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Severn Sound Environmental Association

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PARTNER APPRECIATION 2017 Nomination FormsPast SSEA Partners Reception and Awards

The following awards are presented at the SSEA Annual Partners Reception each fall;

Severn Sound Bob Whittam Environmental Award (Nomination Form)

In 2000 the Severn Sound Bob Whittam Environmental Award was started in order to honour Bob Whittam, a biologist and an avid naturalist who is well known in the Severn Sound area, by recognizing those individuals or groups who are dedicated and truly interested in improving the Severn Sound ecosystem.

SSEA Source Water Protection Award (Nomination Form)

The award is presented to an individual landowner or group who has assisted in the promotion of source water protection or, who have developed and are implementing exemplary source water protection programs in the Severn Sound Source Protection Area.

Severn Sound Environmental Stewardship Award (Nomination Form)

This award recognizes an individual or group for their meaningful achievements in the restoration and protection of the Severn Sound area.

Severn Sound Student Environmental Awards (Nomination Form)

SSEA Student Environmental Award recognizes outstanding students in the Severn Sound area that have displayed a passion for the natural world demonstrating a keen interest in nature, the environment, conservation, stewardship and sustainability. These awards are received by students who have aligned their environmental beliefs with their actions at school and at home.

Nominations must be received no later than October 20, 2017

 


   

2016 SSEA Partners Reception

The SSEA 2016 Partners Reception was held at Restaurant Sainte-Marie on Thursday November 10th. Many Mayors, Councillors, SSEA Board members, community service groups, volunteers and landowners attended to celebrate our partnerships, projects and recognition awards. Also in attendance were Simcoe-North MP Bruce Stanton, on behalf of Simcoe-North MPP Patrick Brown, former MPP Garfield Dunlop and from Environment and Climate Change Canada, Steve Clement.

Over the past year, the SSEA has worked with a number of organizations, individuals and businesses to monitor environmental quality and implement stewardship projects to protect the Severn Sound watershed. Several landowners and partners were recognized for their exceptional contributions to the Severn Sound environment.

   Lynn Short receiving the Severn Sound Bob Whittam Environmental Award   
Left to Right:Garfield Dunlop (on behalf of MPP Patrick Brown), Steffan Walma (SSEA Board Member and Township of Tiny Deputy Mayor), George Cornell (Township of Tiny Mayor), Bruce Stanton (MP), Lynn Short (Recipient) and Julie Cayley (SSEA General Manager)

   

Thank you to Golder Associates Ltd.
for
sponsoring our event this year.

Severn Sound ​Bob Whittam Environmental Award

Bob Whittam is a biologist and an avid naturalist who is well known in the Severn Sound area. He has been instrumental in ensuring the continued success and presence in our community of the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre. One of Bob’s many accomplishments was his work in facilitating the public involvement program of the Severn Sound Remedial Action Plan (RAP). He was Public Advisory Committee Chair for many years through the development of the RAP.

Bob Whittam Award Recipients

In 2000 the Severn Sound Bob Whittam Environmental Award was started in order to honour Bob by recognizing those individuals or groups who are dedicated and truly interested in improving the Severn Sound ecosystem. All nominations are reviewed by Bob. The Bob Whittam Environmental Award was first awarded by Bob Whittam and SSEA in 2000 to Fran Westman. Other Bob Whittam Award Recipients include Brian Jones (2001), Margaret Killing (2002), Peter Dupuis (2003), Sara Knight (2004), Dr. Si Lowry (2005), Bob Bowles (2006), Stephen Ogden (2007), André Claire (2008), Huronia Woodland Owners Association (2009), Andy Fletcher (2010), John Boucher (2011), Wendy and Jeff Bumstead (2012), Bill Sweenie (2013), Peter Andrews (2014), Terry Breckenridge (2015) and Lynn Short (2016).

