Scotch Bonnet Island and Mohawk Island National Wildlife Areas Management Plan: chapter 7

7 Health and safety

Activities along the Great Lakes shoreline and offshore islands pose several health and safety risks. Visitors to these islands often contend with high wind, weather, deep water, rocky shorelines and shoals. In general, visitors to the area must seek and heed specialized knowledge to safely operate in these environments, and obtain the required specialized training and certification.

All reasonable efforts will be made to protect the health and safety of the public. Furthermore, Environment and Climate Change Canada staff will take all reasonable and necessary precautions to assure their own health and safety and that of their co-workers. However, authorized visitors (including researchers and contractors) must make all reasonable efforts to inform themselves of risks and hazards and must be prepared and self-sufficient. Natural areas are inherently dangerous; proper precautions must be taken by visitors, recognizing that Environment and Climate Change Canada neither regularly patrols nor offers services for visitor safety in National Wildlife Area(NWA)s.

Management activities directed at improving health and safety, and at reducing the risk of a hazardous occurrence, may include the following:

  • installation and/or replacement of signs identifying safety precautions, and authorized and prohibited uses;
  • posting of public notices at local boat launches and tourist operations;
  • communication with local tourism bodies, neighbouring landowners and stakeholders;
  • removal of building debris where appropriate;
  • regular site visits will be conducted to monitor facilities and infrastructure. Periodic formal assessments of facilities, infrastructure and site conditions may be performed by federal agencies.

In case of emergency at either NWA, call 911 immediately.

In the event of an environmental emergency or occurrence, please call the 24-hour telephone number below:

Ontario Spills Action Centre
Ontario Ministry of the Environment
Tel.: 416-325-3000 or 1-800-268-6060

Any emergency should be reported immediately to the appropriate responding authorities. Reports should include the date, time and nature of the incident, contact names and information of the reporting party, and other relevant details. Multiple authorities should be advised, if the situation warrants, as soon as possible. Refer to the list of contacts for Scotch Bonnet Island NWA (Appendix 5) and Mohawk Island NWA (Appendix 6).

Non-emergency issues related to security or health and safety issues for Scotch Bonnet Island NWA and Mohawk Island NWA should be reported to:

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Canadian Wildlife Service
Ontario Region
4905 Dufferin Street
Toronto ON M3H 5T4
Telephone: 1-800-668-6767
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