source protection committee releases fifth video in series
Dave Frayne is the host of the latest video from the Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Committee. (Submitted photo)
A new video showcases local signs that alert the public about zones, near municipal wells, where drinking water sources are most at risk. Continued positive actions are needed to protect the groundwater in these zones, according to the Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Committee (SPC).
The committee released the new video, hosted by Dave Frayne, on May 26. Frayne is a municipal representative, on the SPC, for the Southwest municipalities group. This group includes: Bluewater, Central Huron, Perth South, South Huron and West Perth.
He begins the video by asking, “Have you seen these signs? They read Drinking Water Protection Zone...they mean be cautious.”
He explains that the signs are to create public awareness of vulnerable areas around municipal wells and Great Lakes intakes in the Province of Ontario.
“We have 88 of these signs in our region,” he said.
The video features a sampling of those Drinking Water Protection Zone signs that are located in various municipalities. Do you know where your community’s signs are located? If you do, then you know where the municipal water you drink is most vulnerable to spills and contamination.
The new video is available at this link: youtu.be/iTpxCZCAe3I
The Drinking Water Protection Zone signs video is the fifth in a series about source protection.
“The videos explain about water from source to tap,” said Matt Pearson, chair of the SPC. With more than 10,000 social media views so far, the source protection committee members are using videos as an effective way to safely reach out to the public during the pandemic.
“Hopefully the videos encourage our watershed residents to do their part in keeping our drinking water sources safe now and into the future,” he said. The committee is planning to create more videos, later this year, featuring other committee members.
The new signs video, and the previous four videos in the series, are on the Ausable Bayfield YouTube channel here: www.youtube.com/user/TheAusable
Links to the videos are also on Facebook and online at sourcewaterinfo.on.ca.
Here are links to the five videos, so far, in the series:
• Introduction to drinking water source protection video series with Matt Pearson, SPC Chair: youtu.be/c9Zh0XYmaJw
• Drinking Water Protection Zone signs (with Dave Frayne): youtu.be/iTpxCZCAe3I
• Treatment of Lake Huron water at the Goderich Water Treatment Plant (with John Graham and Cory Dulong): youtu.be/CfMqhhSE988
• Work by industries at the Goderich harbour to protect drinking water sources (with Rowland Howe): youtu.be/blsOdf8CfRE
• Treatment of a groundwater drinking water source at the municipal well in Seaforth (with Alyssa Keller): youtu.be/M3CVovxmSI4
opportunities for youth in Coastal Conservation
Participants are invited, at no cost, to join the Coastal Conservation Youth Corps for week-long sessions in the summer, or to volunteer over two weekends in the fall. (Submitted photo)
A service learning opportunity for youth, to be held in both the Goderich and Saugeen Shores communities, will offer knowledge and hands-on skills related to coastal conservation this year. The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation (LHCCC), a non-government charity dedicated to supporting a healthy ecosystem through education, restoration and research, launched the Coastal Conservation Youth Corps (CCYC) program in 2020. Seeing a growing interest in volunteerism, along with a passion from Lake Huron communities to tackle threats facing the Great Lakes, the CCYC was created to engage youth, ages 14-18. Participants are invited, at no cost, to join week-long sessions in the summer, or to volunteer over two weekends in the fall.
“The fundamentals of environmental stewardship will go a long way to protecting natural resources into the future,” said Executive Director of LHCCC, Erinn Lawrie. “Training young leaders to care for and take conservation action to protect coastal ecosystems will save financial resources over the long-term and ensure our coast is resilient for generations to come.”
The summer program kicks off in Goderich July 5-9, from 9-3 p.m. with Great Lakes science projects to help protect water quality and provide habitat, including a high-profile dune restoration project on Goderich’s Main Beach. The itinerary includes removing harmful trash from shorelines, investigating plastic pollution, identifying species, managing invasive species and designing a community low-impact plan.
Other project dates are set for Saugeen Shores, July 12-16, July 19-23 and Aug. 9-13; Goderich Sept. 11-12 and Sept. 25-26.
At this time, registrations are being accepted through the website at www.lakehuron.ca/ccyc . Space is limited, as the group size will not exceed nine. Program plans are flexible to enable adaptation to the recommended COVID-19 protocols.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming a new cohort of Coastal Conservation volunteers this summer,” added Education Technician, Kerry Kennedy. “Thanks to our funders and municipal partners we are planning authentic projects with opportunities to learn about conservation and gain valuable experience, Students may choose to further their education or seek a career in the environmental field, and in addition, they will earn volunteer experience hours to support their high school credentials.”
Primary funding support for the program comes from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations.
