This article posted in Niagara At Large was written by John Bacher, who works with Greenbelt Program team at Sierra Club of Canada Foundation. The article depicts the darker side of urban sprawl and pollution on watershed quality, and how stopping urban sprawl is an imperative step in protecting our waters. Read the article here.
The provincial government is hosting a series of public consultations for the review of the province’s land use plans. So if you love the Greenbelt and want to protect our waters, now is the time to attend a Town Hall near your to voice your opinions.
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.
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.
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.
Dr John Cherry, a hydrogeologist with the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), says fracking wells in Canada aren't built for the long haul; they tend to spring leaks.
"In my view, well integrity is likely the most important shale gas issue," said Dr Cherry in Toronto, Thursday, May 29. Dr Cherry chaired the CCA's expert panel on understanding the environmental impacts of shale gas extraction (fracking). This panel released its report in early May.
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!
Photo: Urban Sprawl on Oak Ridges Moraine threatens health of Lake Ontario. By: Mary Lou Bacher
The province of Ontario is engaged in what is termed a decade long review of the Greenbelt Plan and its complimentary legislation, Places to Grow. (the latter is intended to provide higher densities so that sprawl does not jam up against urban boundaries). A public meeting on the review, appropriately enough in a location accessible to cyclists, walkers and transit, is being held on March 30, from 6 to 9pm at the central Yonge Street Toronto Public Library.
The recent death of a prophetic voice of concern for the earth, Dr. Mike Carr, should give some guidance to the deliberations of the public. It is to be fervently hoped that as many people cram into the Toronto Reference Library to give voice to concerns for the fate of the planet as occupied St. James Cathedral square.
ACER (Association for Canadian Educational Resources) has a number of programs but one very special one is their use of citizen scientists to collect climate change data. This year ACER is planting a number of sites to restore forests around Lake Ontario and is seeking volunteers to plant and help with monitoring of trees. Their Riparian Rangers program.
As a volunteer for Riparian Rangers Mississauga you will gain hands-on knowledge concerning the restoration and monitoring of riparian ecosystems. Specifically, volunteers will clean the sites so they are free from litter, identify and remove invasive species, as well as measure and monitor 10% of each tree species that has been planted in terms of growth and health.
Volunteers will be needed for two restoration sites:
"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.