turtle hatchling release set for end of month
At the 2018 event, Sloane and Alora Aldrich, of the Lucan area, inspect a Snapping Turtle hatchling prior to release by staff of the Huron Stewardship Council. (Submitted photo)
A new generation of turtle hatchlings will return to the wild at the Fourth Annual Turtle Hatchling Release east of Exeter on Aug. 29.
This turtle education opportunity, for all ages, attracted hundreds of people last year. The 2019 event will take place at Morrison Dam Conservation Area, at 71108 Morrison Line, south of Highway 83, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The release is free to attend. Event proceeds support conservation of Ontario’s turtles. Organizers encourage attendees to donate to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC). The turtle release has raised thousands of dollars, over three years, in “much-needed funds” for Ontario’s largest turtle hospital.
The Huron Stewardship Council (HSC) will supervise the release of native hatchling turtles. Participants can join staff to observe, as turtles are released, and to take pictures. Turtles are released every half hour from 1:30 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Cristen Watt, the Species at Risk Technician with HSC, said, “It is incredible to see such strong public interest in turtles and their conservation. Unfortunately, Ontario’s turtle populations are declining, so this event raises awareness about local species-at-risk, and teaches everyone about the many ways they can help.”
The turtle release gives people of all ages a chance to meet local wildlife up close and to learn about local reptiles. Event plans include reptile displays, reptile-themed merchandise, and fun and active learning stations. Staff from Scales Nature Park, of the Oro-Medonte area, are bringing reptile species. Their turtles can be viewed and their snakes can be handled. The HSC will have outreach activities and merchandise, the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation will bring an outreach display, and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) will have a geocaching station and other education and outreach. Pinery Provincial Park will have two naturalists at their outreach booth and turtles will be the theme of the Storytime Trail along the MacNaughton-Morrison Section of the South Huron Trail. There will also be cupcake sales in support of turtle conservation.
The turtle release is a way people can learn of the threats Ontario’s native freshwater turtles face. Road mortality, death by cars and other vehicles; and habitat loss are just some of the threats faced. Thousands of turtles in Ontario are hit by cars each year. In spring, most of those turtles are pregnant females looking for a place to lay eggs. In summertime and autumn, most are males looking for new ponds and mates.
Turtles to be released at the release event may include Painted Turtles and Snapping Turtles. (Organizers remind people never to place invasive non-native turtle species, such as, the Red-eared Slider into local water bodies). All the turtles at the release are hatched from eggs laid in locations at Morrison Dam Conservation Area that were unlikely to allow the eggs or hatchlings to survive on their own. Staff of the HSC collected the eggs in June and incubated them to save the turtle hatchlings.
The turtle is a vital part of the local ecosystem, according to Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds Technician with ABCA. Diverse animal species each play a role to keep that system healthy.
“Turtles help to control aquatic vegetation,” Brock said. “They help to clean our creeks and wetlands by eating algae and dead and decaying fish and other organisms.”
Parking at the turtle release will be available in the spillway, as well as on the south side of Morrison Lake (Morrison Dam Reservoir) and at the Woodland Reflection Shelter on the west side of Morrison Line (across from the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Administration Centre).
People can help turtles by creating nesting habitat on their properties, stopping to help turtles cross the road and working with their local municipalities and communities to erect turtle crossing signs and build eco-passages.
“Always help turtles cross the road in the direction they are heading,” said Brock. People can also stop for injured turtles and help arrange their transport to the turtle hospital.
To learn more about protecting turtles, and the release event, visit abca.ca and hsc.huronstewardship.ca or phone 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.
Great lakes Photo contest deadline extended
A day to celebrate our Great Lakes, called Love Your Greats, took place on Aug. 10. Love Your Greats is held the second Saturday of every August, and promotes education and local action to protect our Great Lakes. This year, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) would like to see that action and invites the community to share their actions in the form of a photo contest.
“Throughout the watershed, homeowners, farmers, businesses, community groups and other organizations have been working to protect Lake Huron, and it is important to recognize and celebrate these efforts,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds specialist with ABCA. “The hope is that you will share with us your photos illustrating what you do to protect Lake Huron.”
