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Category Archives: Endangered Species Act

American Eel Engagement Workshop – Government Response Statement

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


EBR 012-8234 – Safe Harbour Policy under the Endangered Species Act

ORA submits that every effort should be made to avoid the killing, harming or harassment of species at risk; and that Section 7 should not apply to a proponent that was issued an Overall Benefit Permit because their activities were likely to have an adverse effect on a species at risk or their habitat.  A proponent must ensure that healthy compensatory habitat for a species at risk is maintained throughout the life of the Project.

Continue reading


EBR-012-6266 – Government Response Statement for the Spotted Gar

Spotted Gar

Spotted Gar

The Spotted Gar is listed as threatened on the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) list, and is also listed as threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). Fisheries and Oceans Canada has prepared the Recovery Strategy for the Spotted Gar in Canada in 2012 to meets its requirements under SARA. This recovery strategy was also adopted under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), with several additional survey locations included. Continue reading


Help save the American Eel by completing Survey

Help Save the American Eel

The American Eel of eastern Canada was recently designated as a threatened species by COSEWIC because of a dramatic decline in the species’ abundance over a substantial portion of its range, and as a result of ongoing threats that constrain recovery.  The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is conducting a Survey to ask for your comments and suggestions regarding the possible ecological, cultural, and economic impacts of listing or not listing this species under SARA.

Please help save the American Eel by completing the Survey located here before the deadline of 18 March 2016.

ORA has recommended: Continue reading


American Eel Recovery Strategy – Public Campaign

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This EBR Posting is Now Closed for Comment.  Thank you for your Participation!

Eels are probably not something you would like to cuddle up with, but they are an amazing fish in grave danger of totally disappearing from Ontario rivers.  The American Eel is an endangered species that was once abundant in the upper St. Lawrence River, Ottawa River, and Lake Ontario and their tributaries.

Eels were once so plentiful they were an invaluable source of sustenance to First Nations and early European settlers, and more recently supported thriving commercial and sport fisheries. Continue reading


American Eel Recovery Strategy – EBR Posting 012-0405 – ORA Submission

American Eel

Excerpt:

“American Eels were once abundant in the upper St. Lawrence River, Ottawa River, Lake Ontario, and their tributaries, and in fact were so plentiful that they were an invaluable source of sustenance to First Nation communities and early European settlers, and more recently supported thriving commercial and sports fisheries.  This all changed with the advent of a multitude of hydroelectric dams constructed within the historic range of the species.

Key to the American Eel’s survival and recovery is its ability to migrate to its spawning area in the Sargasso Sea, near Bermuda.  This is a perilous journey that only a very small percentage ever complete due to the cumulative effects of the numerous hydroelectric facilities that have killed, maimed, and cut off migration to their spawning area.  Consequently their once thriving populations have been reduced to a mere one percent of their original numbers.” Continue reading



Endangered Species Act – Exemptions – Joint Letter to Premier Wynne

March 1, 2013

The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building
Queens Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1

Dear Premier Wynne,

We, the undersigned, are writing to express our deep concern about proposed exemptions to Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) and to request that your government not proceed with these changes. The proposed exemptions would severely weaken the ESA’s current standard of protection and undermine the government’s ability to monitor and control activities that harm threatened and endangered species and their habitats.

The Liberal government passed the ESA in 2007 with overwhelming public support. Celebrated nationally and internationally by scientists and the environmental community as a gold standard in species at risk legislation, it greatly enhanced the government’s credibility as a green leader. The ESA is intended to facilitate species recovery through mandatory protection for threatened and endangered species and their habitats. At the same time, however, it provides flexibility for economic development by allowing for permits that authorize otherwise prohibited activities, contingent upon the achievement of an overall benefit for the species.

Download (PDF, 761KB)


EBR 011-7696 – Proposed Approaches to the Implementation of the Endangered Species Act – Nottawasaga Steelheaders

February 25th , 2013

Krista Adams
Senior Permits & Agreements Specialist
Ministry of Natural Resources
Policy Division
Species at Risk Branch
Permits and Agreements Section
300 Water Street , Floor 2
Peterborough Ontario  K9J8M5
Phone: (416) 326-1672
Fax: (705) 755-5483

Dear Ms Adams:

Re: EBR-011-7696 Proposed Approaches to the Implementation of the Endangered Species Act

The Nottawasaga Steelheaders is a volunteer group of anglers, conservationists and concerned residents who have been working in concert with The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources and various communities to improve, rehabilitate and preserve the integrity of the Nottawasaga River watershed over the past twenty years years. Over this time we have committed tens of thousands of man-hours and hundreds of thousands of dollar in many beneficial programs. These have included the removable of numerous barriers to fish migration, undertaken countless garbage pick-ups, tree plantings, stream bank stabilizations, cold water delivery projects, spawning ground improvements and commitments to ensure the survival of wild species in this watershed such wild steelhead. Our organization was the first of its kind to undertake a comprehensive study to make uncover the genetic diversity of migratory rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Eighteen (18) distinct strains were found, each with its own set of co-adaptive gene complexes established over a hundred years. Recent studies including those at the University of Western Ontario have determined that that 35-40% of migratory Chinook salmon are of Nottawasaga River origin! This speaks highly of complex and delicate interdependent biodiversity which has taken hundreds if not thousands of years to establish in this watershed. This biodiversity and its interdependence in this watershed and across Ontario is something we know little about and should not be putting at risk with hasty decisions and without the input of Ontarians. It is OUR province with OUR resources and WE are responsible…not a few. Continue reading


EBR 011-7696 – Proposed Approaches to the Implementation of the Endangered Species Act – ORA Comments

Excerpt:

“While there are some good recommendations in these proposed amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), many are worded in language that is far too vague and open-ended, and others are simply unacceptable. ORA is very concerned that this will significantly weaken the hard-fought protection already afforded to our species at risk and their habitats, and is inconsistent with the ESA.  Further, many of the proposed approaches appear to be in violation of the EBR in that there is no provision for public and First Nation consultation or transparency.

MNR’s Mission and Promise to Ontarians:

MNR’s Statement of Environmental Values (SEV) and strategic direction ensure sustainable development, protect and restore biodiversity, and must be the guiding principles in all decisions with regard to streamlining, modernization and economic development.  The values set out in the SEV must be adhered to in the contemplation of any existing or planned activities where endangered species or habitat protection is in question.  The SEV clearly states, “The Ministry’s mission is to manage Ontario’s natural resources in an ecologically sustainable way to ensure that they are available for the enjoyment and use of future generations.  The Ministry is committed to the conservation of biodiversity and the use of natural resources in a sustainable manner.”

Streamlining and modernization of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is a good idea, but only if environmental, ecological, and species at risk protection is not threatened or diminished.  All the streamlining, modernization and framework EBR postings preceding this one promised to uphold environmental and ecological values; however, this posting demonstrates that this promise is not being kept. This proposal clearly reflects a development at all costs approach taken by this administration.” Continue reading


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