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Great Lakes Article:

Lake focus of student symposium
By Chen Chekki
The Chronicle-Journal (ON)
Published May 15, 2005

Lake Superior is considered “very important” to Heidi Mitchell.

The 16-year-old Thunder Bay resident said Saturday that the lake is what makes Thunder Bay famous.

“It’s kind of what puts us on the map,” she said, while attending the second-last day of the four-day Lake Superior Youth Symposium hosted by Sir Winston Churchill high school.

“It’s like, Lake Superior, whoa.”

The school is hosting the sixth-ever gathering of about 150 students from Grades 7 to 12 and their teachers to encourage better citizenship to protect and preserve the health of the Great Lakes.

Students living in places near the lake came to the conference from Thunder Bay as well as Wawa, Marathon, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Human activity has hurt rivers that run into the lake, said Karen Watt, an organizer of the event. She said pesticides used at home can pollute ground water and bigger waterways.

Watt said all conference delegates brought a sample of lake water with them from wherever they live and planned to mix the water and release it into the lake at Marina Park.

As it’s the first time the conference was held in Thunder Bay, students received a tour of such key natural sites in the area as Eagle Canyon, Kakabeka Falls and the Sleeping Giant.

An environmental presentation at Bowater and a tour of the Lakehead University’s Paleo-DNA Lab were included.

Lifestyle tips that could help better protect the environment were also introduced, such as the importance of recycling, buying products with less packaging and reusing plastic bags.

And there was scheduled entertainment by the “New” Kam Valley Fiddlers, Satu’s Belly Dancing and Iain Gill, to name a few performers.

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