Rotary Islands

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As, you walk, bike, boat or drive near the south shore of Kempenfelt Bay in Barrie, you can't miss a pair of large islands forming a sheltered lagoon about halfway between the Tiffin Street boat launch ramp and the South Shore Centre. These were created by the Rotary Club of Barrie to meet a number of environmental and educational needs.

An early 1990's report, commissioned by the City, revealed a major deterioration of natural shoreline habitat - essential to the survival of many fish and wildlife species in and around the waters of the bay. So, in 1997/98, the Club's newly formed Environmental Committee - with the backing of the City, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the full club membership and the assistance of the Barrie Construction Association - embarked on the creation of a highly visible and functional habitat restoration project.

Two large barrier islands were built on a relatively sterile and shallow shelf of lake bottom near the south shore. This created a sheltered lagoon suited to the spawning, shelter and feeding needs of native fish, waterfowl, amphibians and small mammals. The islands were surrounded by large clean boulders and in-water logs. Hundreds of shrubs, low profile trees and herbaceous plants were planted by club members - and a commemorative plaque and viewing benches were installed on the mainland.

The Rotary Club of Barrie is proud of its achievement in demonstrating how and why the lakeshore and the health of Lake Simcoe can and must be managed to restore and sustain this irreplaceable resource.