Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM EDT
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Oakham House, Ryerson University  
63 Gould Street
Toronto, ON M5B 1E9


Driving Directions 

With thanks to event partners:

  Learn more about the partners here.


Helen Bryce 
Georgian Bay Forever

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  Co-hosted by Georgian Bay Forever & the Georgian Bay Association, and sponsored by Bruce Power

Join us for a half-day information/education session on three timely topics:

* Microplastics * Cage Aquaculture * Phragmites 

Doors open at 9 am with speakers starting at 9.30 am. Light refreshments available in the morning and a light lunch will be served. Tickets are $20.00 each.

Please find more information on our topics and key note speakers below.

Microplastics - They ARE in our water. 

Come hear Dr. Chelsea Rochman speak on plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, including in Lake Huron. She will discuss the sources, fate and effects of microplastics to waterbodies and on wildlife, some pressing research questions we should be asking locally, and information relevant to prevention and cleanup. 

A little about Dr. Rochman

Motivated by basic and applied questions, my research seeks to understand the sources, fate and ecological implications of anthropogenic pollutants in freshwater and marine ecosystems. Modern aquatic ecosystems are infiltrated with diverse mixtures of pollutants that can act together as a multiple stressor to alter biotic systems at all levels of biological organization, including populations and communities. Although animals are never exposed to just one contaminant, most studies focus on effects from one or two contaminants at a time. My research program uses tools from ecology, ecotoxicology, environmental chemistry and physiology to investigate (1) the sources, (2) fate and (3) the ecological implications of the complex mixture of contaminants to aquatic habitats. Because microplastics provide a unique opportunity to examine a complex mixture of contaminants, my past and current body of work focuses on microplastics. Their presence is associated with the physical stressor of the particle, innate chemicals added during manufacturing, and chemicals that accumulate on microplastics from surrounding water. I look forward to continuing work on this topic, but also expanding my research to examine other emerging and legacy contaminants. I am also committed to doing ecological research that is applicable to management. To bridge the gap between academia and management, I collaborate with non-profit organizations and government agencies.

All about Net-Pen Aquaculture

Is the quality of Georgian Bay’s water at risk? That’s a question that is top-of-mind at both Georgian Bay Forever and the Georgian Bay Association in light of the growing interest in net-pen (or cage) aquaculture in Georgian Bay’s waters. Lauded by federal and provincial governments as offering growth potential for the economy, this method of fish farming brings with it a lot of unknowns when it comes to understanding the short and long-term impacts on our water quality and precious ecosystems. 

GBF and the GBA have secured a panel of expert speakers, who will participate in a friendly debate, opening up all sides of this issue for discussion. We will have representation from industry, government/policy and cottage views. 

What is Phragmites and how are we going to stop it?

We are on the cusp of losing precious wetland habitat, forever,  to an invasive, fast growing grass-like reed that has no natural predators. Left unchecked, Invasive Phragmites will create virtual “dead zones” and will poison neighbouring native plants, decimate the wetland habitat of native species, and destroy the wetlands’ natural water filtration system. Phragmites , is in fact, ranked as Canada’s worst terrestrial invasive plant. It thrives in both low water and high water level conditions, spreads easily and can grow in excess of 15 feet, posing a threat to life all around it as well as to recreational activities, lake views and property values. Come and learn more about this plant and what GBF, GBA and local Phragbuster’s in your community are doing to stop it’s spread. 

There will be several short presentations about Georgian Bay projects from local leaders that focus on successful measures to consider when tackling this invasive plant.

Commissioner Gordon Walker - International Joint Commission (IJC)

It is the job of the International Joint Commission to assess every three years just how the Canadian and American Governments have been fulfilling their commitments made in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.  Commissioner Walker will update progress on those commitments, while touching on the themes of the H2O day, within the broader context of the Great Lakes as a whole and Lake Huron in particular.

A little about Commissioner Gordon Walker

Commissioner Gordon Walker of Toronto, Ontario, is a non-practising lawyer who previously directed his own consulting firm in Toronto. A graduate from Western University, receiving a B.A and LLB, Mr. Walker served in the Ontario Legislature as Member of Provincial Parliament for London for twelve years between 1971 and 1985, seven of which were in Cabinet where he served as Minister of Correctional Services, Provincial Secretary for Justice, Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, and Minister of Industry and Trade. 

 A native of St Thomas, Ontaro, Gordon Walker resided in London from 1961-1991 where he practiced law from the time of his call to the Bar in 1969, and was a City Councillor in London, having been elected first in 1966. He moved to Toronto in 1991 where he was counsel to several substantial law firms. From 1992 until 1995 he served the International Joint Commission as a Canadian Commissioner; and nearly 20 years later, on June 6th, 2013, became a Governor In Council appointment to the IJC, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, his second term in that position. In January 2014 Mr. Walker became acting Chair of the IJC Canadian Section. In December 2014, pursuant to the Boundary Waters Treaty, Canadian Commissioners selected Commissioner Walker as the Canadian Chair.

 Mr. Walker is married to Harriet Hedley Walker, and they have two grown children, Wynsome and Melanie, who both make their homes, with their families, in Toronto.

Shannon Carto, Policy Advisor 

A little about Shannon Carto from the office of the  Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO)

Shannon works with the ECO’s climate change team, providing expertise in climate change science and management, including community and corporate energy management, carbon finance, and climate change adaptation planning. Her interest in climate change was sparked when she first heard about the theory of the ‘Snowball Earth”.

Shannon obtained a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from the University of Waterloo, M.Sc. in Earth and Ocean Science from the University of Victoria, and a Ph.D. in Paleoclimatology from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the ECO, Shannon worked with the Canadian Water Network to design and manage multi-disciplinary research projects that addressed key challenges in municipal water management related to climate change, environmental pollution, and land use planning. She spent the last 4 years working with the Town of Caledon and Region of Peel to enhance their environmental, energy, and climate change mitigation and adaptation performances through the development and revision of policies, programs and plans.

In her spare time, Shannon enjoys attending music festivals, DIY projects, gardening, camping, alpine mountain climbing, and travelling. 


What she'll talk about: The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) is the province’s environmental watchdog, an independent officer of the Legislature with statutory responsibilities to report on issues of energy, environment and climate in Ontario. Dr. Shannon Carto is a policy advisor for the ECO, with expertise in climate change science. Dr. Carto has extensive practical experience developing and implementing climate mitigation and adaptation plans, policies and programs for municipal governments. She has also worked with municipal governments to address their water management issues including stormwater and flooding. Dr. Carto will speak about the climate system, impacts and causes of global warming and the challenges it poses for municipal governments as they develop adaptation plans/policies.