My Watermark is Lake Huron, ON.
The lake sprawls across the grand bend, upon which my cottage is located. The beaches in Southampton, Ontario provide fine, smooth sand for sunbathers and swimmers to relax on during the scorching August afternoons. The water, while clear, varies in cleanliness from the beach to beach. The water is shallow, allowing beachgoers to frolic in the water far from the sandy dunes. Lake Huron is not only a fantastic place for leisure, but it also serves as a fishing spot for anglers of all skill levels. The lake is often used by boats for watersports and is a great way to travel through cottage country.
Lake Huron has always been a spot for my family and me to relax and enjoy some peaceful time away from the city. The small town we frequent during the long summer months is set on the beautiful lake, which serves as of centrepiece for the town. My cottage is a place I hold dear to my heart, and the memories I have made on and around Lake Huron will persist with me for decades to come.
One interesting landmark set near Lake Huron is the Bruce Power Plant, one of Canada’s only nuclear power plants. While this plant provides jobs and energy to the surrounding community, it proved to be quite a nuisance four years ago. It was in 2013 when the plant proposed a “Deep Geologic Repository,” (DGR) for storing the toxic waste produced as a by-product of the nuclear reactors. The proposal going through meant that the waste would be stored in close proximity to the plant, meaning that there was a risk of it seeping into the lake and surrounding waterways. Southampton reacted in staunch opposition to the proposal, protesting the waste dump and eventually delaying the DGR, which is pending further approval. A second factor that puts the lake at risk is the rapidly decaying water quality. When my family first came to Southampton when I was about 10, there was never any fear of bacteria or other harmful substances. However in the past few years, most particularly in 2016 and 2017, there have been serious doubts about swimming in the lake after heavy rainfall. Signs now dot the once bare beaches of Southampton, warning swimmers about the risk of bacteria and sickness when swimming in Lake Huron after heavy rainfall or strong winds. There has been larger algae growth in the lake too in the recent years which is potentially the cause of the increase in bacteria. Simply put, Lake Huron is changing and not for the better and it makes me hope that the town of Southampton, the Province of Ontario and the people of Canada can do something to return it to what it once was.