Monday, June 28, 2010

Emerald Ash Borer - Agrilus planipennis or Agrilus marcopoli (EAB) update

During my recent walk through the Kay Gardner Beltline Park in  Toronto
I discovered many ash trees infested by the beetle.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will have a better idea by the end of summer whether the emerald ash borer continues its eastward march across southern Ontario.

The agency has deployed 150 traps in Waterloo, Wellington County, Haldimand County, Brant County and Oxford County that are designed to attract the pest and capture it.
The five municipalities are of interest because they are the only ones in south-central Ontario where emerald ash borer has not been detected.
No traps will be set in Norfolk because an infestation was discovered at a campground near Turkey Point several years ago.
The insect is believed to have arrived in a load of firewood from outside the area.
Hundreds of trees in the vicinity were cut down and burned in an effort to contain the infestation.
CFIA is not conducting ground surveys in Norfolk to determine whether the insect has spread.
Allison Barr, CFIA's regional program officer for Central Region, says there is no point in looking for infestations on foot.
"We know ground surveys are very limited in their effectiveness," she said.
"You can be standing under an ash tree, hack into it and find nothing. Yet the tree will be loaded."
Death comes suddenly to trees that are infested.
A tree can harbour ash borers for years and appear healthy before suddenly collapsing.
Ash borer larvae kill by eating the entire circumference of the cambium layer beneath the bark,
effectively girdling its host. Please view my pictures!!

The cambium is responsible for transporting water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the tree.

The traps are baited with distilled ash essences. Insects drawn to them are captured on sticky pads.

Emerald Ash Borer devastated ash stands in Ohio, Michigan and other states south of the border before entering Ontario. CFIA has imposed wood-moving restrictions in Essex County, Lambton County, Chatham-Kent, Elgin, Middlesex, Huron and Norfolk counties. Restrictions are also in effect in Niagara Region, Hamilton, Halton Region, Peel Region, Toronto, York and Durham.

In Guildwood we have some infested trees as well!!

CFIA will confiscate wood that has been cut and transported beyond a regulated zone.
Individuals can be fined as much as $400 for violating quarantines.
Companies can be fined as much as $4,000 and face prosecution in court.
Barr said quarantines are Ontario's best chance for containing the bug.
However, she is surprised how many people are unaware of their responsibilities in regulated zones.
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Proposed regulations could spell end for wind farm off Scarborough Bluffs

Province to call for turbines to be located
five kilometres from shore!!

Proposed regulations could spell end for wind farm off Scarborough Bluffs.
The wind anemometer to test wind speeds in Lake Ontario has been set up by Toronto Hydro, southeast of East Point Park in Scarborough, 1.1 kilometres off shore. Testing will continue for the next two years.

Provincial guidlines on wind turbines released recently are calling for them to be five kilometres from shore when placed in water.
Proposed offshore wind turbine regulations released Friday afternoon by the Ministry of the Environment could mean the end of a possible wind farm in Lake Ontario off the Scarborough Bluffs.

The provincial government issued a press release seeking input on the proposed rules, which include "keeping them at least five kilometres from the shoreline."

Please read more here:
Toronto Hydro is currently testing wind speed and direction with the construction of an anemometer 1.1 km off the shore of East Point Park.
If the two years of testing provided the data to make the case for a wind turbine, the proposal was to install up to 60 turbines from Ajax to the Leslie Street Spit two to four kilometres offshore.

A five-kilometre setback would likely kill the project as it would be too costly to erect the turbines that far out as the shoreline drops off past the four-kilometre area.

This would include addressing potential impacts to endangered and threatened species and their habitat, significant wildlife habitats, users of Crown land, flooding and erosion.

Dates and locations will be available soon at

Wind turbines on Wolfe Island in Ontario has claimed the life of over 600 birds in 6 month.
The Scarborough Bluffs area is considered as a major migrating bird area and protected by provincial and federal laws.

Let's protect our wildlife, their habitat and our source of clean drinking water. Lake Ontario is providing drinking water for millions of people in Canada and United States of America.



Friday, June 11, 2010

Guildwood's shoreline - habitat loss for many plant and animal species

Among the greatest threats to the diversity of natural life is the loss
and destruction of habitat that sustains plant and animal species.
During a recent walk along the shoreline I found the first signs of damage done to
our environment by trucks piling large amount of rubble too close to the lake.
Hiking trails are muddy and wildflower areas are destroyed.

Bird and wildlife:
In spring when migratory birds arrive at the Guildwood Bluffs and Lake Onatrio this is a very busy area.
But not this spring...Only a few swallows and other birds remained at this site.
Red-winged Blackbird colonies in many wetland areas are deserted and only a few birds are left.
I will visit the bird nesting sites and take a look at their nests.  

Anemone canadensis, Asclepias or milk weed, Leucanthemum vulgare or marguerite,
wild roses and vines and many more will be lost for many years during the construction.
No flowers - no bees
No bees - no flowers
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Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Canada Migratory Birds Convention Act and TRCA Meadowcliffe Drive Erosion Control Project

Please read the prevoius article:
Guildwood's waterfront and wildlife habitat compromised by TRCA - Toronto Region Conservation Authority

The Canada Migratory Birds Convention Act is a significant statute for watershed protection, due to the fact that many migratory birds rely on aquatic habitats for their survival.