 

 Recipients

  • Brian Jones (2001) Brian Jones (2001)
    2001 Recipient Brian Jones (left) with Bob Whittam (Right)
  • Margaret Killing (2002) Margaret Killing (2002)
    2002 Recipient Margaret Killing (Right) with Bob Whittam (Left)
  • Peter Dupuis (2003) Peter Dupuis (2003)
    2003 Recipient Peter Dupuis (left) with Bob Whittam (Centre) and SSRAP PAC Chair Rob Coulas (Right)
  • Sara Knight (2004) Sara Knight (2004)
    2004 Recipient Sarah Knight (left) with Bob Whittam (Centre) and Rob Coulas (Right)
  • Bob Bowles (2006) Bob Bowles (2006)
    2006 Recipient Bob Bowles (left) with Rob Coulas (Right) Chair of the SSRAP PAC
  • Steve Ogden (2007) Steve Ogden (2007)
    2007 Recipient Steve Ogden (Centre) with MPP Garfield Dunlop (Left) and SSEA Chair Keith Sherman (Right)
  • Huronia Woodland Owners Association (2009) Huronia Woodland Owners Association (2009)
    2009 Recipients Huronia Woodland Owners Accociation with Bob Whittam (Centre-Right) and Keith Sherman (Left)
  • Andy Fletcher (2010) Andy Fletcher (2010)
    2010 Recipient Andy Fletcher (Centre) with SSEA Chair Greg Sutcliffe (Left) and Keith Sherman (Right)
  • John Boucher (2011) John Boucher (2011)
    2011 Recipient John Boucher (left) with SSEA Executive Director Keith Sherman (Right)
  • Wendy and Jeff Bumstead (2012) Wendy and Jeff Bumstead (2012)
    2012 Recipients Wendy (Left)and Jeff (Right) Bumstead with SSEA Chair Bob Jefferies (Centre)
  • Bill Sweenie (2013) Bill Sweenie (2013)
    2013 Recipient Bill Sweenie (Centre) with MP Bruce Stanton (Left) and Keith Sherman (Right)
  • Peter Andrews (2014) Peter Andrews (2014)
    2014 Recipient Peter Andrews (Left) with MPP Garfield Dunlop (Right)
  • Terry Breckenridge (2015) Terry Breckenridge (2015)
    Severn Sound Bob Whittam Award recipient Terry Breckenridge at the 2015 SSEA Partners Reception.
  • Lynn Short (2016) Lynn Short (2016)
    Severn Sound Bob Whittam Award recipient Lynn Short at the 2016 SSEA Partners Reception.

2016 Severn Sound ​Bob Whittam Environmental Award

There were several nominations received this year for the Award. The 2016 recipient of the Severn Sound Bob Whittam Environmental Award was Lynn Short.    

To control the spread of Phragmites without the use of herbicide on her own waterfront property, Lynn developed a “spading” technique.  By the repeated removal of the green part of the plant, its food source through photosynthesis was literally cut-off, and after a few years the energy stores of the plant are diminished and it dies.  Lynns method proved far more successful than other methods such as ploughing or mowing.Left to right: MP Bruce Stanton, Lynn Short and Julie Cayley (Credit Midland Mirror Photo)

Lynn shares her knowledge broadly –  organizing groups of local students who were employed by beachfront property owners and worked under Lynn’s supervision to apply the spading method.  This approach proved very effective and eventually dozens of properties were successfully cleared of dense Phragmites infestation and the property owners themselves were able to maintain control easily.

Lynn became connected with the Ontario Phragmites Working Group (OPWG), The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, Georgian Bay Forever and other groups committed to dealing with the problem. Over the last few years, Lynn has spoken with community groups from Tiny to Tay, from Woodland Beach to Roundtree Beach, from Niagara Falls to Victoria Harbour, and from Long Point to Lake Eugenia.  As a result, the awareness of the Phragmites problem has been improved and the spading technique is being increasingly widely used.

In May 2016, with support from Tiny Township, Humber College, the City of Toronto and the University of Waterloo, Lynn embarked on a research project studying the effectiveness of the spading technique that she had developed for the removal.  Lynn to conduct two parallel studies in Tiny Township and the Humber River Valley.  Since Lynn has inspired so many people over the years, she was able to round up some wonderful volunteers. She commenced the project in early June and Lynn and her volunteers collected data and cut stalks in the various test plots.  Lynn’s data and report clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the spading technique.

Over many years, Lynn has volunteered thousands of hours not only to researching and directly applying the spading technique and mentoring students in Tiny Township, but also to educating, motivating and inspiring community groups throughout southern Ontario about the necessity to take action to control Phragmites. The battle against this invasive alien plant species has become her passion.

