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Category Archives: Art

Hydro Impacts 101: The Trade-offs

We’ve been sold the idea that hydropower is a clean, green, and non-emitting energy source.
But this is far from the truth!💔🌱

Check out this eye-opening infographic and the full report below to learn more about the hidden environmental and socio-economic costs of these projects! 🌊💰

  • Hydro impacts 101: the trade-offs

Hydro Impacts 101 – The Trade-offs

Is hydroelectric a pathway to decarbonization?

Watch our video to understand how hydroelectricity is greenwashed by Ontario Power Generation as “clean” and “non-emitting” when there are hundreds of independent third-party studies to the contrary. Read our full submission here!

Please sign and share our petition to protect Ontario Rivers and send OPG a strong message! 

We need your help! The Study of Mussels

Aleta Karstad

Aleta Karstad

Dr Fredrick Schueler is a dedicated scientist, the longest-serving research associate of the Canadian Museum of Nature, and member of ORA.

One of Fred’s specialties is the study of mussels – so he has collected shells from all across Ontario. This year he and his wife Aleta Karatad (who painted threatened waterfalls for the ORA’s 2013 ‘Precious Wild Rivers’ calendar) will be traversing the Energy East Pipeline corridor across Ontario, and from New Brunswick to Alberta. Fred will sample mussels and other fauna & flora where streams cross the proposed pipeline route, while Aleta paints the scenes –

Fred is particularly interested in mussels found in the former outlet of the Upper Great Lakes, the Mattawa/Nippising/French system. He’s already added three species to those known from this area, and hopes to do more fieldwork there in 2015. Fred has requested that anyone with boats or cottages to send him bags full of empty clam shells.

Here is what Fred needs:

  1. A common plastic grocery bag of empty clam shells, selected for the diversity of their shapes and colours (you can get an idea of the diversity of species from his identification guide at
  2. Name of body of the water body and Longitude and Latitude of the location where they came from (from GPS or google maps [right-click and select ‘what’s here’])
  3. Dry the shells, parcel them up carefully so the shells are protected, and mail them to Frederick Scheuler, 6 St Lawrence St, Bishops Mills, RR#2, Oxford Station, ON K0G 1T0

Fred will give you a very comprehensive report of what kind of mussels are living in your favourite lake or river – very exciting stuff!  Also, if you have information of concerns about pipelines’ effects on rivers, Fred or Aleta would be interested in discussing this.


Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad Daily Paintings –
Vulnerable Watersheds –

RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52’N 75* 42’W


River at Risk – Wanapitei River – Sturgeon Chute – Painting by Aleta Karstad

Sturgeon Chute, Upper Rapids (oil on canvas, 12 x 16 in.)

Aleta Karstad1 October finds me painting at the upstream rapids of Sturgeon Chute on the Wanapite River, 6.7 kilometres northwest of Hartley Bay. To get just the right angle on the rapids, screened by flaming leaves of an overhanging Red Maple, I’m standing on a narrow grassy ledge, the small of my back leaning against a cold wall of smooth granite, with the feet of my easel only a few centimetres from the edge. About two metres below, courses the fast deep water….  To read Aleta’s notes and purchase her paintings, click here to visit Aleta’s website.

For more information on Sturgeon Chute – click here.


Rivers at Risk – The Chute and Triple Falls, on the Ivanhoe River – Paintings by Aleta Karstad

Ivanhoe “The Chute” (oil on canvas 12 x 16) Sold – 23 September 2012

Aleta Karstad – The middle fall of Triple Falls on the east side of the Ivanhoe River, 40 km north of Foleyet, Ontario – another in our series of wild waterfalls threatened by hydro dams….. For full posting go to Aleta’s website.

Triple Falls (oil on canvas 11 x 14 in.) Sold – 25 September 2012

Aleta Karstad – The East shore of the Ivanhoe River below The Chutes, 16 km north of Foleyet, Ontario. Here the Ivanhoe spills, foaming, across a gneiss ledge above its clay riverbed. Behind me, runs around an island in Cedar/Poplar woods……  For full posting go to Aleta’s website.

Rivers at Risk – Wanatango Falls on the Frederick House River, painting by Aleta Karstad

Wanatango Falls – 19 September 2012

This is the first of our “hydroelectric” series of plein air paintings, from a visit to a proposed damsite south on the Frederickhouse River, south of Cochrane yesterday. To see a larger image of this painting, and read about this lovely place, be sure to click on 

This painting is for sold. You may view the details and comments at

For information about purchasing or commissioning paintings, feel free to e-mail me at or see

… or you can just file this message away in your own little thumbnail collection of Aleta’s daily paintings, and look forward to the next one, as we continue the 30 Years Later Expedition

Wanatango Falls – 19 September 2012

painted Fred and Marigold collecting moss, from photos I took after packing up from my plein air painting of the Wanatango Falls. To see a larger image of this painting, and read about Fred’s bioinventory of the place, be sure to click

This painting is for sold. You will find more information at

For information about purchasing or commissioning paintings, feel free to e-mail me at or see

… or you can just file this message away in your own little thumbnail collection of Aleta’s daily paintings, and look forward to the next one, as we continue the 30 Years Later Expedition

Aleta Karstad

About Wanatango Falls – A River at Risk:

Xeneca Power Development Inc. (Xeneca) is proposing to build a 4.67 MW modified peaking hydroelectric dam at Wanatango Falls, on the Frederick House River.  This site is located approximately 26 km northwest of Iroquois Falls and 22 km south of Cochrane.

Wanatango has been through the gauntlet once already in 2011 when Xeneca issued the Environmental Report (ER) and Notice of Completion for this proposal; however, the river was given a reprieve when the Ministry of Environment rejected another proposal on the Ivanhoe River because it was so lacking, and Xeneca was sent back to the drawing board to do more work.   Xeneca was then given the opportunity to withdraw the ER for the Wanatango, and they complied.

ORA is opposed to this development for the reasons set out in our 3 November 2011 letter to the Ministry of Environment’s office.

Now Xeneca is close to completing their studies on the Wanatango and will soon issue the ER once again.

Aleta Karstad and her husband Frederick Schueler, of Fragile Inheritance have travelled to Wanatango to study and paint, and hopefully draw attention to this beautiful set of falls that could be lost.

It is very timely that Aleta and Fred are on a junket to visit several rivers at risk over the next several weeks – so stay tuned for more of Aleta’s beautiful paintings on