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Category Archives: Press Release

The countdown – Hanlon Creek Crowd Funding Campaign

MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release: 19 July 2019 

The countdown – Hanlon Creek Crowd Funding Campaign

GUELPH – There is just over a week left in a crowd funding campaign to raise the necessary dollars to complete the Hanlon Creek Weir Removal Project, with decommissioning scheduled for September of this year.  So far, we have raised $2,675 and need your help to reach our goal of $10,000 by the 31stof July.

The funds are required to pay for the weir modification and river rehabilitation work.  This is a sweet little project that will open up an additional 3.2 km of Brook Trout habitat and increase Hanlon Creek’s resilience to a warming climate. “What is good for Brook Trout is also beneficial for a wide range of species, including humans, especially in a city like Guelph that gets most of its drinking water from groundwater sources “, said Alex Meeker, Ontario Provincial Biologist, Trout Unlimited Canada.

We have two incredible perks to be offered at the close of the Campaign when a 1st and 2ndplace winner will be drawn.  The 1stplace winner will have the choice of perks – either a guided boat tour for two people on the historic French River in French River Provincial Park – a value of $700; or a stunning limited-edition print entitled “Autumn Cascades” by Mary-Dawn Roberts – a value of $750.  For every $25 donated a ballot will be entered into the draw in the donor’s name.  Check out our Campaign page for more details and to donate:

Hanlon Creek is a coldwater Brook Trout stream, with its headwaters rising within the City of Guelph.  The Hanlon Creek weir was built in 1972 to measure stream flow but has been inactive since the 90s. The Grand River Fisheries Management Plan identified issues and management strategies to improve the coldwater tributaries of the Speed River Basin, which includes Hanlon Creek and the removal of the weir.

Barriers to fish movement exist across Canada.  In some cases, such as Hanlon Creek, solutions are obvious and easy.  Let’s work together to reconnect our streams and rivers in Canada’”, said Nick Lapointe, Senior Conservation Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Federation.

Brook Trout are like the canary in a coal mine – they are a sensitive species that are more vulnerable in a warming climate.  The Hanlon Creek weir causes upstream ponding with an increased surface area that warms in the sun.  This warming of the creek has negative impacts on water quality and the Brook Trout that require clear, cool waters below 24°C.  The weir is also a barrier to fish passage and interferes with sediment transport.

To resolve these challenges, we plan to remove the centre portion of the weir which is impeding flow. This will lower the upstream water level and narrow the channel, resulting in cooler stream temperatures, improved sediment transport, and will allow fish to freely pass.  This will create an overall healthier and expanded Brook Trout habitat.  Most importantly, it will improve the fishery’s resilience to climate change.

The partners in this project are the Ontario Rivers Alliance, Trout Unlimited Canada, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry, Grand River Conservation Authority, and the City of Guelph, in consultation with the Grand River Fisheries Management Plan Implementation Committee.

Hanlon Creek is a little miracle!  A coldwater Brook Trout creek blanketed by a cedar forest canopy in a park in the middle of a vibrant and growing city.  This is an amazing opportunity to show how delicate ecosystems and urban development can coexist when we choose to make it a priority”, said Kent Schubert, ORA Board of Directors and Director of the Speed Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada.


The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is a Not-for-Profit grassroots organization acting as a voice for several stewardships, associations, private and Indigenous members who have come together to protect, conserve and restore healthy river ecosystems.  

Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC) is a registered Canadian not for profit organization. Our mission is to conserve, protect and restore Canada’s freshwater ecosystems and their coldwater resources for current and future generations. 

Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is a non-profit organization conducting its activities through a cooperative approach – working with people, corporations, non-government organizations and governments to inspire collaboration in achieving wildlife conservation.

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Alex Meeker
Ontario Provincial Biologist, Trout Unlimited Canada  Tel: (519) 763-0888

Kent Schubert
Board of Directors, Ontario Rivers Alliance
Director – Speed Valley Chapter, Trout Unlimited Canada  Tel: (519) 856-0369

Nick Lapointe
Senior Conservation Biologists, Canadian Wildlife Federation  Tel:  613-599-9594 x 219

Hanlon Creek Weir Removal Project – Phase II, Guelph – crowd funding campaign

GUELPH – The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA), Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC), Canadian Wildlife Federation, and four other partners are announcing Phase II of the Hanlon Creek Crowd Funding Campaign.  We are looking to raise $10,000 by the 31stof July. The funds are required to pay for the weir modification and river rehabilitation work, scheduled to take place in September of this year.  “We have a very short time-line and need your help to reach our fundraising goal”, said Alex Meeker, Ontario Provincial Biologist with TUC.


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Press Release: Conservationists Urge Federal Government to Protect American Eel

OTTAWA, Mar. 19, 2018 – Increased federal action to protect and recover American Eel is urgently needed, say the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) and nine other partners in conservation including the Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative, the Lanark County Stewardship Council, Nature Québec, Ontario Nature, and the Ontario Rivers Alliance.

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MEDIA RELEASE: London City Council Says Springbank Dam Must Go

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

Ontario Rivers Alliance on the termination of the Energy East Pipeline

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

Ontario Rivers Alliance featured in environmental film


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

10 Ontario Rivers Protected from 19 Hydroelectric Projects

Wabagishik Rapids – Vermilion River

MEDIA RELEASE:  For Immediate Release:  13 July 2016

10 Ontario Rivers Protected from 19 Hydroelectric Projects

SUDBURY:  The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is celebrating a major victory in the protection of 10 Ontario rivers that have been under threat from 19 proposed hydroelectric projects.   Actions taken by the ORA and its members have led to what was considered to be impossible – the termination of 19 Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Contracts.

In 2011, ORA came into being to address a rash of 87 proposed hydroelectric proposals initiated under the Green Energy Act.  The offer of generous incentives to produce power during peak demand hours had proponents rushing to claim access to falls and rapids on rivers all across the province.  The number of proposals to actually receive FIT Contracts was soon reduced to 41, and of those, Xeneca Power Development Inc. had secured 19 contracts for projects involving 23 Crown sites on 10 Ontario rivers. Continue reading

Ontario Rivers Alliance Intervening in Energy East Pipeline Hearing

Kalamazoo River Crude Oil Spill

MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release: 6 July 2016

Ontario Rivers Alliance Intervening in Energy East Pipeline Hearing

SUDBURY — The National Energy Board has granted Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) intervenor status in panel hearings regarding the Energy East Pipeline application.

ORA chairperson Linda Heron said the announcement indicates how much progress the volunteer organization has made since it was formed to protect, conserve and restore healthy river ecosystems.

“Like many other Canadians, our members have serious concerns about the potential for spills and leaks in an aging pipeline that was designed to transport natural gas and would now be converted to move diluted bitumen,” said Heron. “Our research indicates that Energy East uses insufficient leak detection technology to effectively monitor the pipeline’s integrity, and that any single spill could cause irreparable damage to one or more of over two thousand water bodies along the pipeline route.” Continue reading