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Georgian Bay and its remarkable '30,000 Islands' area (there is actually closer to 100,000 islands at the last count) is the most extensive freshwater archipelago anywhere in the world. It is an iconic waterscape and ecosystem unique in North America. Yet this iconic landscape and the story it tells of the history of our planet is little known to Canadians despite its proximity to the nation's largest urban area. This book brings together leading geologists, ecologists, artists and archeologists to tell the dramatic and so-far untold story of Georgian Bay from its earliest beginnings in the aftermath of a gigantic meteorite strike when the area was dominated by mountains as large as the Himalayas, to the first appearance of humans during the waning stages of the last ice age some 12,000 years ago when much of the area still lay buried under ice a kilometre thick. Georgian Bay contains the largest freshwater island in the world (Manitoulin); its rocks are as old as 2.5 billion years and the varied topography of its coast and hinterlands have inspired generations of artists, geologists and naturalists and those escaping from the urban cityscapes to seek solace among the white pines that grow out of the rock. Its waterscapes are as legendary as the summer storms that spring out of nowhere investing its treacherous coast with wrecks, stories and tragedies. It is home to a diverse range of plants, fish and other animals including rare reptiles and birds, and sensitive wetlands.
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