.

 

PRO TIP: Plastic straws are one of the easiest things to say no to! Consider asking for your drink with out a straw at restaurants and seek out alternatives like paper or reusable options like the ones advertised here.

 

2. Build a Garden!

 

There's nothing more satisfying than a fresh picked tomato straight from the garden. Growing your own food is an eco-friendly and affordable option that reduces global emissions that result from transporting produce.

 

Don't have time a vegetable garden? Pollinator's need food too! Pollinator gardens help to support local agriculture by providing habitat and food stores for bees, moths and butterflies and other beneficial insects. Adding logs and rocks to the garden help to keep a natural appearance and provides shelter for pollinators!

 

3. Volunteer at a Beach Cleanup

 

The Coastal Centre will be hosting many beach cleanups along the Lake Huron and Georgian Bay coast. These family-friendly events engage communities in collaborative efforts to remove garbage from the beach and keeping it out of the lake! Keep an eye on our events page for more details.

 

Want to host or assist with a beach cleanup? Let us know! We're always looking to maximize impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microplastic Awareness Project - NEW!

 

The Lake Huron Microplastic Awareness Project is a new initiative for the Coastal Centre in 2018. This citizen science based monitoring protocol will raise awareness about the presence of small plastic particles called microplastics in the waters of Lake Huron's nearshore. Water samples will be collected along the shoreline and filtered to determine the quantity of plastic particles in a 1-L sample of water.

 

Local schools will learn about the "Plastic Problem" in Lake Huron, and take part in the data collection and filtration processes. For more information, visit our Microplastic Awareness Project page.

 

The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation supports environmental efforts along the Canadian coastline of Lake Huron. We foster communication and partnerships between environmental agencies and organizations, working towards a sustainable and resilient coast. We provide education, resources, and information on lake-wide issues and our programs reflect the inter-connectivity between land and water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Build a Garden!

 

There's nothing more satisfying than a fresh picked tomato straight from the garden. Growing your own food is an

eco-friendly and affordable option that reduces global emissions that result from transporting produce.

 

Don't have time a vegetable garden? Pollinator's need food too! Pollinator gardens help to support local agriculture by providing habitat and food stores for bees, moths and butterflies and other beneficial insects. Adding logs and rocks to the garden help to keep a natural appearance and provides shelter for pollinators!

 

3. Volunteer at a Beach Cleanup

 

The Coastal Centre will be hosting many beach cleanups along the Lake Huron and Georgian Bay coast. These family-friendly events engage communities in collaborative efforts to remove garbage from the beach and keeping it out of the lake! Keep an eye on our events page for more details.

 

Want to host or assist with a beach cleanup? Let us know! We're always looking to maximize impact.

 

 

 

 

"

 

Microplastic Awareness Project - NEW!

 

The Lake Huron Microplastic Awareness Project is a new initiative for the Coastal Centre in 2018. This citizen science based monitoring protocol will raise awareness about the presence of small plastic particles called microplastics in the waters of Lake Huron's nearshore. Water samples will be collected along the shoreline and filtered to determine the quantity of plastic particles in a 1-L sample of water.

 

Local schools will learn about the "Plastic Problem" in Lake Huron, and take part in the data collection and filtration processes. For more information, visit our Microplastic Awareness Project page.

 

The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation supports environmental efforts along the Canadian coastline of Lake Huron. We foster communication and partnerships between environmental agencies and organizations, working towards a sustainable and resilient coast. We provide education, resources, and information on lake-wide issues and our programs reflect the inter-connectivity between land and water.