A Growing Team for TIA’s Environmental Pillar
2021 will mark the 87th year that the Thousand Islands Association (TIA) has played an important role in River Safety, Community Support and more recently, Environmental Awareness. Our love for the area and our continued passion for the people and places we all appreciate so much has always been a key driver behind the work we do. As we embark on another season in the Thousand Islands region, TIA is happy to share that we have assembled a terrific and diverse group of both Board Members and volunteers who have stepped up to help grow our Environmental commitment this coming summer.
TIA Board member Janet Smith-Staples is excited to announce that well known Wildlife Conservation Artist and local Gananoque resident, Stuart Arnett has agreed to help her co-chair our Environmental Pillar in 2021. Dave McWilliam (Grass Creek Resident, Retired after 40 yrs. in Environmental Health, Queens Graduate.) has also offered to lend a hand to our environmental efforts this year and is a fantastic source of information. Beyond this, TIA also welcomes Annabel Cowan (McGill B.A. Environment student), Adam Scott (University of Guelph B.Sc in Ecology) and David Spies (Howe Island, Carleton University undergrad Law and an original member of the Ottawa chapter of Protect Our Winters) to our environmental team. The addition of these “younger” voices will give TIA a much broader perspective of the challenges and opportunities within our environmental pillar.
Janet and Stuart are both looking forward to continuing the hard work and expanding the Environmental platform created by Britton Bedford-Jones and his team last summer. This included a river cleanup day and the installation of a number of Turtle Spas just off of Mudlunta Island. The anchored logs were tucked into the shoreline and providing a perfect spot for the turtles to sun themselves. Within minutes of being placed, the logs were populated with an assortment of happy turtles.
In the coming weeks you will also notice a substantial change to the look, information and vision of our environmental efforts on the TIA website. Work is being done as we speak on increasing the content of our website in conjunction with ramping up our Social Media efforts on all fronts, with a focus on our environmental pillar. It is TIA’s objective to become a trusted source for all things environmental here in the Thousand Islands region with help and guidance from organizations such as Save The River (Clayton NY), The Minna Antony Nature Center (Wellesley Island State Park) and Parks Canada.
If you’ve been lucky enough to spot a Bald Eagle as of late you are witnessing one of what we are calling ‘returning species’. This iconic bird is back in large part due to the efforts of the St. Lawrence Bald Eagle Working Group (an international organization devoted to the recovery of the bald eagle in this region.) Bud Andress who was co-chair of this organization wrote a great article for the Thousand Islands Life online magazine back in 2010. Flash forward to 2021 and we are seeing Bald Eagles more regularly. Here’s a link to the article
With spring just a few short weeks away (positive thinking), TIA’s environmental team is working on several community ideas and events that all speak to improving the environment we all enjoy. Initial ideas include 2nd annual River Clean up day, expired flare collection, and possible Zoom presentation on invasive species and what we can do about it. Be sure to keep an eye out on our social media platforms for up to date events and information in the coming months!
In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy and be sure to get out for a socially distanced walk in your environment, wherever that may be in the moment.
Why Your Membership Matters
TIA is the only organization placing shoal markers for the River Community - this is an essential service. Our mission of river safety is to heighten boater’s awareness of some dangerous shoals to avoid . TIA strongly encourages all boaters to use navigation charts when navigating the St. Lawrence River. Please be a TIA supporter, we rely on membership dues & donations to be sustainable.