In Guildwood our shoreline is used by migratory birds; and our ravines, parks and beaches are frequented by migratory birds.

The Act can therefore be raised in support of a concern that a development like the Meadowcliffe Drive Erosion Control Project is going to alter or harm our shoreline of Lake Ontario to the detriment of the ecosystem and life that is supported by the waterway.

An important point to note is that the Act does not explicitly or directly protect bird habitat;
however, if it can be shown that
a development will have a significant, negative impact upon migratory bird populations because of pollution of the waters or land frequented by them,
the Act can be raised as an argument for protecting the significant habitat.
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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Guildwood's waterfront and wildlife habitat compromised by TRCA - Toronto Region Conservation Authority

The Guild Inn and Guildwood's waterfront is a unique treasure to be cherished and preserved??

After many years of walking by the neglected and boarded up Guild Inn
 I have enjoyed my early morning walks along the shoreline of Lake Ontario.
Watched the sunrise over the lake and loved the quiet and peaceful moments.

If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.
- Vincent Van Gogh

Now, I witness firsthand the destruction of our beautiful waterfront.

TRCA finished the Guildwood Erosion Control Project below Sylvan Park in 2002.
My first picture was taken in the fall 2002 from Sylvan Park and shows the beautiful landscaped areas
and walking trails along the Lake Ontario. A great addition for our Guildwood Village community.
Wildflowers and trees started to grow and wildlife  returned to this area in the following years!!

The first time I became aware of the Meadowcliffe Drive Erosion Control Project
 from an article in the Toronto Star.  published Aug 22,  2008

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) is preparing to undertake remedial erosion control works along a portion of the Scarborough Bluffs at the Lake Ontario shoreline, in the City of Toronto.
The project site spans approximately 600 m of shoreline between Bluffers Park and Bellamy Ravine
 (also known as Gates Gully)

The Toronto Star writes:
 Ward 36 Councillor Brian Ashton presents a bigger problem. "To move into the next phase, one of the issues we're facing is: to do the work, how do we access the water's edge?" he said.
"It's a sensitive political issue."
On the west side are the dramatic Cathedral Bluffs, formed because erosion has been left to take its course. The shoreline is unprotected. Trucks filled with armour rocks or seedlings wouldn't be able to pass. The only way to build a road would be to build a beach, which would destroy the cliffs.

On the east side, is the Guildwood region; Ward 43. The erosion project will take years to complete and it's not an easy task to ask residents of a different ward to get on board with extensive construction work.
Who has ever asked any Guildwood residents?? Nobody...

"The environmentalist will say – `No you don't stop erosion. If you want the Cathedral Bluffs, you don't construct erosion works.' But this is in the face of the people who have been allowed to build homes along those zones," said Ashton. "So right now, I'm sort of teetering on the edge of the bluffs."
In January 2010 TRCA published a notice in our local newspaper to invite Guildwood and Meadowcliffe residents to discuss the Meadowcliffe project.
 The meeting date and time was made public one week befor the event took place.
Only a few Guildwood residents attended the meeting!! 
At the present time many of my neighbours are not aware of the project.
After the full impact of the project was known to Guildwood residents as well as the
Guildwood Village Community Association wrote letters to TRCA to oppose and reject the project.

The TRCA Environmental Study Report can be viewed here:

I received no response from our City Councillors or TRCA.
In the meantime TRCA has started the project and is using our Guildwood Village,
the finished beautiful waterfront and hiking trails as access road to the Meadowcliffe area.

What a waste of money to destroy 3000 meters of our shoreline to build 600 meters of erosion control below Meadowcliffe Drive!!   

The Meadowcliffe Drive Project undertaken by TRCA for many years to come is displacing and destroying the habitat of our wildlife such as turtles, deer, coyotes, foxes and many more.
 As dust settles over nesting areas used by shorebirds, migrating birds and wild flowers, monarch butterflies depend on, will be lost.
The migration route of monarch butterflies in this area will be severely impacted as well.

The picture below shows the dramatic impact and pollution on our shoreline!!

Project Update
Notice of Construction
Please be advised that Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) is preparing to commence the stockpiling of rubble material in anticipation of the commencement of the "Meadowcliffe Drive Erosion Control Project".
The Meadowcliffe Drive Erosion Control Project was approved under the Environmental Assessment Act on April 2, 2010.
Construction of this project will commence in the summer of 2010, pending the receipt of all other neccessary approvals.
The stockpiling is anticipated to begin mid-May with construction anticipated to continue into late fall as conditions permit.

TRCA remains committed to allow public access to the shoreline service road for recreational purposes on public holidays, weekday evenings (between 5:00 pm and 7:30 am) and weekends (from 4:30 pm on Friday to 7:30 am on Monday). Why???
Who wants to walk on dirt roads and admire the dumped building materials along the shoreline anyway??
In the interests of public safety access along the main entrance road off of Guildwood Parkway and westerly along the base of the bluffs will be restricted to construction staff and equipment, during hours of work.
For more information on the Meadowcliffe Drive Erosion Control Project please contact:
Mark Preston,
Senior Construction Supervisor
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Phone: 416-392-9722
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