Bob Wrote to Lynn:

"Congratulations on your success in developing the spading technique for the control of Phragmites, a serious threat to wetlands in Severn Sound. Your research and work Is a great mix of citizen science with your mentoring of students and community groups. Thank you for your infectious enthusiasm and for your ongoing battle against this invasive plant."

Please download the Nomination Form if you would like to nominate a person or group for the 2017 Severn Sound Bob Whittam Environmental award.

​SSEA AWARDS

Individual, landowners and partners who were recognized for their exceptional contributions to the Severn Sound environment were presented the following awards.

 

 

2016 SSEA Student Environmental Award

SSEA Student Environmental Award recognizes outstanding students in the Severn Sound area that have displayed a passion for the natural world demonstrating a keen interest in nature, the environment, conservation, stewardship and sustainability. These awards are being received by students who have aligned their environmental beliefs with their actions at school and at home.

This year’s recipient of the Severn Sound Environmental Association Student environmental award is Cole Quick, a senior at Georgian Bay District Secondary School.

Cole was presented the award by his teacher, Danielle DesRochers who said “Cole is a senior at Georgian Bay District Secondary School.  He has spent a good part of his life outdoors. In elementary school, he created projects on the importance of recycling and composting in order to educate his classmates. Cole was part of the Specialist High Skills Major in the Environment course at high school. He quickly distinguished himself as a leader in our outdoor activities. He researched many different topics during the course, such as climate change, deforestation, pollution, endangered species and water quality among others. Students were required to create and maintain an online blog to demonstrate their learning. Cole participated in Penetanguishene’s Shoreline Cleanup, helped the SSEA with tree planting, and went on a four day canoe trip to Algonquin Park learning about Leave no Trace camping, park ecology, canoeing skills and leadership.  Students learned to love being outdoors and to travel lightly, so as to preserve the beauty we were all enjoying.

Throughout our class activities, Cole could be relied upon to act as a leader, to help out when needed and to show “newbies” the ropes. He shared his knowledge of the natural world with anyone willing to listen. He led by example.

This coming semester, Cole will be participating in a Co-op placement with Mr. Mullin’s Environment class at Georgian Bay District. He will be acting as student mentor and leader during this time. He is also a member of a student committee working toward earning a “Green School” designation for GBDSS. They are busy researching and preparing an action plan for the school which is to be unveiled shortly.


Cole loves the outdoors and is committed to caring for it. He is looking forward to a career as a Conservation Officer.”

Left to right: Mayor Gord McKay, Cole Quick and Danielle DesRochers (Photo Credit: Midland Mirror)

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 SSEA Student Environmental award.

Please download the Nomination Form  if you would like to nominate a person or group

2016 SSEA Source Water Protection Award

​The Severn Sound Environmental Associations Source Water Protection award is presented to an individual, landowner or group who has assisted in the promotion of source water protection or, who have developed and are implementing exemplary source water protection programs in the Severn Sound Source Protection Area.

This year’s recipient of the Severn Sound Environmental Association Source Water Protection award is David Ritchie.

Dave Ritchie’s was elected by his peers to represent agriculture on the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Committee where he has been a member for over 10 years. Dave, along with his team mates, Colin Elliot and John Hemstead, made a valiant and devoted contribution to the protection of our water sources and the environment, not only here for the Severn Sound Environmental association ( SSEA) catchment area but for all of the sector that they represented and ultimately setting up guidelines that were accepted throughout the province.  They ensured that the voice of farmers was heard which created a respectful working relationship between the Ministry, conservation and Source Water committees.

Left to right: David Ritchie and Lynn Dollin (Photo Credit: Midland Mirror)

Dave’s gift of “schmooze” and his political acuity (highlighted by an event on his farm with former Prime Minister the Honourable Jean Chrétien) combined with his commitment to the sustainability of the environmental quality of the Severn Sound watershed, make him a valuable advocate.  Dave rallied his colleagues from the agriculture sector to drive the source water protection planning process forward in the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Region (one of 19 Source Water Protection Regions in the Province of Ontario).  The result being a collaborative action based approach to Source Protection implementation in the Region recognized across the Province.  Dave’s ability to bring his industry together with the environmental community to find a win win approach has resulted in this region being recognized Provincially as a leader in protecting our Source Water.  Dave is one of the critical agriculture representatives on the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Committee.  Dave travels around the province promoting this regions approach to source water protection and has been instrumental in developing collaborative approaches and attracting funding and support to the region.

