To the Expositor:
A note of congratulations from the International Joint Committee (IJC) to Manitoulin has recently crossed my desk. We have been distinguished as this summer’s highest attended International Upper Great Lakes Study (IUGLS) board meeting—pretty amazing considering we had (by far) the lowest population. Thanks to all who came to Kagawong.
And now the fight for our water begins. To keep in touch with everyone, the Manitoulin Area Stewardship Council (MASC) has recently established a Facebook page. Please visit it and become “a friend.” This is a simple and inexpensive way for us to continuously communicate with you. If you are not a member, ask your children/grandchildren to show you how! Of course, we will continue contributing to the Expositor, and thank its staff for their generous support.
We all know Manitoulin is a special place worthy of prudent stewardship. The government knows it too. I refer to Jim Moodie’s February 16, 2011 article, ‘Manitoulin’s biodiversity unrivalled by any other island in Great Lakes,’ in which he reports “the US Nature Conservancy and its Canadian equivalent sponsored a binational project to categorize and assess biodiversity. Manitoulin was separated…with a line drawn horizontally through its middle. The southern half, hugging Lake Huron, is assessed as an ecosystem unto itself, as is the upper half bordering the North Channel. These conjoined twins may have unique characteristics, but they are equally, or near equally, blessed with biodiversity, according to the report. Manitoulin South is No. 1 in the list of naturally significant islands; Manitoulin North is No. 2…. However you cut the ecological cake, the plethora of unique and valuable species on Manitoulin is impossible to discount.”
All life needs water; but the shallow waters surrounding Manitoulin are drying up. The importance of these waters came to my attention in the August 26 letter to the Recorder from time-honoured Islander and 2003 recipient of Great Lakes United’s John Manty award, Ed Burt. He notes “Manitoulin Island is one of the lowest rainfall areas in Ontario and the hundreds of acres of shallow water that we have lost since the water levels have dropped is of great concern. The evaporation that would occur in these waters in June, July, August and September have been a great help in the past in keeping our land and forests healthy…Mike Brown says its against the law to export water from Ontario. All the water that comes into Georgian Bay and the North Channel, The French, Murdock, Spanish, Serpent and Mississaugi Rivers all flow south so the water we are losing must be going south.”
Secretary, Manitoulin Area Stewardship Council