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Media & News Release

Stop the invasion and save the shoreline: Volunteers needed to rid shoreline of invasive Phragmites

UTOPIA, Ontario (August 3, 2018) - Phragmites, an invasive plant, is spreading along Collingwood’s shoreline. With its tall, dense stands, Phragmites is destroying wildlife habitat, ruining scenic views of the bay, and limiting opportunities for swimming, fishing and boating. Volunteers are needed to help “Fight the Phrag” on August 18 in Collingwood near Hen and Chicken Island. Now in its fourth year, this annual event brings the community together to stand up against the unwelcome invader.
Two work parties are planned, one starting at 8:00 am and one starting at 1:00 pm. A free BBQ lunch will be provided to all volunteers.

No experience is necessary to volunteer, and training and tools will be provided. Volunteers should expect to spend the day outside and in the water, and should bring sunscreen, a hat, drinking water, clothes that can get wet, and sturdy footwear. This event is eligible for high school volunteer hours.

To register or find out more information, visit or contact Vicky Boyd, NVCA’s Phragmites Removal Coordinator, 705-424-1479 ext. 246,

This event is part of the efforts of NVCA, Georgian Bay Forever, Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation, the Town of Collingwood, local condominium associations, and concerned residents to monitor and control Phragmites. Over the past four years, volunteer cuttings have slowed the spread of Phragmites along the shoreline, helping to protect the rare Great Lakes coastal marshes found in Collingwood.

Funding for this project is provided by the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund, WWF Loblaw Water Fund, Environment and Climate Change Canada EcoAction program, Georgian Bay Forever, and others.

More information on Phragmites can be found on the NVCA website ( To report a sighting of Phragmites, contact the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or use your smartphone to report at

About NVCA: The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority is a public agency dedicated to the preservation of a healthy environment through specialized programs to protect, conserve and enhance our water, wetlands, forests and lands.

Media contact: Heather Kepran, Communications Coordinator 705-424-1479 ext. 254,


July 26, 2018

(Town of The Blue Mountains) The Town completed a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment in July 2017 for the management of leachate generated at the Town’s Solid Waste Disposal Site. The preferred solution is to pipe the leachate to the Thornbury Wastewater Treatment Plant. Leachate is liquid collected within the landfill cell. Until the pipe is constructed, the leachate is trucked to a receiving station in Craigleith. The Town was successful in receiving a $2.3 million grant under the Municipal Greenhouse Gas Challenge Fund, a program aimed at reducing climate change related emissions.

The Town received correspondence from the province July 10, 2018 that the program has been cancelled and that the grant monies are now withdrawn however, some wind-down funding may be available. The Town project is only part way through the design phase. Construction was planned to commence in early 2019.

Town Council will consider a Staff Report regarding next steps at a Special Meeting of Council July 31, 2018.

For more Information Contact:
Jeff Fletcher
Manager of Solid Waste & Special Projects
Town of The Blue Mountains
(519) 599-3131 ext. 238
For Media Inquiries Contact:
Shawn Everitt
Interim Chief Administrative Officer
Town of The Blue Mountains
(519) 599-3131 ext. 234

Grey Bruce Health Unit issues Lyme Disease update

July 18, 2018

Lyme Disease Update

A blacklegged tick collected in Northern Bruce Peninsula has tested positive for the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi that causes Lyme disease. Lyme disease is spread by the bite of blacklegged ticks carrying B. burgdorferi. Blacklegged ticks are most often found in forests, wooded areas, shrubs, tall grass and leaf piles. The risk of Lyme disease increases the longer the tick has been attached (e.g., more than 24 hours). There have been no confirmed cases of Lyme disease in humans in Grey and Bruce Counties in 2018.

The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by a tick. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends the following tips when heading outside to areas where ticks can be found:

  • Use bug spray with DEET or Icaridin (always follow directions).
  • Wear closed-toe shoes, long sleeves and pants.
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants, and your pants into your socks.
  • Walk on paths.
  • Do a daily full body tick check on yourself, your children, your pets, and your gear.
  •  Shower or bathe within two hours of being outdoors.
  • Put your clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes.

If you find a tick on yourself or a family member, immediately remove it with a pair of fine-tip tweezers. Ticks can be submitted to health care providers or the Grey Bruce Health Unit for identification. Ticks identified as blacklegged will be tested for B. burgdorferi.