The deadline, for the first Love Your Greats photo contest, has been extended to Tuesday, Sept. 3, to give people lots of time to enter their photos of their actions helping to protect Lake Huron and “helping to keep your Great Lake great.” The photos of what you do to protect Lake Huron might include, but are not limited to, photos showing rain barrels, rain gardens, wetlands, natural areas, trees, permeable pavement, cover crops, minimum or no-till fields, berms, grassed waterways, buffers, exclusion fencing, or beach cleanups.
“If your photo has a story to tell, we encourage you to share that as well,” said Brock. “No matter how large or small, we are interested in seeing all the actions you take to protect Lake Huron.”
Often, when people share what they have done on their own properties, it inspires others to take positive actions as well, she said.
You may submit your photo to the contest simply by posting a photo showing what you or your family does to protect Lake Huron by replying to the Love Your Greats photo contest post on the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Facebook page, or Twitter feed, with the hashtag #LYGLakeHuron. Or, you may send your photo, by email, with #LYGLakeHuron Photo Contest in the subject of the email, to email@example.com. To be eligible for the contest, photos should be posted or received by Tuesday, Sept. 3 at noon local time. The complete set of contest rules are posted online at abca.ca at this web page: https://www.abca.ca/community/getinvolved/ By using the #LYGLakeHuron hashtag you are agreeing to the rules of the contest. The watershed Twitter feed is at: https://twitter.com/LandWaterNews and the watershed Facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/WaterSoilLivingThings/
Three winners of the photo contest will be drawn at random and will receive a Love Your Greats or Great Lakes T-shirt, hat, or similar prize. For more information visit abca.ca or contact Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds technician, at ABCA, by phone at 519 235-2610, Ext. 246, or toll-free at 1-888-286-2610.
To learn more about the Love Your Greats initiative, visit loveyourgreats.com. Visit lakehuroncommunityaction.ca to see what actions are being taken around the Lake Huron basin.
LOW WATER ADVISORY ISSUED FOR BAYFIELD RIVER WATERSHED
Dry weather and very low streamflow prompted the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) Water Response Team (WRT) to issue a Level 1 Low Water Advisory for the Bayfield River watershed.
The ABCA’s network of rain gauges shows that the Bayfield River watershed received only 25-45 millimetres (mm) of rain, less than 50 per cent of the normal precipitation totals for the month of July, according to ABCA staff. Streamflow in the Bayfield River watershed fell below the summertime Low Water Level 1 indicator threshold, which is 70 per cent of the August flows. August is when staff members typically see streamflow at its lowest. Actual July streamflow values for the Bayfield River were at 56 per cent of the Low Water indicator. As of early August, real-time streamflow is indicative of Level 3 low water conditions.
July rainfall totals across the remainder of the ABCA watershed have been below normal as well. However, several thunderstorms passed through the central and southern parts of the ABCA watershed, helping to prevent any low water declarations for the Ausable River. Streamflow in the Ausable River is below normal as of early August, and approaching the Low Water indicator.
The WRT relies on both precipitation and streamflow indicators to support any decision to move into a Low Water Advisory. Indicators include one-month streamflow, and one-month or three-month precipitation. The combination of warm and dry conditions in July could have a long-lasting impact on streamflow and water availability this summer, according to Davin Heinbuck, Water Resources Coordinator at ABCA.
“Water availability in streams is vitally important to sustaining crops through very dry periods. The focus should be on sustaining water availability through responsible management and conservation of the water resource,” Heinbuck said. “Unless we see a wetter than usual August, a recovery in streamflow this summer is not likely.”
Water Response Team Chair Doug Cook said everyone has a role to play in water conservation. He encourages all water users to look for ways they can conserve water and prevent further reduction in water levels and availability through the summer.
“For areas that are in a Level 1 Low Water Advisory condition, we are encouraging water users to voluntarily reduce their water use by 10 per cent,” Cook said.
For ideas on ways people can reduce water use, please visit the water quantity and conservation page at abca.ca at this link: https://www.abca.ca/conservationstrategy/water/quantity/
If dry conditions persist through August, it may be necessary for the WRT to consider issuing Low Water Advisories for the entire watershed, and there is the possibility of the Bayfield River watershed moving into a Level 2 Condition in August.
