Campaign Aims To Fix Echo Bay Viewing Platform

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Photo by Val Walker

Access to the Echo Bay Viewing Platform the past few summers has been difficult. High water levels in the Great Lakes have flooded the roadway leading up to it, making it near impossible to get through unless you are prepared with chest waders. This platform, located at the north end of Lake Street in Echo Bay, was originally built by funding that the Sault Naturalists received from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. It overlooks a beautiful cattail marsh with open water beyond it. We want to ensure that access to the platform is available to everyone.

The plan is to purchase an adjustable docking from Fendock to put down over the flooded portion of the pathway and make the platform easily accessible. We have received permission from both the local township and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to do this, so the next step is to come up with the funding.

The Sault Naturalists have already committed $3,260 towards this project and have secured a generous donation of lumber for the dock’s decking from Sault College. We need your help to come up with the remaining $5,000 that is needed to make this happen. Donations can be sent via e-transfer to [email protected] or via cheque to:

Sault Naturalists
P.O. Box 20040, EAST END PO
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
P6A 6W3

Please reference this project when donating so that your contribution is allocated appropriately.

The platform is one of the top birding locations in the Algoma District. In the spring, the open water is full of staging waterfowl and the wetland is alive with the sound of singing birds. Seldom seen birds like Soras, Virginia Rails, and American Bitterns can be commonly heard from here. You might get lucky and also hear a Least Bittern! In 2018, a single Common Gallinule, a very rare bird for the area, was heard here repetitively over the spring and into the summer. Then in 2019, two gallinules were present and it turned out that they successfully bred, as at least three juvenile birds were spotted in the late summer. Two adults were back again in 2020, although it was never confirmed if they were successful at breeding or not. In total, 187 different species of birds have been recorded here over the years.

 

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