Please speak to your health care provider if a tick has bitten you and are concerned about your health. Early detection of Lyme disease is very important. If caught early, Lyme disease can be treated effectively with antibiotics. Symptoms may occur 3 to 30 days after you have been bitten, including: rash (sometimes shaped like a bull’s eye), fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and muscle pain. If untreated, in weeks or months after a bite, more severe symptoms could develop, including severe headaches, facial paralysis, joint paint, and nervous system disorders (e.g., dizziness, mental confusion, nerve pain, etc.).

If you find a tick on your dog or cat and are concerned, please consult with your veterinarian. Regular tick checks and prompt removal are also important for pets.

More information on Lyme disease and tips to reduce your risk is available at:

Government of Canada

Public Health Ontario

Public Health Agency of Canada

For more information:

Stephanie Nickels
Grey Bruce Health Unit
519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext. 1229

(Town of The Blue Mountains) Although rainfall has reduced the fire hazard rating in our area, open air burning is not recommended by The Town of The Blue Mountains Fire Department.
Barbeques burning charcoal, propane or natural gas may be used for cooking purposes, permitted they are supervised at all times and securely positioned on a noncombustible surface.
Small, contained campfires used for cooking purposes are also permitted, under the following conditions:

  • The fire is contained in a pit
  • The materials to be burned are clean wood only
  • The fire pit does not exceed 1 meter in diameter or 0.75 meters in height
  • The pit is a minimum of 10 meters from any building, overhead wires and combustible vegetation
  • A means of extinguishment is on site
  • The fire is supervised at all times by a competent person
  • The fire is completely extinguished when it is not supervised

In the event the fire department is requested to respond to open air burning complaints where these requirements have not been met or the fire is out of control, the fire will be extinguished and a user fee charged to the owner of the property in accordance with By-law 2017-7, B.31.

If you require further information please contact the Blue Mountains Fire Department during normal business hours at 519-599-5411.

For more Information Contact:
AJ Lake
Deputy Fire Chief – Fire Station 1
Town of The Blue Mountains
Fire Station – 519-599-5411
(519) 599-3131 ext. 104
Email the Deputy Fire Chief - Fire Station 1

For Media Inquiries Contact:
Shawn Everitt
Interim Chief Administrative Officer
Town of The Blue Mountains
(519) 599-3131 ext. 234
Email the Interim Chief Administrative Officer

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will be performing equipment maintenance on the Thornbury Dam.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will be performing equipment maintenance on the Thornbury Dam on July 4, 2018 which will involve lowering the water lever by 2.5 metres for a portion of the day. 

Continued work is proposed for the week of July 16, 2018.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at the Owen Sound Offices (519-376-3860). 

Grey Bruce Public Health Unit issues Media Release regarding Heat Advisory

June 29 2018

Heat Advisory

With predicted extreme temperatures, Public Health advises people to take care against heat related illness.

Heat and humidity heighten the risk of heat related illnesses including heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

People who are experiencing physical distress because of the heat should seek medical attention.

Municipalities across Grey and Bruce are opening public buildings as cooling centres. These centers provide good opportunities to get out of the heat and cool down for a little while. Contact your local municipality to find out about cooling centers in your area.

Here are some tips to help keep you cool:

Drink plenty of fluids. Water is your best choice. Choose drinks that do not contain alcohol or high amounts of sugar as they can cause you to lose body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks as they can cause stomach cramps.

Stay cool indoors. Keep shades drawn over sun-facing windows and use fans to move the air. Close windows during the day and open at night to allow circulation of cool air if nighttime temperatures are cool enough. If you do not have air conditioning at home, spend a few hours at a library, cinema, mall or other building that is kept cool during the day. Take a cool shower or bath. Use your stove and oven less often.

Dress lightly. Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothes, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Use sunscreen and lip balm with a SPF of 30 or higher.

Limit outdoor activity. Plan your day to limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest in the shade. If working outside, schedule your heaviest work during the coolest part of the day.

Pace yourself. Rest frequently to allow your body to cool.

Be a friend. At work, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do that for you. Check with family, friends and neighbours, especially elderly neighbours, at least once a day. It is important to have regular contact with people who have difficulty dealing with heat.

Use common sense. Do not leave infants, children or pets in a parked car. Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets and leave the water in a shady area.

For further information, look on our website under Climate Change

For more information:

Jasjeet Bola
Manager, Health Hazard
Grey Bruce Health Unit
519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext. 1518

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