Through this work, and the guidance of SSEA, Dave and the team helped to promote and advocate for the initiatives that helped farmers see the value in continuing to plant trees along their rivers and streams which creates the buffer zone which protects the waters running through their lands.  The team also worked with the Ministry to help set up Agriculture Committees to assist both Provincial and Federal members of Parliament.

For many years Dave Ritchie was on the Simcoe County Milk Producers Committee representing dairy for our communities and clarifying the role of farming while working on solutions to ensure Source Water protection.

Councillor Ritchie has been a member of the President’s PAC committee at Lakehead University where he mentions that he “gives talks” on Source Water Protection.

2016 Severn Sound Environmental Stewardship Award

​Couchiching Conservancy

The Severn Sound Environmental Associations Stewardship award recognizes an individual or group for their meaningful achievements in the restoration and protection of the Severn Sound area.

Left to right, David Hawke, David Bisset and Courtney Baker (Photo Credit: Midland Mirror)

We are pleased to announce this year’s recipient of the Severn Sound Environmental Association Stewardship Award is the Couchiching Conservancy.

The Couchiching Conservancy Land Trust is a great success story. Since 1993 they have been involved with the securement and management of 44 parcels of conservation land totaling an impressive 12,500 acres……in some cases globally rare ecosystems. These properties are found from Shanty Bay, to Waverly, to Coldwater, to Sebright, to Kirkfield, and includes woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, rocklands, and alvar habitats.

Sixteen of these properties contain sensitive headwaters to Hogg Creek, North River, Black River, Lake Couchiching, and Sparrow Lake, ensuring conservation protection to 2,095 acres.

The Conservancy works closely with private landowners, and other conservation organizations such as Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Parks, Ontario Heritage Trust, and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, have an impressive list of volunteers and supporters and have excellent working relationships with Municipalities including Severn, Oro-Medonte, Ramara and the City of Orillia.

They have recently completed a “green” office upgrade that includes geo-thermal heating and cooling, solar energy, properly insulated walls and windows, and a fully accessible community room. The transformation of the Grant Woods location enhances the public enjoyment of this environmental gem within the Township of Severn.

2016 Tree Plant Stewardship Recognition

Tree Planting

In 2016, through the SSEA’s habitat enhancement tree planting program, 5,520 tree seedlings were planted in spring. This brings the total seedlings planted to date through our community tree plants to more than 228,000. The County of Simcoe Forestry Department provided funds towards seedling costs, and the Dufferin Simcoe Land Stewardship Network funded the cost of the coconut mats that were installed to suppress weeds around the trees.

Graeme Davis, County Forester at the County of Simcoe and Oro-Medonte Councillor Barb Coutanche, will present certificates to recognize and thank the following landowners who hosted 2016 community tree plants:

  • Donald Guthrie and the Guthrie family
  • Cecil Hambly and Stephanie Francoeur
  • Cindy Hillard
  • Ken and Jane Isaac
  • Mitchell Lambert and Lindsay Hawco
  • Dale and Len Pownall
  • Town of Midland

2016 Volunteer Recognition

The objective of the Inland Lake Monitoring program is to develop a cost-effective survey that would give SSEA a better understanding of the water quality within the lakes. The survey includes collecting chemistry, phytoplankton and zooplankton samples, measuring secchi depth and recording temperature, cond and DO profiles.  Each openwater station is sampled bi-weekly from April to October.

During the 2016 monitoring season two inland lakes were surveyed, Farlain Lake in the Township of Tiny and Maclean Lake (known to locals as Black Lake) in Severn Township.

These surveys would not be possible without the support from the Township, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, cottage associations and the SSEA.  Tonight I would like to recognize Bill Sweenie from Farlain Lake and Scott Marshall from Black Lake for their dedication and hard work on these surveys.

Left to right: Scott Marshall and Bill Sweenie (Photo Credit: Midland Mirror) 

Bill and Scott participated in the original surveys providing the SSEA with detailed background knowledge of the watershed, historical pictures and reports, arranged guided tours and kept us in touch with the events in and around the lake. During 2016 they granted us access to the lakes through their properties and very bravely volunteered to let staff and students use and drive their boat for the 12 sample runs.

Awards table at the 2016 SSEA Partners Reception