SEVERN SOUND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION
A newly released report by the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) says input from volunteers has contributed significantly to describing environmental conditions in the Severn Sound watershed area, and identifying priority sites to deal with invasive species, climate change and water quality.
The Severn Sound Citizen Science 2021 Data Report incorporated data from nearly 30 volunteers through SSEA’s Shore Watch, Stream Watch, and Invasive Species Spotters citizen science programs.
“The new report shows that people who are empowered with knowledge and who care about the environment, are likely to take action – making our watershed better for all of us,” says Julie Cayley, SSEA’s Executive Director.
"The SSEA Citizen Science programs would not be possible without the generous support of funders like the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the Lake Huron Georgian Bay Community Action Initiative, ECO Canada and the Invasive Species Centre," said Cayley.
In 2021, citizen science volunteers submitted 505 observations on water quality and more from 22 sites across four inland lakes, eight sections of Severn Sound shoreline, and seven tributaries.
Observers reported blue green algae that can impair drinking water and swimming water quality, as well as a number of species at risk, including the Northern Map Turtle, Massasauga Rattlesnake, Five Lined Skink, and Bald Eagle.
Mari Veliz, Healthy Watersheds Manager with the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, who is involved with awarding grants from the Lake Huron Georgian Bay Community Action Initiative, says: “People monitoring and taking actions to improve their local environments is the effort needed to protect and enhance our beautiful Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.
"We are grateful for funding from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and Environment and Climate Change Canada to support local communities with their specific projects," said Veliz.
The Severn Sound Environmental Association is committed to ensuring exceptional environmental quality and exemplary stewardship of the Severn Sound area through sound science, collaboration, and partnerships. For more information about the SSEA, visit www.severnsound.ca.