Skip to main content

level heads

Level plan a mistake, lakes commission told
Critics say Hamilton Harbour cleanup at risk

The Hamilton Spectator
JORDAN HARBOUR (Jun 10, 2008)

The International Joint Commission (IJC) was told last night that its proposed new plan for regulating the level of Lake Ontario jeopardizes the cleanup of Hamilton Harbour and efforts to remove it from the list of Great Lakes pollution hot spots by 2015.

John Hall, co-ordinator of the harbour Remedial Action Plan, Jim Hudson, executive director of the Bay Area Restoration Council, and Tys Theysmeyer, aquatic ecologist for the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), presented a united front against the IJC's favoured Plan 2007, which they said would result in high water at the wrong time for plants and animals.

"Timing is everything in plant and animal life," Theysmeyer said.

They were joined by Laurel Thompson, who presented a petition signed by 350 people opposed to the plan.

Backing also came from Doug Cuthbert of Burlington, Canadian co-chair of the five-year, $20-million IJC study that proposed three alternatives that the commissioners set aside in favour of Plan 2007 that was devised later at their request by commission staff.

All the Hamilton-Burlington speakers called on the six commissioners to adopt Plan B+, one said to be best for the environment but more costly to landowners because the lake would be higher during spring storms that erode shore properties, especially along the Niagara Peninsula and in New York State.

Hall said restoration of the Cootes Paradise marsh and Grindstone Creek estuary, both on RBG lands, is a criterion for delisting the harbour as an IJC area of concern, and delisting "may not be possible if Plan 2007 is approved."

He reminded Canadian co-chair Herb Gray, a former deputy prime minister, and the other commissioners that York University researchers estimate a billion-dollar payback from delisting the harbour, and said: "Do not approve Plan 2007 as this will be very difficult to move away from.

"It will set a clear path, entrenching errors of the past that allowed for properties to be built in areas susceptible to flooding and erosion. Plan 2007 will set a path that clearly compromises the environmental benefits of the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system."

Cuthbert said the IJC study had been very public and transparent, but Plan 2007 was devised behind closed doors, "raising suspicions as to how and why."

Last night's public hearing was the first of 10 the commission will hold before making a decision.

Written comments will be accepted until July 11.

For more information, go to ijc.org.

emcguinness@thespec.com

905-526-4650



http://thespec.com/News/Local/article/383776

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Urquhart Butterfly Garden speaker series

A lovely butterfly garden is the perfect setting for this annual speaker series. August 4, 2018, Guest speaker: Doreen Nicoll You cannot have Monarch Butterflies without milkweed.  Doreen Nicoll has recently become a heroine for monarch butterflies, by insisting on her rights to grow milkweed in her naturalized garden in Burlington. Doreen  Nicoll has long understood that garden with nature and not against her is the best thing for our planet. She also knows that native plants are great at attracting butterflies and bees of all species. Doreen will be the first presenter in the Summer Series at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden and her topic will be Monarchs and Their Milkweed and naturalized gardening. She has wealth of information and is fun as well! The session will begin at 11 am Saturday on August 4 and last approximately one hour.  Please bring a chair. If it rains the session will be cancelled. For more information about the Urquhart Butterfly Garden please visit ur

stepping up the battle for trails

I share the columnist's (see below) angst about some of the trail closures in Cootes Paradise and the observation that the impacts of walking on habitat are less damaging than driving. Nevertheless, I can appreciate that some of the trails can and should be closed to preserve sensitive habitat. It is because Cootes is surrounded by a city that the impacts of both cars and yes, even feet, can cumulatively degrade the integrity of this nature sanctuary. Blocking trails with bushes generally seems to occur on "unofficial" trails, though I have   previously expressed my concern with closing trails that once provided access through Cootes to hook up with the Spencer Creek Trail in Dundas. The utility of a trail as a path to someplace, rather than just a recreational loop, means a lot to me , and I have hoped the RBG would reconsider the trails layout with this in mind. Again, with so many people accessing Cootes, on foot and on mountain-bikes, the threat

Turtle Watching: Volunteers Needed

By fragmenting the western end of Cootes Paradise with a four lane highway (Cootes Drive 1936) and McMaster parking (1969), car drivers gain at the expense of intact habitat for a multitude of species. Road kill on Cootes accounts for a severe threat to the survival of at risk species, and perhaps none so glaringly as the slow moving turtles who inhabit the remnant marsh. Turtle, south of Cootes Drive near Spencer Creek. Photo r.k . A local volunteer group has, for the last few years, formed to assist the turtles and increase awareness, and (hopefully) survival rates.  Please consider giving some of your time to the turtles of Cootes Paradise. April 2012 Turtles will begin to move from their wintering sites in late May and their peak nesting period is mid-June. Dundas Turtle Watch identifies, monitors and rescues turtles at risk from traffic, and protects nests from predation wherever possible.  The group  is  looking for people with a digital camera  who are  prepa