My Watermark is Georgian Bay, ON
Georgian Bay is a large bay of Lake Huron, and is located in Ontario. The bay is home to over 30,000 islands, and covers over 15,000 square kilometers, making it nearly 80% the size of Lake Ontario. This immense bay is comprised of vast stretches of open water, astonishing formations of rocks and islands of the Canadian Shield and is swept with the green of the pines. The bay is inhabited by a myriad of different species, interacting in complex and diverse ecosystems. Georgian Bay was also the former home of many Native Canadians, and there is a deep history of their culture rooted in every inch of the bay. Most the islands are privately owned or publically accessible, yet there are also conservation areas and Native reserves.
For the last 12 years of my life, I have been lucky enough to own a cottage on Georgian Bay. My cottage was on a small island, called Present Island, just outside of Honey Harbour. This cottage was my home away from home, and I spent as much time as possible up there as a child. My time at Present Island was where I really started to appreciate nature in all its beauty. Although my cottage was nothing extravagant, it was still imperative in my personal development. It was also where I learned how to swim, canoe, kayak and even drive a boat. My days were filled with exploration of the island, interacting with the amazing landscape, and even boating over to the Beausoleil island conservation to truly yield to nature. Georgian Bay has truly been imperative in my character development.
Although Georgian Bay has one of the most beautiful natural landscapes I’ve ever experienced, there are many threats to its sustainability. To begin with, invasive species have recently begun to threaten the diverse ecosystem, and endanger many species that are already at risk. Since Georgian Bay is so breathtaking, development has started to become a large threat as cottages and even resorts are built. These buildings pollute the environment during construction, and also destroy current habitats for animals. Farmers around the bay have also been slowly destroying the bay as their runoff poses large issues for the bay, such as eutrophication. All these threats are mostly slow acting, yet all their effects are cumulative, and if they continue for too long the impacts will be detrimental.