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.
Walk To Save Southern Ontario’s Vanishing Forests.
By John Bacher
Today we have a bizarre situation where hard wrested environmental progress is being turned back. This is the shrinking of Southern Ontario’s forests, in the fertile agricultural area south of the Canadian Shield.
Following the invasion of what was called Upper Canada there was a rampant destruction through burning of the forests of the land which, after Confederation, became called Ontario. Most of these forests were used to produce ashes, to manufacture soap and other products manufactured in Europe. It took sixty large maple trees to produce a single barrel of potash to be shipped across the sea.
Trees improve air and water quality, and mitigate climate change. Help green our communities! No experience necessary, there will be demonstrations on site. Gloves, shovels, and light refreshments will be provided. Students are eligible for volunteer hours.
Where: McLaughlin Valley (see map on flyer). Major intersection is McLaughlin Road N. and Williams Parkway.
When: Saturday, September 6, 2014
Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Who: Everyone is welcome! Bring your friends and family!
Join us for Paradise Beach Project planting event September 20, 2014
Sierra Club, Town of Ajax and Toronto and Region Conservation are psyched to plant native plants and trees on Paradise Beach bioswales as part of the Great Canadian Coastal Clean-up Saturday, September 20th.
'What's a bioswale?' you may ask. A bioswale is a way of filtering surface water by channeling through plants, gravel or rip-rap and slowing it down. Silt and particulate matter will fall out and the plants in the bioswale help take out nutrients and chemicals, for instance automotive run-off from a parking lot. The plants and soil do this work for free for our benefit!
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.
Saturday Nov. 16 a group of volunteers in Peel brought a strong message to local MP's in Brampton. We participated in a "Bike for the Climate" event, riding the Etobicoke Creek Trail from MP Parm Gill's office to MP Kyle Seeback's office. We carried signs with the message that we don't want dirty tar sands or leaky pipelines running through our communities. We invited both MPs to participate but they didn't respond to our invitation.
At our next Sierra Peel Group meeting guest speaker Susan Robertson of The Credit Valley Heritage Society will tell us about the proposal for a continuous trail along the Credit River from Mississauga to Caledon. There are some beautiful lengths of trail along the Credit and many people are working to connect them. According to Credit Valley Conservation, "Trails in the Credit Valley Watershed cover a wide variety of geographical features, including the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment, providing picturesque settings for a leisurely stroll or a challenging, rugged hike." The CVC website has a great page organizing maps of the trails and what to expect on them: http://www.creditvalleyca.ca/enjoy-the-outdoors/activities/trails/. Come learn more about the plans to make these trails contiguous, more accessible and enjoyable for all.
Sierra Club's Waste Diversion Expert, Rob Muir, continues to emphasize the necessity of waste diversion to combat climate change. Local government has an important role in making it happen, however, the key is developing sustainable consumer behaviour. We need to be more conscious of how resources are used, the products we consume, and how we deal with our waste.
Watch Rob's video on Ottawa's Green Bin Program here.
The Star published an article Energy board proposal for fixed hydro rates called “Robin Hood in Reverse” in the Business section on Tuesday. In a recent draft report, the Ontario Energy Board proposes a fixed monthly rate for utilities rather than charging households by how much power is consumed. Sierra Club Canada is a founding member of the Green Energy Coalition (GEC). “It is Robin Hood in reverse,” argues a letter from the GEC.