Thunder Bay

Sailing family says climate change evident on Lake Superior

A Minnesota family is in Thunder Bay today to share a story of life on a sailboat while studying climate change.

Gordon family presents their observations in Thunder Bay

At a presentation in Thunder Bay on Monday, Katya and Mark Gordon and their daughters Lamar and Cedar will share their story of going on sailing adventures and studying climate change. (Supplied)

A Minnesota family is in Thunder Bay on Monday to share a story of life on a sailboat while studying climate change.

Katya Gordon and her husband run Amicus Adventure Sailing, a charter sailing business based in Knife River, Minnesota. They also do community presentations, combining their personal observations with climate change research collected from universities.

They've noticed a longer sailing season on Lake Superior, Gordon said.

It’s a big change from the first time they sailed the big lake in May — over a decade ago.

“I remember resolving, 'I will never go sailing in May on Lake Superior again' ... and just the change we've observed from then until now is almost beyond what we would have imagined,” she said.

"So we've seen the sailing season markedly grow on either end."

In recent years, the family has gone sailing on Superior as early as April.

A few years ago, the family decided to start "Sea Change,” a program that offers college students the chance to sail Lake Superior with them, while they study climate change. They also do community presentations.

"We knew we loved to sail, we knew we loved to take young people sailing, and we just felt a very strong moral pull to do something about climate change,” Gordon said.

The family members are not scientists and have no formal credentials to study climate change. But Gordon said they're building relationships with scientists at various universities and they merge their personal observations with data they collect from those universities.

"We're just regular citizens, so we get our information the same way as everybody else, and what we're learning is that there is a lot of really good information out there if you know how to get it,” Gordon said.

She added she hopes their presentations inspire people to embrace climate change solutions.

The talk will be held between 12:30 and 1:30 on Monday at Lakehead University's Braun Building, Room 1075.

The faculty of Natural Resources Management is hosting the event and they will be sticking around in the Study coffee house on campus to talk the public from 1:30 to 3 p.m.


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