A Level 1 Low Water Advisory includes a request for a 10 per cent voluntary reduction in water use. A Level 2 Low Water Advisory includes a call for an additional 10 per cent (total of 20 per cent) voluntary reduction in water use. A Level 3 Low Water Advisory may involve mandatory water use restrictions.
The WRT was formed in 2001 in response to the drought conditions that year and the team has been active ever since. The WRT includes representatives of major water users, such as aggregate industries; agriculture and vegetable growers; golf courses; local municipal representatives and staff of provincial ministries (such as Natural Resources and Forestry; Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; and Environment, Conservation and Parks). ABCA staff will continue to monitor rainfall and streamflow data and keep the public informed of any changes in watershed conditions.
Visit www.ontario.ca/lowwater for further resources on the Ontario low water response program or abca.ca for the dynamic low-water advisory tool that alerts people to low-water advisories in effect in the watershed.
raise a glass for Goderich hospital at Hooch for Health
“Hooch for Health”, set for Aug. 24, is a beer tasting fundraiser organized by the Rotary Club of Goderich for the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital Capital Campaign
This age of majority event will offer three time slots to attend: 1-4 p.m.; 4:30-7:30 p.m. and 8-11 p.m. and will be held at the Huron Historic Gaol in Goderich.
Participating beverage vendors include: Bayfield River Road Brewing, Cowbell Brewing,
Square Brew, Bayfield Brewing Company and Maelstrom Winery.
The $25 ticket includes entry, a Hooch for Health sample glass and hors d'oeuvres by the White Carnation. Sample tickets are $2 each and full-sized drink tickets are $6 each.
519 Tours will provide transportation within the town limits by donation, proceeds of which will go to Hooch for Health. There will be an event photographer and door prizes.
The Rotary Club of Goderich would like to thank ELG Electric for their generous donation of lights and electricity at the event.
Tickets available for purchase online at:
Pro Hockey Heroes staff may call to solicit sponsorships
For one fabulous evening in January 2020, former National Hockey League (NHL) All Stars will take to the ice against the Goderich Firefighters to raise funds for the firefighters’ charity of choice: Huron Residential Hospice.
The Goderich Firefighters will face off against a full line-up of former NHL hockey heroes. This fantastic community event will include lots of skill and lots of laughs and promises to be fun and memorable for all ages.
The game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Maitland Recreation Centre, 190 Suncoast Dr. East in Goderich. The doors will open at 2:45 p.m. and the puck will drop at 3:30 p.m.
A residential hospice had been in the plans for over a decade by the Huron Hospice Volunteer Service and the Huron Residential Hospice opened it’s doors in May of 2018. This service provides compassionate care, emotional support and practical assistance to individuals and families who are facing a life-limiting illness, extending through to the bereavement process. This is a place to celebrate life and embrace quality-of-life in the final days, with 24/7 expert care, at no cost to families, in an environment that feels like home.
Even though it is still months away volunteers will start preparing for this fundraiser soon. Solicited phone calls for tickets and sponsorships will be occurring. The calls will be made by Pro Hockey Heroes staff and will come from a 905 area code, 1-800, as well as 1-844, numbers.
For tickets or more information please call 1-888-777-9793 or visit WWW.PROHOCKEYHEROES.COM
Summer placement culminates with reports on food insecurity
Valerie Steckle (left), Emma Warren and Dr. Al Lauzon, chair of Rural Change and Development at Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health met on Aug. 9 to look over the coding work the women have done during their summer placement at the office in Goderich. (Submitted photo)
On Aug. 8, Dr. Al Lauzon, of Guelph University, visited the Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) to get an update from his summer research assistants, Valerie Steckle and Emma Warren.
The two young women have been working on a research project about food insecurity in rural seniors in Huron, Perth, Grey and Bruce Counties. They showed Dr. Lauzon some of the coding work they have done on their interview transcripts.
The pair are wrapping up their analysis of the 76 interviews they conducted from May to July. They will complete summary reports of the analyses before they leave Gateway on Aug. 23. These reports will be based on stakeholder group interviews, for example, healthcare professionals, home care workers, service providers and public health/governance; and county statistics and information, for a total of eight different summaries. The reports are expected to be published on the Gateway website (gatewayruralhealth.ca) in September.
