[Great] Lakes Roadtrip 2022 – Part 2 of 3  

By: Christine Drader 

From March 21st to 30th Christine from the Turtle Island Conservation and Adopt-A-Pond programs joined Michelle and Annie from the Great Lakes Program on the first ever Great Lakes Roadtrip! They travelled to 10 destinations province-wide and met with 11 conservation partners (10 in person and one virtual) to livestream educational conservation content every week day to a pre-registered list of classrooms and First Nations partners.  

These livestreams were only accessible to those who had pre-registered for the program but are now live on the Zoo’s YouTube channel, where they can be accessed by all members of the public here: The [Great] Lakes Roadtrip 2022 

Every day of the trip, Christine wrote a quick diary entry to summarize the day. This blogpost is 2 of 3 that recap this trip! 

Friday, March 25th 

This morning we visited the Invasive Species Centre in Sault Ste. Marie. Rebecca, Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist, and Leanna, Aquatic Invasive Species Intern, joined us to speak on invasive Quagga and Zebra Mussels in the Great Lakes. They had a demonstration in their lab on water testing techniques and showed us the “hot cross bun” veliger Zebra mussels under the microscope.  

Invasive Mussel Science – The [Great] Lakes Roadtrip Live 

A picture of Rebecca, Annie, and Leanna in front of the lab equipment used in the livestream. 

We also hosted a virtual pre-recorded video plus LIVE Q&A interview with Dr. Happel from SHEDD Aquarium in Chicago. He spoke about his research surrounding urban aquatic ecosystems in the Chicago River. 

Urban Aquatic Ecosystems – The [Great] Lakes Roadtrip Live 

That’s a wrap on week one’s LIVE videos! This weekend we will be filming with Garden River First Nation and Shawanaga First Nation and their videos will be going live next week.  

Saturday, March 26th 

Today we headed over to Garden River First Nation to meet with Aaron, the Fish and Wildlife Coordinator for their Lands Department. Aaron was very hospitable and made us fresh cedar tea with maple sugar water for added sweetness that was locally made. He spoke to us about the invasive sea lamprey and even had two live ones to show us! He also put one on his arm to show their powerful suction ability (don’t worry it didn’t hurt!). Another favourite of our roadtrip crew was Aaron’s dog, Oakley, who made a guest appearance on our recording. Looking forward to broadcasting it on Monday! 

The Invasive Sea Lamprey The Great Lakes Roadtrip Live 

After recording (and playing lots with Oakley), we headed to our next stop Parry Sound. Tomorrow we won’t be filming in town, but instead heading to Shawanaga First Nation to meet with our new friend Carter.  

Sunday, March 27th 

Today we got up bright and early in –10C weather to film with Carter, the Sturgeon Research Coordinator and Community Liaison for Shawanaga First Nation. Despite the cold weather, the drive out was absolutely beautiful, with views of the Canadian Shield, marshlands, and series of lakes and streams. Carter shared the work that Shawanaga First Nation does with Sturgeon, their importance in the community, as well as even did a demo in the stream of the field equipment he uses! He also shared some other conservation projects Shawanaga First Nation does, including the Walleye hatchery, pictured below.  

Outside Shawanaga First Nation’s Walleye Hatchery. We filmed the interview behind the hatchery, with beautiful views of the nearby stream.  

Aquatic SAR + Community Conservation – The [Great] Lakes Roadtrip 2022

After filming with Carter, we proceeded on a looooooong drive to Windsor, where we have 3 scheduled videos go up on Monday, March 28th! First, the video with Aaron and Garden River First Nation at 10:00AM, an interview with the Pitcher Lab at LaSalle Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre at 11:00AM, and then lastly the International Joint Commission 1:00PM.  

And that is a wrap on our weekend of the #GreatLakesRoadtrip2022.This blogpost is 2 of 3 that recaps this trip. Be sure to keep an eye out for future blogposts for more exciting stories, pictures behind the scenes, and information about the trip!