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Category Archives: Aquatic Life

Vittoria Dam Class Environmental Assessment – Update

You also mentioned there would be an open water area of the reservoir that would remain following the slow one to two-year drawdown of water levels to the concrete sill under the stop logs. The remaining pond in the new concept drawing for Alternative #5 does indeed look much smaller than your original. However, ORA recommends that the remaining pond be constructed as a wetland with the planting of lily pads, bullrushes, and other wetland plant species. Turning the pond into a wetland will provide shade to further reduce stream temperature, protective habitat for the Brook Trout, and significantly improve stream resilience to the effects of a warming climate.

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Vittoria Dam Class EA – Feedback

Brown Trout accessing upstream of the dam was a concern expressed at the last Stakeholders’ Meeting. Is it possible to add an alternative for the outlet of the dam being lowered with a fine wire mesh on top, similar to Alternative 5, but without the pond? That way the stream can flow freely downstream and Brown Trout would have a barrier from the upstream. The pond is the issue…

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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



Learn about the extraordinary American Eel!

It’s a lizard, It’s a snake, It’s one of the most unique fishes in the world: the American Eel!

Known for their elongated bodies and short fins, these fish which were once very common in North American waterbodies, are now endangered. This is largely due to the presence of hydroelectric dams, which block their natural migration routes, making them unable to reach their breeding grounds in the ocean.

Learn more about their impressive migrations, extraordinary life cycle, and current conservation efforts through this short video.


ORA’s first Youth Engagement event!

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ORA collaborated with Engineers Without Borders (UW Chapter) to host a youth engagement workshop for 35 grade 11 students in St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School on March 31st. The group included students from the STEM Club and from the Environment Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Red Seal Program. ORA offered the students a Sector-Partnered Experience (SPE) focusing on real-world environmental issues to be solved. Continue reading


Embro Dam Class Environmental Assessment – Alternatives

Update:  The Upper Thames Conservation Authority went with the most popular, Alternative #4, which is to construct a naturalized channel with offline ponds/wetlands – see photo above.

There are very few thriving Brook Trout populations left in southern Ontario, and it is especially surprising to find them present as far south as London, Ontario. Brook Trout are a sentinel species – the canary in the coal mine. In southern Ontario, Brook Trout populations have seen an 80% decline in their numbers over the last 50 years. Their populations have been under increasing pressure from a warming climate as well as agricultural, urban, rural and industrial development.

Removing the Dam and headpond to create a free-flowing and healthy coldwater Brook Trout fishery would be the perfect place for a family to go for walk, play or picnic in the Embro Conservation Area. It would provide a healthy riverine ecosystem and a beautiful natural environment for the entire community to enjoy!!

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Hydropower is destroying our rivers, biodiversity and fueling Climate Change

Dams and hydropower facilities harm the environment and, when headponds or reservoirs are flooded, can produce carbon dioxide and methane for the life of the dam. Ontario is about to embark on a whole new era of dam building. Ontario has 224 operating hydropower plants and only 3 with fish passage.
By the way, Ontario Power Generation has been selling Clean Energy Credits for hydroelectric since 2013.   
NO MORE NEW HYDROELECTRIC DAMS IN ONTARIO!! 


Delayed Decision to List American Eel Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) – Joint

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 We are a coalition of Indigenous Peoples and conservation and environmental non-governmental organizations concerned with the conservation of American Eel and write to ask that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans take all necessary steps to immediately list this important species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). 

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