The long awaited report from the US Army Corps of Engineers on how to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes has finally been released. The report evaluates the many waterways connecting the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan –all potential avenues to allow several species of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The 5 year report costing $20M is titled Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS).
Silver and bighead carp already make up about 95% of the biomass in rivers downstream of the Chicago River. Over a century ago Chicago built a canal to reverse the flow of the Chicago River to divert their sewage and stormwater south into the Mississippi rather than their waterfront beaches. The “reversed” Chicago River flow has been supported by two US Supreme Court decisions.
"The Atlantic Salmon and the blue whales are both very precious creatures to our nations," said Chief Claude Jeannotte of Gespeg, Quebec. He spoke in Halifax on behalf of these two struggling species Wednesday, July 16.
Jeannotte was accompanied by four other First Nations chiefs from across Atlantic Canada, all from communities dependent on the, "rich bounty of the Gulf," in the words of Chief P.J Prosper, representing the Migmaq of Nova Scotia. Together they spoke against exploratory drilling at the Old Harry Prospect, located in the Gulf of St Lawrence 80 km off Newfoundland's west coast and 460 metres underwater.
The Old Harry prospect is expected to be drilled in 2015 or 2016, according to the oil and gas company Corridor Resources which presently holds an exploratory license in the region.
SIERRA CLUB URGES PASSAGE OF THE GREAT LAKES PROTECTION ACT
Sierra Club Ontario wishes to congratulate the Government of Ontario for proposing the Great Lakes Protection Act (GLPA). The recent Second Reading passage of the GLPA provides encouragement that the long delayed Act may become law. For this to occur, support will be necessary. As well, time and political agendas come into play as a provincial election is likely in the spring. The immediate business at hand is the committee process leading to Third Reading and the opportunity to strengthen the GLPA to ensure the prioritization of commitments needed to achieve the goal of a Great Lakes that are sustainable with healthy ecosystems.
Sierra Club Ontario supports a GLPA that clearly addresses the priority issues that must dealt with by Ontario and other Great Lakes Governments to achieve the realization of the above goal. These issues include:
Each blue whale has a unique pattern of spots of its back, like a fingerprint or a nametag. These spots allow researchers to identify each whale as either a newcomer, or an old friend.
The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) is a non-profit research organization located on the Gulf of St Lawrence's northern shore and they were the first group to begin long term study of marine mammals in the Gulf. Since their founding in 1979, this group has followed blue whale populations in eastern Canada, the Sea of Cortez and in the waters of Iceland.
MICS has discovered something troubling in the northwest Atlantic blue whale population. Of the 475 individual whales they've identified since their genesis in 1979, only 22 have been calves. This suggests a frighteningly low calving rate for a population already swimming on the brink.
Natural Capital refers to the stock of natural resources and environmental assets, and how they contribute to building healthy communities. The Natural Capital perspective is a way of placing a monetary value on the ecological goods and services to quantify these benefits.
Brampton's ecosystems contain many natural areas and urban green spaces that provide the city with ecological goods and services, which translates to valuable Natural Capital.
Thanks to support from Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Mississauga Community Fund, we are expanding the project by doing walkshops and natural area restoration work throughout Brampton and Mississauga in summer of 2014. Our goal is to educate and engage the community to raise awareness and appreciation for these natural areas.
The Long-Term Energy Plan review now underway in Ontario demands our attention despite its sleep-inducing name. The choices the Wynne government makes will affect your pocket book, our economic competitiveness and the health of our environment.
At its December meeting the City of Mississauga’s Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) passed on to Mississauga Council a recommendation to apply to add the City’s publicly owned Credit River and Etobicoke Creek valley lands to the Greenbelt. The Greenbelt resolution is on the Council agenda for its February 12th meeting. If successful, the Mississauga initiative will be the first addition to the Greenbelt under Ontario’s new Urban River Valley (URV) designation, enacted early last year. It will also mark the expansion of the Greenbelt into Ontario’s second most populous municipality.
Sierra Club Canada's Ontario Chapter was instrumental in the decision by our provincial government to shut down all coal plants. The day has come! Toronto environmental lawyer Dianne Saxe has a nice piece on her website about it:
Goodbye to Nanticoke, and all that coal
by DIANNE SAXE on JANUARY 15, 2014
January 8 marked the last day of operation of the Nanticoke Generating Station, the last operating coal-fired electrical generating facility in southern Ontario. This latest shut down will help mark 2014 as the year Ontario will become a coal-free jurisdiction.