For further inquiries on the program, email email@example.com. To learn more about the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, visit www.lakehuron.ca, or on social media @CoastalCentre.
Eighty plus now eligible for accelerated second doses
Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) is accelerating second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, in keeping with provincial direction.
While the interval between first and second doses can be up to 16 weeks, HPPH will begin to offer second dose appointments at an earlier interval of four weeks or later based on vaccine supply.
As of today, individuals age 80+ (born 1941 or earlier) are able to book a shortened-interval second dose appointment for a future clinic. Many residents who are 80+ already qualify for their extended interval and have booked appointments. Anyone over 80 who has not booked a second dose yet, is asked to please visit the HPPH booking system. HPPH is currently booking appointments for mid to late June.
During the week of June 14, individuals age 70+ (born 1951 or earlier) will be able to book an appointment for a future clinic. Please note that HPPH cannot book shortened dose interval appointments for people age 70+ until the week of June 14.
Certain groups have already been receiving second doses of COVID-19 vaccines at a shortened interval, including high-risk health care workers, individuals with certain health conditions, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals. They will continue to be eligible at the dose interval in the vaccine product monograph.
More information on how and when to book a second dose at an HPPH community clinic is available at www.hpph.ca/SecondDose.
“There has been excellent uptake of vaccine in Huron Perth and we know that people are eager to receive their second dose,” said Medical Officer of Health for Huron Perth, Dr. Miriam Klassen. “We ask that people waiting to book vaccination appointments please be patient with our staff during this busy time. We also remind the public that rude or abusive language towards staff will not be tolerated.”
Anyone who has booked an appointment at an HPPH vaccination clinic and no longer needs it, is asked to please cancel as soon as they can to free up the space for another eligible community member. Let’s keep Huron-Perth’s vaccination coverage rate high by making sure everyone has the opportunity to get vaccinated as early as possible.
Appointments can be cancelled by emailing VaccineCancellation@hpph.ca or by calling the booking line at 1-833-753-2098; Press 2. Please include a first and last name and the date, time, and location of the scheduled appointment.
Several pharmacies across Huron Perth are also providing vaccinations. Appointments must be booked directly with the pharmacy. For a complete list, visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations.
HPPH reminds everyone to follow all public health and workplace safety measures regardless of their vaccination status at this time.
Active COVID-19 cases in Huron Perth have declined after a surge a few weeks ago, however, there are several ongoing and new workplace outbreaks. The majority of new cases are variants of concern, which transmit more easily. The biggest contributor to the spread of COVID-19 is close contact (being within 2 m or 6 ft) with infected individuals.
Case investigations show that people are not following public health measures, for example, there have been indoor social gatherings with individuals from other households. Indoor gatherings are still not permitted, and outdoor gatherings are limited to five people (while still maintaining public health measures such as physical distancing between people who are not in the same household).
In addition, if someone has COVID-19 or has been identified as a close contact of a case, they must isolate as instructed by Public Health. Isolation keeps the virus from spreading to other people. HPPH will enforce the Section 22 Class Order for anyone who does not comply with isolation requirements.
“We understand that people are fatigued and want public health restrictions to be lifted,” said Dr. Klassen. “But high numbers of close contacts allow COVID-19 to keep circulating in our communities. The best way forward is to keep contacts as low as possible and to maintain physical distance from anyone not in your household, while vaccination efforts continue.”
The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated regularly with confirmed case counts received.
“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.
For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties and also the per centage of people vaccinated please visit: www.hpph.ca
HPHA Virtual AGM
The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance will be holidng a Virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 17 via ZOOM.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
This AGM is for members of the Clinton Public Hospital, St. Marys Memorial Hospital, Seaforth Community Hospital and Stratford General Hospital. Highlights of the meeting will include: the receipt of Annual Reports of the Board of Directors, including financial statements, together with the Auditor’s Report thereon; appointment of auditors; and receipt of the Ad Hoc Nominating Committee Report.
Only members of the hospital corporations shall be entitled to vote at the AGM but members of the public are welcome to attend. To RSVP please contact Sue Davey by calling 519 272-8205 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and a ZOOM link/teleconference number will be provided in advance of the meeting.
United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) is proud to announce it is providing three organizations with Emergent/Emergency Need Grants (EENG) to assist them in continuing important pandemic relief programs and services.
“This has been a challenging time for organizations,” said UWPH Executive Director Ryan Erb. “If this past year has taught us anything it’s the need for flexibility, to be able to respond quickly to the shifting environment. The EENG is built to allow us to invest in time-sensitive emergency needs outside our regular funding cycle, ensuring organizations and the programs they deliver can survive and thrive.”
