Goals – (revised 2009)
- To promote awareness about environmental issues that threaten the quality of water both within and beyond the watershed;
- To support the work of other community-based environmental groups, government, and non-government agencies in remediation of the Bayfield River watershed;
- To support local youth groups that are actively involved in environmental activities that are consistent with FOBR goals.
Preamble – the following reflects the work of FOBR from 1999 – 2008:
In 1999/2000 we undertook to test the river at 4 sites for the marker e.coli. The results were alarming and set us on a course to educate, rehabilitate, respond to crisis and seek sustainable solutions.
- 2002 symposium. 140 people attended a session in Bayfield with guest speaker Colin Perkel, author of “Well of Lies- The Walkerton Tragedy”. Presentations by OMAF, HSC, ABCA, MOE
- 2003 symposium. 125 people attended a session in Seaforth with guest speaker Dr.John Fergusson from the Environmental Commissioners office – “Your Environmental Rights”. Presentations as above.
- 2004 With ABCA, we published a 16 page insert in all local papers that discussed water issues in the watershed
- 2005/6/7 joined with ACLA, HCHU, BSRA to present a conference called “It All Ends Up in the Lake”. Guest speakers included Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians, Janet May of Pesticide Free Ontario., Bruce Davidson from Walkerton, Dr. Kirsty Duncan, Medical Geograper from the University of Toronto plus representatives from our advisory group, NGOs and government agencies.. Attendance averaged 160.
- Regular speakers at clubs and community groups.
- Produced pamphlets on alternatives to pesticide use and toxic cleaners.
- In 2006 we worked with our partners to place educational material at Bannockburn Conservation Area including the loan of GPS units, pedometers and CD or download of information on this unique. www.abca.on.ca.
- In 2007 we became partners in the Bayfield River Trail
- In 2006 we became active participants in the development of the Huron Stewardship Guide, a resource book to assist residents to assess their environmental behaviour.
- Act at guides to citizens groups at the Bannockburn Conservation Area.
- Hosted guided tours of Bannockburn Conservation Area for visiting seniors.
- Report on manure spills, milk spills and dead stock violations
- Report unusual activities in the river such as an abnormal count of dead fish, over-abundant “green blooms” and odour
- Answer queries from concerned citizens
- React with letters to editor about inappropriate environmental behaviour by municipalities
- Represented our concerns o the expansion of a local golf course
- Expressed our concerns about the needless cutting-down of old growth cedars in Bayfield
- Remediation as begun at two sites – Dowson Johnston Drain near Varna and the McDougall property east of Seaforth. See sidebar Dowson Johnston Drain Rehab Rian add pics
- Annual participants in “The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup” see sidebar for details
- Lobby local municipalities to develop bylaws restricting the use of non-essential pesticides and other toxic chemicals
- Working with the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital to move to “Green”
- Developing model sites of low maintenance lawn care
- Encouraging the development of native plant gardens
- Encouraging citizens to adopt the measures outlined in the Huron Stewardship Guide
- Partnered with the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association in developing environmentally responsible trails in the Bayfield River Valley – 2008/2009
River and Shoreline Cleanup
The Who, the Why and the How
An international drive is underway to cleanup our rivers and shorelines. In Canada, this project is sponsored by the Vancouver Aquarium with financial assistance from the TD Canada Trust environmental fund. Some 35,000 Canadians take part in the project. All litter is inventoried and added to a national data so that corporations and citizens can be made aware of the contribution that they make to environmental degradation.
Working Towards Our Goals
Testing River for E. coli. For a 12 month period in 1999 and 2000 with the support of the Huron County Health Unit, we tested four (4) sites along the river for the marker, E. coli. The higher tha acceptable levels convinced us to begin an educational programme about the river threats and solutions. At the same time we became active in our remediation projects.