NIPIGON – The Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan (RAP), or environmental cleanup plan, will host an open house from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 7th at the Nipigon Recreation Centre, 138 Wadsworth Drive in Nipigon.
A presentation, along with question, answer and public comment period begins at 7 p.m. The event is an opportunity for area residents to find out about completed RAP actions to restore environmental quality in Nipigon Bay.
Displays and information about completed RAP actions, the status of the Nipigon Bay environment, ongoing environmental programs and monitoring will be included at the event.
The International Joint Commission, senior Great Lakes personnel from Environment Canada and representatives of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will attend. These agency personnel will be available to answer questions, address comments and discuss concerns. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.
A report outlining Nipigon Bay environmental status and actions taken to date will be made available for the event. Future steps could include Nipigon Bay being “delisted” as an Area of Concern. If this takes place, it would be the first Area of Concern on the Canadian side of Lake Superior to be delisted and one of only a handful delisted around the Great Lakes. The International Joint Commission, in cooperation with the governments of Canada and USA, originally identified 43 areas of environmental concern, in both Canada and USA.
Completed Nipigon Bay actions include a new secondary municipal wastewater treatment plant for the Town of Nipigon, a Nipigon River Water Management Plan limiting water level fluctuations impacting fish populations, a marina in Red Rock incorporating fish habitat features and substantial volunteer work to remove garbage and debris from Clearwater Creek and to rehabilitate this stream. Ongoing work includes construction of a secondary wastewater treatment plant for the Town of Red Rock and a stormwater management plan for the Town of Nipigon with a focus on Clearwater Creek.
Nipigon Bay was originally listed as a Great Lakes “Area of Concern” because water quality and environmental health were severely degraded. This situation was due to industrial and municipal effluent discharges, accumulation of wood fibre and bark from log driving and fluctuating river flows due to hydroelectric generation. These factors caused several environmental problems, including heavily impacted fish populations.
More information about the May 7th open house and the Nipigon Bay RAP can be found at www.infosuperior.com or by calling Nipigon Bay RAP coordinator Jim Bailey at Lakehead University – 807-343-8514.