Nipigon Bay is situated at the northernmost point of Lake Superior. The Nipigon Bay Area of Concern encompasses the majority of Nipigon Bay and a portion of Lake Superior’s largest tributary, the Nipigon River. Nipigon Bay was designated as an Area of Concern in the 1980s primarily as a result of impacts related to the upstream hydroelectric dams; the accumulation of wood fibre, bark, and other organic matter from historic log drives, and effluent inputs from municipal and industrial sources.
Stage 1 of the Nipigon Bay Remedial Action Plan (RAP) was completed in 1991. This report summarized environmental conditions and identified 10 ecological impairments (3 of which required further assessment). In 1995, Stage 2 of the RAP was completed and a plan was implemented to rehabilitate the identified impairments. This report also acknowledged the removal of 5 of the initial impairments, including: tainting of fish and wildlife, body burdens of fish, fish tumors and other deformities, body burdens of benthic organisms, and restrictions of dredging activities.
Over the years, many programs have been implemented to enhance fish and wildlife communities, and to rehabilitate degraded aquatic and terrestrial habitat. Some of the major efforts undertaken include: the cleanup of historic spawning grounds along the lower Nipigon River, the restoration of Clear Water Creek, the development of a Nipigon River Water Management Plan, the implementation of a successful adult walleye stocking program, and a habitat overlay component to the development of the Red Rock Marina.
The Remedial Action Plan Team is currently in the process of reviewing the remedial actions implemented to date and assessing the status of the remaining ecological impairments.
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