Join us for Paradise Beach Project planting event September 20, 2014
Sierra Club, Town of Ajax and Toronto and Region Conservation are psyched to plant native plants and trees on Paradise Beach bioswales as part of the Great Canadian Coastal Clean-up Saturday, September 20th.
'What's a bioswale?' you may ask. A bioswale is a way of filtering surface water by channeling through plants, gravel or rip-rap and slowing it down. Silt and particulate matter will fall out and the plants in the bioswale help take out nutrients and chemicals, for instance automotive run-off from a parking lot. The plants and soil do this work for free for our benefit!
Photo: Urban Sprawl on Oak Ridges Moraine threatens health of Lake Ontario. By: Mary Lou Bacher
The province of Ontario is engaged in what is termed a decade long review of the Greenbelt Plan and its complimentary legislation, Places to Grow. (the latter is intended to provide higher densities so that sprawl does not jam up against urban boundaries). A public meeting on the review, appropriately enough in a location accessible to cyclists, walkers and transit, is being held on March 30, from 6 to 9pm at the central Yonge Street Toronto Public Library.
The recent death of a prophetic voice of concern for the earth, Dr. Mike Carr, should give some guidance to the deliberations of the public. It is to be fervently hoped that as many people cram into the Toronto Reference Library to give voice to concerns for the fate of the planet as occupied St. James Cathedral square.
Each blue whale has a unique pattern of spots of its back, like a fingerprint or a nametag. These spots allow researchers to identify each whale as either a newcomer, or an old friend.
The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) is a non-profit research organization located on the Gulf of St Lawrence's northern shore and they were the first group to begin long term study of marine mammals in the Gulf. Since their founding in 1979, this group has followed blue whale populations in eastern Canada, the Sea of Cortez and in the waters of Iceland.
MICS has discovered something troubling in the northwest Atlantic blue whale population. Of the 475 individual whales they've identified since their genesis in 1979, only 22 have been calves. This suggests a frighteningly low calving rate for a population already swimming on the brink.
"The Atlantic Salmon and the blue whales are both very precious creatures to our nations," said Chief Claude Jeannotte of Gespeg, Quebec. He spoke in Halifax on behalf of these two struggling species Wednesday, July 16.
Jeannotte was accompanied by four other First Nations chiefs from across Atlantic Canada, all from communities dependent on the, "rich bounty of the Gulf," in the words of Chief P.J Prosper, representing the Migmaq of Nova Scotia. Together they spoke against exploratory drilling at the Old Harry Prospect, located in the Gulf of St Lawrence 80 km off Newfoundland's west coast and 460 metres underwater.
The Old Harry prospect is expected to be drilled in 2015 or 2016, according to the oil and gas company Corridor Resources which presently holds an exploratory license in the region.
From the raging torrents of the Niagara River to the placid Welland Canal one can walk for ten miles through the wooded forest gardens of the Niagara Escarpment. Here in some patches, old growth giant oaks and maples soar above wild ginger and may apple. This shady glen has spectacular lookouts over the Niagara Fruit Belt to Lake Ontario, such as Queenston Heights and the Woodend Conservation area. These wilds overwhelm relics of 19th century assaults on nature, such as lime kilns, a “haunted” “ghost” tunnel under which the Bruce Trail travel and the stone ruins of the abandoned Third Welland Canal.
Dr John Cherry, a hydrogeologist with the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), says fracking wells in Canada aren't built for the long haul; they tend to spring leaks.
"In my view, well integrity is likely the most important shale gas issue," said Dr Cherry in Toronto, Thursday, May 29. Dr Cherry chaired the CCA's expert panel on understanding the environmental impacts of shale gas extraction (fracking). This panel released its report in early May.
ACER (Association for Canadian Educational Resources) has a number of programs but one very special one is their use of citizen scientists to collect climate change data. This year ACER is planting a number of sites to restore forests around Lake Ontario and is seeking volunteers to plant and help with monitoring of trees. Their Riparian Rangers program.
As a volunteer for Riparian Rangers Mississauga you will gain hands-on knowledge concerning the restoration and monitoring of riparian ecosystems. Specifically, volunteers will clean the sites so they are free from litter, identify and remove invasive species, as well as measure and monitor 10% of each tree species that has been planted in terms of growth and health.
Volunteers will be needed for two restoration sites:
See an electric vehicle next to you on the road and you might not distinguish it from any other gas guzzler confronting rush hour traffic. But drive one yourself...and you won't soon shake the experience.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered entirely by their onboard batteries and therefore have no tailpipe. No combustion engine vibrates under their hood and no gears need shifted, giving these machines an unrivalled smoothness. When faced with stop signs, red lights or drive-thrus, EVs don't expend their power idling - they are incapable of idling.
But for all their blessings, EVs have their drawbacks. Their batteries have limited range, they can't be fuelled at the pump and for the time being, they cost more than your average gasoline vehicle. However, professor of mechanical engineering at Dalhousie University, Lukas Swan, said these drawbacks are being left in the dust.