Posted: March 11, 2021
For Release: Immediately
March 11, 2021
South Bruce, ON – Every year we hear the terrifying and sometime tragic news that someone has been on or near what they thought were safe waterways. Floods can occur at any time of the year. However, the risks of flooding are higher in the spring with increased water levels from snowmelt and frozen or saturated soils. Further, at this time of the year temperatures rise above freezing and the sun’s rays are stronger making ice safety unpredictable. Generally, March and April in Grey and Bruce Counties are not appropriate months to be on the ice with its thickness being questionable. Of additional concern is the fast moving, cold water. Children are naturally drawn to water and with the cold temperatures, unpredictable ice conditions and slippery banks, this could spell disaster.
For over thirty years, education staff from Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority (SVCA) have presented flood safety programs to elementary schools in its watershed. To date, over 50,000 children have participated in these programs and can attest to the importance of staying away from dangerous waterways. This programming is interactive with demonstrations designed to teach students how a flood happens, SVCA’s role in flood forecasting and warning, and hands-on experiments about the effects of hypothermia; all to ensure the message is being understood. This year, SVCA has shared this important message with our Wild Encounters Outdoor School participants at Sulphur Spring Conservation Area. While we will not be presenting the program in-person in schools this year, local community youth groups are encouraged to register and participate in these free programs offered throughout March and April.
Parents, please take the time to remind your children to stay safe and stay well away from waterways at this time of the year. Melting winter snow combined with the spring rainfall can result in shifting ice and fast rising floodwaters. If you are interested in booking a Flood Waters and You Student Safety Program, please contact Nancy Griffin, Conservation Education Coordinator, Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, (519) 369-4706 (cell).
Photo: 12-year-old Daelyn Darian tests the zero-degree water in a hypothermia experiment at the Wild Encounters Outdoor School, Sulphur Spring Conservation Area [Credit: SVCA].
Photo: 6-year-old Wyatt Eagles tests the zero-degree water in a hypothermia experiment at the Wild Encounters Outdoor School, Sulphur Spring Conservation Area and found it too cold for his liking [Credit: SVCA].
Photo: Wild Encounters Outdoor School students Ben Whaling and Zachary Crawford perform snow surveys as part of a lesson on flooding [Credit: SVCA]
For more information, please contact:
Nancy Griffin, Conservation Education Coordinator
Phone: 519-369-4706 (cell)