Love Your Bay Day, on the Parry Sound waterfront, is the local celebration of a historic initiative —the largest simultaneous water sampling for microplastics in history. 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 (first left, north of the Stockey Centre), is hosting the microplastics sampling from noon until 3:00 p.m.
Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve 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 delicious cash barbecue will be available at the public Country Gourmet Café on the Upper Deck.
“We are acutely aware, as sailors, of the importance of water quality” says Bob Griffiths, president of Sail Parry Sound. “We encourage everyone to participate, whether here, out cruising the Bay, or at their own dock, to gather samples for testing.”
Sponsored by Wade Perkins of Assante Capital Management Limited, Katherine Wheatley’s concert at Sail Parry Sound is a perfect accompaniment to the day’s activities. Katherine is well known for her love of Parry Sound and Georgian Bay, and many of her songs reflect her deep connection to the water.
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/ to receive sampling instructions.
The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, Sail Parry Sound, and the Town of Parry Sound are spearheading this local event to involve people who care about the Great Lakes in a historic day of water sampling. You can play an important part.
“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. “
A team of scientists has organized the Great Lakes eXXpedition to test waters for microplastics in each of the Great Lakes. Events like eXXpedition Great Lakes are critical to raising awareness.