Already, UWPH has been investing in local organizations through the EENG — particularly in the area of food security. Among the organizations receiving funds are the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre to help them supply nutritious foods to food banks and community organizations across the region; ONE CARE Home & Community Support Services for their grocery delivery service; and the Community Table in Exeter for their food hamper service.
“These investments help address a gap in pandemic relief funding which ran out at the end of March,” added Erb. “That means pandemic-related services will be able to operate for the next few months.”
Along with helping local organizations and programs, UWPH continues to focus on supporting individuals and families across Perth-Huron through the Urgent Needs Fund. Since its creation in May of 2020, UWPH’s Urgent Needs Fund has provided more than $100,000 to over 700 people across Perth-Huron for urgent, pressing needs including help paying bills, buying groceries and emergency car repairs. The fund is administered by the City of Stratford Social Services Department on behalf of Perth County and the Huron County Social & Property Services Department on behalf of Huron County. Individuals are encouraged to apply. Visit perthhuron.unitedway.ca.
A group of primary care providers in Perth County will offer a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination clinic for residents 18 years of age and older.
The Stratford Family Health Team, STAR Family Health Team, Happy Valley Family Health Team, and Mitchell Family Doctors will be running the clinic Friday, June 4 at the Stratford Rotary Complex.
This is an age-based clinic only, with no other eligibility requirements. Individuals must be 18 years of age or older by the date of the clinic to book an appointment. They do not need to a be patient of any of the above family health teams to receive their vaccine at this clinic. This clinic is for first dose appointments only.
Booking online is recommended at: chkmkt.com/HPprimarycareJune4
“We are pleased to work together in providing these vaccinations for the community,” said Dr. Kim Gilmour. “We encourage everyone eligible and able to receive vaccine to sign up for this clinic.”
The Stratford Family Health Team, STAR Family Health Team, Happy Valley Family Health Team, and Mitchell Family Doctors will have the booking link on their websites and social media accounts.
If you require assistance booking your appointment online, please consider reaching out to a trusted family member or friend. Primary care offices remain very busy and although they are here to help, there could be a significant delay in returning a call. Anyone who needs to cancel or confirm an appointment already made, is asked to please email PrimaryCareClinic@hpph.ca.
The Moderna vaccine is part of the Huron Perth allotment for primary care, and will be administered at the clinic. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine (similar to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine) that is approved for people who are 18 years of age or older. For more information about the Moderna vaccine, visit covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccine-safety.
The Primary Care Working Group of the Huron Perth Mass Vaccination Advisory Committee (HPMVAC) is working with Huron Perth Public Health to organize the clinic.
Ride to end hunger
Cycling enthusiasts from across Huron County are invited to take part in the Sixth Annual “Better Together - Ride to End Hunger – Together – Apart” from June 12 to June 19 in support of the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre (HCFBDC).
Participants are asked to ride at their leisure during the week either at home or on their stationary bike or wherever it is safe to bicycle in their community or along the backroads of Huron County.
People can sign up as a team or individually by visiting:
More information is available on the HCFBDC Event Page at:
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) continues to create public information materials during the celebration of its 75th anniversary year in 2021.
The conservation authority created a new video, an introduction to 75 years of local watershed management (1946-2021), featuring Doug Cook, chair of the ABCA Board of Directors. The video was released in April and it can be viewed on the 75th anniversary web page: www.abca.ca/about/anniversary at abca.ca and on the Ausable Bayfield YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/TheAusable.
Staff members have also created trivia questions and answers to test people’s knowledge of conservation in the watershed. This pop quiz is to be shared on social media platforms in the coming weeks. Also, local people holding trivia activities can contact ABCA at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 for questions and answers they can incorporate into their contests.
ABCA has also created a public survey. Staff say the 14-question survey is a chance to test everyone’s knowledge, and learn about, local watershed management and also to provide input into local watershed programs and services. Those interested are invited to take the survey at this link:
Abbie Gutteridge is chair of ABCA’s 75th Anniversary Planning Committee. She said the survey is a chance for ABCA to learn from local residents and for local residents to learn about conservation. The trivia questions are a fun way to learn about some of the work that has taken place over the past 75 years, she said.
“I hope the video, trivia and survey – along with other activities over the course of the year – will engage people in learning more about the work that is happening, in partnership with the community, to protect life and property, water and soil, and habitat for all living things,” she said.
The former Ausable River Conservation Authority was Ontario’s first conservation authority, created on July 30, 1946. The Bayfield River watershed and smaller streams were added in 1972.
To learn more about current and upcoming 75th anniversary activities visit abca.ca.