Springbank Dam, Thames River, London, ON
After several years of debate on what should happen to the broken Springbank Dam on the Thames River, the City of London’s Civic Works Committee considered the recommended preferred option, a “Free Flowing River”. As the London Free Press said, “After a unanimous vote to recommend decommissioning the dam at Tuesday’s civic works committee, when and how to do it could be the next chapter in the city’s Springbank dam saga. There’s still a rubber-stamping needed from city council next week, but the writing clearly is on the wall”.
The Thames River Anglers Association and the Ontario Rivers Alliance have continued to lobby through many channels to achieve this preferred outcome. In January of 2016 we rallied the support of over 20 organizations representing more than 200,000 members to encourage the City of London to fully decommission Springbank Dam and protect the recovering riverine ecosystem. Again, on January 9th of this year we submitted a joint letter of support to the Civic Works Committee from 16 organizations, businesses and stakeholder individuals – see below:
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The American Eel Needs Your Help! You have an opportunity to support the recovery of a species that has declined by 99% of its original population, has been completely extirpated from extensive areas of its native Ontario range, and is in steep decline where it still exists. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has prepared a Draft Government Response Station for the Recovery of the American Eel in Ontario, and you have until January 11th to sign the Petition below. More information can be found here. To add your own comments just click on the letter and type. Thank you for your help! Continue reading
First, we understand that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is working on a summary document to help the public understand the proposed amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act (CAA) contained in Bill 139. As of the date of this letter, this additional explanatory information is not publicly available and the current deadline for comments is June 30, 2017. The public will better informed about the implications of the proposed amendments with the explanatory document in hand. And, as the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR) provides for “means by which residents of Ontario may participate in the making of environmentally significant decisions by the Government of Ontario” (s2(3)(a)), effective public participation is facilitated by ensuring there is adequate time to consider the potential impacts of the proposed amendments.
Second, as Bill 139 contains more than simply amendments to the CAA, consideration of the impacts has the potential to be complex and warrants more than 30-days for the public to be able to effectively provide feedback. Continue reading
As a potential next step for the Ottawa River, we recommend assessing a suitable location for a ladder at the Carillon Generating Station over the next 1-2 migration seasons coupled with a commitment to providing passage the following year. Studies conducted by Hydro QC and Milieu Inc. in 2001 and 2010 revealed that more elvers approach the southern turbines than northern ones; however, shorelines, the shipping canal, and the spillway were not assessed. It is reasonable to delay installing a permanent ladder until such assessments are completed; however, free passage should be provided by the 2019 migration season. Consideration should be given to translocating elvers captured during such assessments above the Carillon Generating Station. Continue reading
The government’s proposed P2 Plans on triclosan are inadequate to address its continued use in consumer products and presence in the environment. Rather, the government’s proposal will ensure the on-going use of triclosan in consumer products. Unless there is a prohibition of triclosan in personal care products and other consumer products, the substance will continue to be released into the aquatic environment, including the Great Lakes and waterbodies across Canada, creating unnecessary risks to aquatic and terrestrial species. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested data demonstrating that consumer products containing antimicrobial ingredients are effective in their stated purpose – to prevent infections. The FDA did not receive such data and therefore passed its final decision to prohibit the use of triclosan and triclocarban along with 18 other antimicrobial chemicals in consumer antiseptic wash products that are rinsed off after use, including hand washes and body washes, starting in September 2017.20 The State of Minnesota passed a regulation to prohibit the use of triclosan in sanitizing or hand and body cleansing products starting in January 1, 2017.21 If regulatory measures to prohibit the use of triclosan in consumer products are not taken in Canada, it may become a dumping ground for products containing triclosan and other antimicrobial chemicals that are subject to these regulations. Continue reading
The 2015 western Lake Erie algal bloom was the ‘most severe recorded this century’ according to a National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report. Reducing harmful algal blooms on Lake Erie will require a combination of improved data and monitoring, the implementation of innovative practices on the ground, and stronger community engagement– all requiring additional financial resources. Continue reading