“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
Excerpt: “ORA supports the clarity in Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy that the goal that appeared in draft form as “protecting water” has been refined to “protecting water for human and ecological health” (p.30). Our concern is that the cumulative impact of various decisions that impact the waters in our rivers and streams (as evidenced by the example of Wabagishik Lake above) must be addressed urgently. The focus on improving wetlands, beaches and coastal areas, without also ensuring the rivers and streams feeding these features are being protected and improved as well, will not enable the vision of the proposed Act to be realized.
ORA recommends that, should Bill 6 be enacted, the Province immediately place a moratorium on all hydroelectric approvals within the Basin, until such time as their well-documented and substantial impacts on the health of the Great Lakes can be effectively assessed and addressed. The 40 year FIT contracts awarded to hydroelectric projects would ensure a long and lasting impact that could be very costly to stop or reverse once approved.” Continue reading