The Problem: All over the Great Lakes popular spawning areas for a variety of fish species including salmon and trout have been destroyed and water quality has suffered due to human and livestock contamination. On Manitoulin Island a large number of streams, rivers and creeks have been devastated by past logging activities, improper land use practices, unrestricted livestock access and fluctuating water levels. The results of this activity are erosion, sediment discharge and loss of the riparian area.
The Benefits of Clean Water :
35 million humans directly depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water. Without clean water many organisms cannot thrive or exist.
Economic Spin Off:
Economic spin offs will include enlisting local businesses for materials and labour for the projects, improving the health of humans, livestock and wildlife and long term economic sustainability such as angling tourism. Tourism and the economy in this area have already suffered due to the damage done to the rivers fish population.
This initiative will promote natural resource sustainability, educate the public and build the capacity within the community to better understand and manage our aquatic resources. We bring together a wide variety of community members in the rehabilitation efforts. College and University students will use the sites for valuable training. Grade school students are given tours of the sites. High school students enjoy tours as well as gaining volunteer hours doing things such as tree planting. Stewardship Committees and Lake Associations are involved in rehab work and restocking efforts.
...Rehabilitation efforts will prevent major issues that could result from not taking action. For example, life-robbing impacts of algal blooms, contaminated water, further depletion of the fisheries, lost recreational/tourism opportunities and lost jobs as well as revenue.