People from both sides of the Ottawa River took to the water to protest the construction of a nuclear waste disposal site at the Chalk River power plant. More than a dozen boats took part in the demonstration to say the federal government should heed their warnings about the potential dangers the dump presents for the health of the water.
Over the last few years, WWF Canada conducted research that showed information on the health of Canada's water was lacking across the country. "We found that 65 per cent of our watersheds didn't have enough data available to understand the health of them," said Heather Crochetiere, senior fresh water specialist at WWF Canada.
NDP MP Tracey Ramsey grew up on the water's edge in Essex County — and her love for the water has her pushing for a national strategy to protect freshwater across the country. According to Ramsey, the freshwater policies that currently exist haven't been updated since 1987 — too long, in her opinion.
The changes caused by declining ice cover on the Great Lakes are pretty bad, but it's not all doom and gloom. Ice cover on the Great Lakes has declined in the past 40 years with average ice coverage dropping up to 75 per cent, depending on the lake. "We rely a lot on the Great Lakes for shipping ... so an ice-free Great Lake is not a barrier to shipping. But beyond that there are a lot of negatives associated," said Mike McKay, the executive director for the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER), based at the University of Windsor.
Glenn Harris, senior manager of environmental protection, said the region risks losing the social and economic benefits of Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park without efforts to improve water quality. “Overall, water quality in the lakes is declining and with cyanobacterial [blue-green algae] blooms increasing in frequency and duration in Elk and Beaver Lakes, the risk to health of humans and pets and park use is rising,” said Harris.