Ontario’s Ministry of Infrastructure recently informed the Municipality of Bluewater that the Province has nominated the application to replace the Airport Line Bridge, spanning the Ausable River in the southeast portion of the municipality, to the Canadian government for review and approval.
The application was submitted under the Rural and Northern funding stream of Ontario’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
Titled Bridge 35, the structure in question is located on Airport Line approximately 350 meters north of County Road 83.
If approved, the funding will allow replacement of the bridge with a larger structure comprising a 28.7 meters (M) span and a curb to curb width of 10.2 M. The level of safety of the bridge will also be improved through the addition of guide rails, wider approaches and railings. Approximately 500 M of road reconstruction will be completed to improve the vertical and horizontal alignment of the road to the bridge.
“We’re grateful to our local MPP Lisa Thompson,” said Bluewater Mayor Paul Klopp, “for working hard to get this project to the Cabinet table. The Municipality of Bluewater also thanks Minister of Infrastructure, Laurie Scott, and the Government of Ontario, for their assistance in moving this funding request to the federal level.”
More information will be provided as it becomes available.
behind the bars
Due to high demand, the annual Behind the Bars program is returning to the Huron Historic Gaol.
Behind the Bars runs Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in August. The program runs from 7-9 p.m., with last entry at 8 p.m.
Behind the Bars allows visitors to interact with inmates and jail staff. Meet Joseph Griffin, the governor of the jail; Nicholas Melady, infamously known as the last publicly hanged person in Canada; Catherine, who was brought into jail due to homelessness, and many more. Please allow at least 45 minutes for a full tour.
Special admission rates apply to Behind the Bars: $10 for adults, $5 for children, $30 for a family, and free for Museum members and children under five. To purchase tickets, please visit the website, www.huroncountymuseum.ca, or people can buy tickets at the door. For more information, please call 519 524-6971.
Located at 181 Victoria Street North in Goderich, the Huron Historic Gaol was an operating jail from 1841 to 1972. The jail housed criminals, the mentally ill, vagrants, and debtors. The attached Governor’s House is a Victorian style home that was added on in 1901.
During this time of year, the Huron County Health Unit often receives calls from the public about ticks.
“There are several species of ticks in Huron County,” says Public Health Inspector Kaitlyn Kelly. “But only an infected blacklegged tick can transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.”
So far this year, the Health Unit has received 27 ticks for identification and testing. Four of these were identified as blacklegged ticks. Of those four, two tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
An infected blacklegged tick must be attached and feeding for at least 24-36 hours before it will start to transmit the bacteria, so early detection and removal of a tick is important.
If you do locate a tick on your body, here’s how to remove it safely:
· Use fine-tipped tweezers.
· Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible.
· Pull it straight out, gently but firmly.
· Clean the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
· Save the tick in a jar or screw-top bottle if you can and take it to your doctor or your local health unit, where it will be submitted for identification and testing if needed.
Here are some ways to prevent tick bites:
· Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and closed-toed shoes. Pull your socks over your pant legs.
· Apply an insect repellent, approved by Health Canada, to both your skin and clothes and always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
· Conduct head-to-toe tick checks, remembering to check children and pets as well.
· Shower after returning from the outdoors to wash off any loose ticks.
· Put your clothes into a dryer on high heat for 60 minutes to kill any possible ticks.
If you have been in an area known to contain blacklegged ticks or have been bitten by a tick, watch for the following symptoms:
· Muscle and joint pains
· Skin rash in the shape of a bull’s eye
If you have any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.
For more information on Lyme disease and ways to protect yourself, visit www.huronhealthunit.ca.
There are still a number of examination room sponsorships available at the Bluewater Area Family Health Team (BAFHT) clinic in Zurich. Families, local businesses, area corporations, associations and service clubs will be recognized for their donation with a plaque on the wall immediately outside the room. All locations are in high traffic areas.
Call Executive Director, Paula Kroll and arrange to have your name displayed prominently at the clinic. Cost is a one-time charge and ranges from $15,000 to $25,000 depending on location.
BAFHT is on a fundraising mission and is looking for volunteers to help organize and run a variety of events to support the clinic and add to the health care services it offers the community. More money means more health care programs can be introduced to benefit the area.
