Painting by Aleta Karstad
The Chute, Ivanhoe River
The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is pleased to report that the WWF-Canada and CPAWS have awarded the Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize to Dr. Frederick Schueler and Aleta Karstad for their outstanding conservation efforts and accomplishments!! They truly are very deserving of this incredible Prize!!
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO Fred and Aleta!!!
We at ORA were eager to nominate Fred and Aleta for this important recognition of the significant sacrifice and contribution they have both made to science, conservation and the protection of freshwater ecosystems and land all across Canada. They have also been long-time partners and contributors of the ORA.
Read the Press Release: Continue reading
A Big congratulations to Jane Litchfield, of Guelph – the winner of this beautiful Autumn Cascades print, by Mary-Dawn Roberts!!
Jane won this lovely print when her name was entered into a draw after making a donation to the Hanlon Creek Weir Removal project. The print is a limited edition giclee on a 20″x40″ canvas, printed with archival inks, coated with ultraviolet varnish and enhanced with a float frame to a value of $750.00.
ORA would also like to extend our sincere thanks to Mary-Dawn for donating this amazing print in support of our crowdfunding campaign. You helped make Hanlon Creek a healthier home for local Guelph Brook Trout. Thank you!
Garden House Gallery
1953 Victoria Road S
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
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
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
Springbank Dam, Photo by Paul Roedding Photography
For Immediate Release: 7 March 2016
The Ontario Rivers Alliances (ORA) and the Thames River Anglers Association (TRAA), along with the support of groups representing over 250,000 members, including the WWF-Canada, Ontario Nature, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and numerous other local angling and recreation clubs, are speaking up for the decommissioning of Springbank Dam.
The Thames River is a Heritage River with one of the most ecologically diverse riverine ecosystems in Ontario, with over 90 species of freshwater fish, including 11 that are identified by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife Canada (COSEWIC) as threatened or at risk, and is certainly worth conserving and restoring.
“The Springbank Dam falling out of service over 8 years ago was the best thing that could have happened to the Thames River and its wild inhabitants”, said Linda Heron, Chair of the ORA. In that short time the river has rebounded, with the presence of Queen Snakes, Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes, Mudpuppies, Mussels, Silver Shiners, Spotted and Black Redhorse suckers, Northern Map Turtles, Snapping Turtles and Green Dragon perennial wildflowers that are re-establishing themselves within its ecosystem. Continue reading
Download (PDF, 1.79MB)
For Immediate Release: 5 November 2015
Hydro Impacts 101 – The Trade-offs
Significant environmental damage from hydroelectric power generation has been ongoing for many decades in Ontario and in other locations throughout the world, yet the public has been led to believe that it provides a clean and green source of energy because there is no smoke, no ash, and no radiation. Indeed, some mistakenly think that all hydro contributes positively to the climate change issue. “This report will help to set the record straight on just how clean and green waterpower really is”, said Linda Heron, Chair of the Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA). Continue reading
About the Portage-In Event – 11 am on Thursday, August 28 2014 – See Media Advisory here
There will be a portage of canoes across the historic Bala portage from the Moon River landing to Lake Muskoka. The Wahta Chief will be available for interview.
Bala, Ontario, is located on Muskoka Road 169 approximately 200 km north of Toronto, and 25 km northwest of Gravenhurst.
♦ On-site contact: Karen Commandant, Wahta Mohawk Senior Administrator, cell: 705 644-9894
♦ Spokesperson: Chief Phillip Franks, Wahta Mohawks, cell: 705 528-9468
CTV News and other media will be there too.
Come out to show that the general community supports the Wahta Mohawk’s concerns:
- If you would like to be part of the flotilla, be at the Town Docks on the Moon River at 10:30 am this Thursday August 28, 2014 with your canoe or kayak (and PFD and marine safety kit).
- Otherwise, be at the District property just south of the Bala north falls at 11:00 am.
This event is about the Bala Portage, so no red T-shirts and no signs. Those in attendance will be there in support of Wahta Mohawk and the Bala Portage.