Sixteen Mile Creek, ON - Michael Herlich

My name is Michael Herlich. I'm from Burlington Ontario. My position with McKeil Marine is second mate on the tugs. I've been there six and a half years now.

My most powerful memory I’d say, one that stands out in my mind is probably when I was in grade 7 or 8 I can’t remember it's been so long. Anyway, getting near year end it’s customary to have a party - a class party. And so some of us fellas decided that we would have it down at the creek, 16 Mile Creek that's in Bronte its part of Oakville. We thought this would be just fine and dandy we’ll all go swimming at the creek we’ll make a day out of it it would be great. So anyway our teacher, I can’t remember her name, she did some homework on it and she kinda vetoed the idea and said look, you know maybe this is not the way we should go. So we had long faces but it was ok too so you know that's the way it was it wasn’t going to happen. So anyway it was the weekend I remember and a few of us fellas said let's drive down to the creek on our bicycles so yes that's what young guys do. And when we got there there was talk and we should have done this and no reason why not. In that area, there were some old abutments and that was a sitting spot a looking spot a diving spot a whatever into the creek. And so when we got there we were about to jump in and go for a swim and up through the water comes a lamprey eel about this long. We all knew what a lamprey eel was we didn’t like the look of it. Let's say nobody went in the water that day. We went back home and we mentioned that to the teacher and we were actually quite happy that we didn’t go down there for the party. We learned a little bit about invasive species in our lakes. What can happen just by and things happen. Lamprey eel was brought - I don’t know the exact year, but it was brought up by ships coming up here in the ballast tanks and anyway there you go. There's our beautiful creek, couldn’t swim in it didn’t want to swim in it. And I think some measures have been taken up to date, help the problem, solved the problem, done something about the problem so it's all good. And one of the student's parents offered their pool for the Christmas party which went off without a hitch so that's my story.

Well water to me is so important because it sustains life. And water will surpass every known chemical or precious stone or gem, diamonds, gold, rubies it doesn’t matter. Water is actually more important than any of them and all of them put together. It keeps us all alive and we need it you can live without the other stuff, you need water to survive so we should be taking care of it as best we can. I think.

My favourite place water wise that I like to swim is in the Cook Island South Pacific in the lagoon. Beautiful spot the island, the main island is surrounded by a reef so you’re in sheltered waters and its literally like swimming in a fish tank a saltwater tank. colours, coral, fish, it's unbelievable, best experience I’ve ever had swimming in my life.

Interviewer: “No lampreys?”

No, no. Blue starfish, beautiful colours, like I say you’re in the fish tank and it's so awesome.
 

Organization
McKeil Marine
Contributor
Michael Herlich

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