Urban Tributaries: That Creek the Kids Play in Is Filthy

Mike Ripley, geologist with the Inter-Tribal Fisheries Assessment Program takes us on an adventure over the pristine West Davignon Creek Falls through the poopy canal water of Fort Creek and then into the St. Mary’s River. Sault, Ontario isn’t alone in this mess. Mike crosses the border to find out what’s happening with urban tributaries in Sault, Michigan and it’s not much prettier. But don’t despair there’s a way to fix all of this and Mike tells us how.
For many years, the governments on both sides of the border have been working to clean up the St. Marys River that was labeled a “toxic hot spot” in the 1980’s due to things like industrial pollution, raw sewage overflows and destruction of the great St. Marys Rapids.  A large, international study in the ‘80’s revealed that as much as 10,000 kg of oil and grease were being dumped into the river from Algoma Steel each day!  And that was just one pollutant, there were also thousands of kilograms of cyanide, phenols from the paper plant, heavy metals and wood fiber being discharged directly into the river.  Since that time millions of dollars of corporate and taxpayers money has been spent to clean things up and today water quality in the St. Marys River has greatly improved (except for the huge amounts of toxic sediments that still remain on the bottom of the Canadian side of the river).