LONDON – After several years of debate over whether to repair or remove the broken Springbank Dam on the Thames River, in a unanimous vote, London City Council decided to decommission the dam. City staff will now prepare a report to advise Council on whether to repurpose it as a footbridge or remove it entirely from the river. Eliminating the last man-made barrier between the forks and the mouth of the Thames River is a significant win for the environment and City residents.
Through a groundswell of support from several organizations, businesses and individuals, we were able draw attention to a river not just in recovery but thriving since the dam gates broke in 2008. We were able to change the conversation from the foregone conclusion that the dam would be repaired, to a unanimous vote to decommission Springbank Dam. A big thank you to City Councillors who were open-minded and receptive to our positive message. Continue reading →
MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release: 6 October 2017
Ontario Rivers Alliance on the termination of the Energy East Pipeline
SUDBURY – The Ontario Rivers Alliance says that TransCanada Corp. (TC) cancelled its controversial $15.7-billion Energy East Pipeline proposal because “It saw the writing on the wall.” It proposed to convert its 3,000 km natural gas pipeline and construct another 1,500 km of new pipeline, to carry 1.1 million barrels per day of dirty Tar Sands oil from Alberta to New Brunswick.
“TC’s decision was likely due in large part to a continuing decline in the demand for crude oil in a world on a fast-track to decarbonize.” The scientific evidence is clear, that climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time. “So, the National Energy Board’s recent ruling to consider the potential increase in upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the project was no surprise, but an impossible hurdle to overcome, and likely the final nail in the coffin.” Continue reading →
Jeff Graham made this excellent presentation at the 17 June 2017 ORA General Meeting. He talked about his experience in southern Ontario with several dam removal projects – right from inception, through to decommissioning and river restoration. He gave some excellent tips that are well relayed in the presentation below:
Generating interest and support for environmental issues is challenging but necessary. Effective media attention can garner public support and influence whether a corporation or government will address a problem. These notes and suggestions are meant to help others put together an action plan that strengthens your relationship with local print, radio and television media – an important step in raising awareness of issues of concern. Continue reading →
This spring has been the worst flooding Canada has seen in decades. Torrential rains have been inundating streets, homes, and forcing mandatory evacuations. Researchers write that floods are Canada’s ‘most common and costly natural hazard.’ In fact, flooding has become Canada’s biggest natural disaster problem in terms of insurance claims, which is now costing billions of dollars per year. So how can we prevent flooding, or at least be prepared when it comes? We’ve put together a list of facts and preventative measures you can take to protect your home from flooding. Continue reading →
On Wednesday May 17, Linda Heron (Chair & Chief Executive Officer) and Samantha Restoule (Board of Directors) had the pleasure of representing the Ontario Rivers Alliance at the People’s Great Lakes Summit (the Summit), hosted by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) in Toronto, ON.
The Summit is part of CELA’s Healthy Great Lakes program. The objective of the Summit was to bring together a broad range of individuals and organizations working to protect and restore our waters and wetlands across the Great Lakes and St-Lawrence River Basin, and to connect, share ideas, strategize about Ontario public policy priorities, and set plans for collective action.Continue reading →
The National Energy Board Modernization Review Panel provided an held a public consultation in Gatineau, on 22 February 2017. Dr. Alan Hepburn represented the Ontario Rivers Alliance with recommendations as follows:
The Ontario Rivers Alliance commissioned this 3-D Flyover of the Energy East Pipeline corridor across Ontario to graphically show the waterbodies that would be at risk if a oil spill or rupture were to occur. The pipeline intersects more than 1,850 streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands along its route through Ontario. To provide perspective, the thick white lines indicate a 15 km area on either side of the pipeline.
SUDBURY: The contributions of the Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) are being featured in an online series of short film documentaries dedicated to conservation issues.
In Fieldwork – the Art of Conservation, ORA Chair Linda Heron talks about the organization’s commitment to protecting Ontario rivers, and its focus on one of the most challenging issues facing communities and riverine ecosystems today – hydroelectric power development. Continue reading →