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Ostrander Point Appeal Fund

Preserving critical natural habitats

Photo taken by Joe Crowley

“one of the worst possible places to construct a wind farm” (Ontario Nature)

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The Court of Appeal for Ontario Hearings

 December 8-9, 2014

Scales of Justice copy

For more information click here 

            Our Appeal to You

Following our successful fundraiser “Vanishing Legacies: A Celebration of the County’s South Shore in Film and Music” at the Regent Theatre, Nov 27, we have pushed the funding thermometer up to $202,000. The publicity gained by our crucial appeal at Ontario’s highest court has brought a surge in funding support. This shows the importance that Ontarians place on this case and our environmental laws.
 
We must continue to fund raise until we have covered all our court costs.
Please consider donating now.
The Prince Edward County Field Naturalist thank all those supporting our fight for biodiversity.
 
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Bioblitz report

430 species were recorded during the Ostrander Point Bioblitz on August 9 and 10, 2014. Click on graphic above to view the report. Contact Cheryl Anderson at cherylanderson23@sympatico.ca if you are interested in a hard copy.

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Link to pdf article

Watershed Magazine – Spring 2014
Click to read article

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Suzanne Pasternak reveals Ostrander Point’s beauty in the following video.  

The video features photos taken by Suzanne from very early spring into summer. It is set to ‘Midnight Migration’, Suzanne Pasternak’s haunting song featuring Emily Fennell and Suzanne singing.  

Relax and enjoy the beauty of Ostrander Point. Make sure to go full screen.

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Important Press Release  –   April 14, 2014

PECFN Files for Leave to Appeal Divisional Court Ruling

Picton: PECFN has filed their submission to the Court of Appeal asking for leave to appeal the Divisional Court reversal of the decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal.  Last July the Tribunal revoked the approval of a Gilead Power wind turbine project at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block in the centre of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area. There have been more than 20 appeals of Renewable Energy Approvals since the Green Energy Act came into effect in 2009. All but the PECFN appeal resulted in dismissals. In allowing PECFN’s appeal, the Tribunal rendered a landmark and precedent-setting decision. Soon after the Divisional Court decision Gilead Power announced its intention to start construction in April.  PECFN brought an urgent motion for a Stay of construction and leave to appeal the Divisional Court decision to the Court of Appeal.  In his decision submitted on March 25, Judge Blair of the Appeal Court held that he had “no hesitation in granting the Stay” because the issues raised on the proposed appeal are of “broad public implication in the field of environmental law”.  Further he found that the irreparable harm criterion had been satisfied on the basis that “once a habitat is destroyed, it is destroyed – for at least short-term purposes, in any event – and the species sought to be protected here is a vulnerable and endangered species.” Complete press release click here

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Update (from countylive.ca) – February 20, 2014

Turbines take down turtles in divisional court

Turbines have toppled turtles in Ontario Divisional Court and Gilead Power has regained its go-ahead to build nine industrial wind turbines on the south shore of Prince Edward County. The court met for three days in Toronto at the end of January and delivered its 40-page report Thursday, Feb. 20.

Link to Article
Divisional Court Decision PDF

For Website

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Update (from countylive.ca) – July 4 2013

The endangered Blanding’s turtle has helped the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists take down turbines. The Environmental Review Tribunal has allowed the appeal of the Ostrander Point Project by PECFN on grounds of serious and irreversible harm to the natural environment, and has revoked the approval of the project by the Director, Ministry of the Environment.

The tribunal decision was announced Wednesday after 40 days, 185 exhibits and testimony of 31 expert witnesses appeared before the panel of lawyers Robert Wright and Heather Gibbs in Demorestville and Toronto.

The tribunal concluded “that engaging in the project in accordance with the REA will cause serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment. This is on the basis of findings that such harm will be caused to Blanding’s turtle.”

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Radar Image of Migrating Birds Flying Over PEC South Shore

radar image

Birds pour into Prince Edward County from the east, while others are just beginning to cross Lake Ontario from New York state, in this radar image from May 2012. More migrating birds fly over Prince Edward County’s south shore than anywhere else on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario.

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Monarch Butterflies

monarch butterfly2

monarch butterfly
This year, Monarch Butterfly numbers are down by a shocking 59%.
All the more reason to ensure that the International Monarch
Butterfly Reserve on the South Shore of Prince Edward County is
preserved in its entirety.
If the Gilead industrial wind factory goes ahead,
roads and turbine-related construction would devastate 50 hectares
of the habitat which the butterflies need to rest and feed during migration.
Monarch Butterflies are at grave risk. They need help –
not another nail in their coffin.
Photos courtesy www.Monarch-Butterfly.com

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Bats:  Farmers’ Best Friends

Bat with White-nose

A bat with white-nose syndrome. Photo courtesy New York Department of Environmental Conservation

When the environmental assessment was done for Ostrander Point, North America’s bat populations were healthy. In the past two years, bat populations have collapsed as drastically and suddenly as honey bee colonies. For bats, the problem is a fungus, white-nose syndrome, which disrupts hibernation, exhausting the bats’ food reserves before they can feed in the spring. Five and a half million bats have already died in eastern North America. Even the Little Brown Bat, once our most common bat, is now listed as endangered.

Bats provide pest-control services to farms, eating beetles and other insects that feed on crops. In Ontario alone, bats save farmers between $100 million and $1.6 billion per year. The loss of the bats will cost Canada between $1.1 and $15.3 billion dollars, according to Statistics Canada. We need to do everything we can to preserve bats, according to Dr. Robert Barclay, who testified recently at the Environmental Review Tribunal. The allowable limit of seven bats killed per turbine is far too high. With wind turbines proliferating across North America and white nose syndrome spreading unchecked, the wind turbine deaths, combined with the fungus, will affect overall bat populations. He said there are so many turbines planned for eastern Lake Ontario that the allowable kill rate was simply unacceptable.
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What the Heck are Alvars?

We’ve heard a lot about alvars this week at the Environmental Review Tribunal. Most people don’t know what alvars are and that’s not surprising – they’re very rare. In North America, alvars are found only around the Great Lakes – and 90% of Great Lake area alvars have been already been destroyed.
An alvar is an ecosystem that has evolved on the thin soil over limestone bedrock. Wet in the spring, bone-dry in summer, alvars are challenging places to call home. The plants and insects which live on alvars have adapted to the tough conditions over centuries – some can be found only on alvars. Needless to say, these alvar-dwellers are also rare.
Gilead proposes to grind up the alvar limestone for use in construction. A Swedish study showed that some alvars which had been turned into farm fields still hadn’t reverted back to alvars after 50 years.
butterfly

A black swallowtail butterfly on the south shore of Prince Edward County

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Migrating Raptors at Blade Sweep Height in Ostrander Point Area Fall 2009

Ostrander 2009 Migrating Raptors

We call Ostrander Point a “migratory stopover”, but the birds don’t just stop. They feed, rest and move around, sometime for weeks, waiting for favourable winds. This diagram shows the movement of migrating fall raptors at Ostrander Point in 2009.

arrow colors Lime green arrows are based on 350 observations; 21% – 50% of the hawks were at blade sweep height. Dark green: 131 – 350 observations, with 50% of birds at blade height. Gray: 50 – 150 observations with 20% at blade height. If the turbines had been built when this survey was done, there could be as many as 380 dead raptors.

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A project of Prince Edward County Field Naturalists

The County of Prince Edward – Municipal Council
Ontario Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller
Nature Canada Ontario Nature Audubon Society (NY State and USA)
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (UK) Ontario Road Ecology Group
The David Suzuki Foundation
                     
                                 are all against industrial wind turbines at Ostrander Point


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