People should not be afraid to suggest fundraising ideas – several heads are better than one - contact Sandra Shaw of the Fundraising Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maitland El Camino
The Maitland Trail Association (MTA) is a charitable organization established in 1975 with the mission of maintaining and developing trails in the Maitland Valley for discovery and appreciation of the natural environment.
The MTA is pleased to announce the 2019 El Camino event. This year’s two-day, 49 KM hike along the Maitland Trail will take place over the weekend of Sept. 28-29. There are also opportunities for participants to complete shorter hikes for those who do not wish to hike the full 49 KM. Each year this challenging, family-friendly event attracts hikers from all across the province.
The hike begins in Auburn and follows the scenic, winding route of the Maitland River, finishing in beautiful Goderich, on the shores of Lake Huron.
Erinn Lawrie from the MTA’s Board of Directors said, “The lower Maitland River is an area of ecological significance, with many unique species that are rare provincially and even globally.”
Hikers on the Maitland Trail traverse wide rambling trails and challenging hills, hiking through towering forests, past farmland, river vistas and autumn meadows. Shuttles are provided to the starting point each day, and along the route there are checkpoints where water and snacks are provided to hikers by enthusiastic volunteers.
A post-hike dinner will be held on the Saturday evening, featuring fresh local food by Sweet Love Eats, Firmly Rooted and Red Cat Bakery.
“The supper is a chance to kick back and refuel after a successful hike, share stories, and meet other hiking enthusiasts from across the province,” said Lawrie.
Registration is now open at www.maitlandtrail.ca and spaces will fill up quickly. The cost for the two-day hike is $30 for adults and $10 for children, which includes shuttles, trail maps, water and snacks, and a souvenir badge upon completion. The Locavore Supper is $30. Registration closes Sept. 14, or when the registration cap is reached.
Visit the MTA’s website or contact email@example.com for more information about this exciting event.
BACK PACKS FOR KIDS
Every child should experience the delight of having a new back pack for school. Volunteers with the Huron County Back Packs for Kids wants to make that happen.
Children in need of a new back pack for the 2019-20 school year must be registered before Aug. 16. At the time of registration, a pick-up location will be determined in one of five locations: Clinton, Exeter, Goderich, Wingham and Zurich. Those who registered will be contacted when a back pack becomes available.
To register for a back pack please call: Goderich, 519 524-2950; Clinton, 519 482-8586 or Wingham, 519 357-1387.
CLEAN WATER PROJECT
The Huron County Clean Water Project (HCCWP) grant review committee has approved the first grants supporting septic system replacements under the new septic system grant category introduced in 2019. The second intake period for applications is open until Aug. 31.
The grant review committee approved, on June 14, those projects that provide immediate benefits to water quality. Eight other septic applications are carried over, by the committee, to be re-evaluated along with new applications at the September meeting. County septic grant funding is limited so decisions are based on funding available and the projects’ impact on protecting water quality.
People living in the countryside and hamlets – including homes and cottages along Lake Huron – have septic systems to treat household waste from kitchens and bathrooms. When functioning properly, septic systems are a cost-effective, efficient method of treating waste, but they have a lifespan and faulty septic systems are a daily source of contamination. With the advent of summer, with more people in the area and more strain on septic systems, there is the potential for more septic systems to fail, according to staff delivering the program.
The HCCWP is allocating a total of $40,000 to the septic system upgrade category in 2019 with a maximum grant of $2,000 per project. Systems that have the potential to contaminate drinking water and those near municipal drinking water wells are the main focus. Residences west of Hwy 21 are also high priority because of their potential impact on swimming beaches.
The grant approval process for septic projects is similar to other HCCWP projects. Staff will visit the site and help landowners complete the application form which is evaluated by the grant review committee. Applicants will need a cost estimate from a licensed contractor in order to apply. When the project is approved, completed and paid for, staff do a final site visit and the grant is issued.
The HCWP has 17 project categories to help people improve and protect water quality. The county program has provided grants to more than 2,800 projects since 2004.
Huron County people interested in applying for septic projects, or other projects of the HCCWP, are invited to call Doug Hocking at the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority at 519 335-3557, Ext. 236 or Nathan Schoelier, at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, Ext. 263.