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How green are giant turbines?

A recent article written by Paul Catling, Sheila McKay-Kuja, Brenda Kostiuk and Allen Kuja explores the many facets of the natural world at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block. The article (soon to be published in Landscape and Trails) details botanical, avian, amphibian and reptile and insect inhabitants of the area. It is a comprehensive look at all the reasons to preserve this important natural habitat.
The paper has a section titled “How green are giant turbines?” excerpted here:
“There is unnecessary damage to natural areas a result of any kind of construction. In the case of turbines there will be many Km of new roads and culverts to enable construction and continuous servicing as well as turbines pads and trenches for buried cables. The entire area would be affected including hydrologically sensitive alvar habitats and significant wildlife habitat (SWH) for birds etc. It is sometimes thought that turbines are only going to affect a few flying insects, but in fact construction and maintenance can totally destroy a biologically significant natural landscape.”
Prince Edward County Field Naturalists has been working hard with our partners at Ontario Nature and Nature Canada to help the Ontario government realize that being “green” means more than erecting giant wind turbines everywhere. Important natural habitat, the home of several species at risk, the migratory pathway of millions of birds, bats and butterflies is the wrong place for turbines. We implore the Ministry of the Environment not to make the wrong decision on the Gilead project.
To read the whole paper by Catling et. al. Follow this link: http://naturestuff.net/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=137&Itemid=33

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The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, founded in 1997, is an affiliate of Ontario Nature. It provides an educational forum dedicated to the study, promotion, appreciation and conservation of the flora and fauna within Prince Edward County. The public is welcome at the meetings held on the last Tuesday of the month from September to May, except December, at Bloomfield Town Hall. Guest speakers introduce a variety of nature related topics. All members are encouraged to participate at meetings by sharing their experiences and observations. Regularly scheduled field trips in the vicinity offer members the opportunity to experience various habitats. Membership in PECFN is open to all. Contact: Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, P.O. Box 477, Bloomfield, Ontario K0K 1G0 Or Cheryl Anderson 613-471-1096

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  1. Gary Mooney says:

    John, if the Gilead and WPD projects are built, how close will your home be to a wind turbine?

  2. Mark says:

    Doris has got it right. IWT’s are not a fix as how many more issues does one need to reject them. Europe and the States know all to well. They are not part of a green County. Looking forward to the results of the South Marysburgh vote July 14th.

  3. Doris Lane says:

    There is no site in Prince Edward County that is a good sight for IWT’s
    As the rest of the world is finding out now IWT’s are just not good to be putting anywhere

  4. John Samuel says:

    If South Marysburgh is the wrong site what alternative, in the County, is being proposed? It isn’t good enough to be against something without being for something else.

  5. Chris Keen says:

    I do not profess to be an expert, but it is clear from the IBA Canada website that there is a significant amount of research done before a site is designated an IBA using, “internationally” established approaches. These locations are not drawn from a hat.

    The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada.

    From their site:

    “The IBA Program

    The Important Bird Areas Program took root in Canada in 1996 with a five-year effort that focused on site identification and designation. As part of this first phase, nearly 600 IBAs were designated across every province and territory using an internationally established, science-based approach.

    Subsequently, provincial nature federation groups were engaged to coordinate the development of conservation plans for selected IBAs and to lead local conservation activities.

    The Government of Canada was a critical partner in these early years, providing generous financial support through its Millennium Fund program. Environment Canada provided strong in-kind support in a science advisory role and through the provision of migratory bird data.”

    The rationale behind choosing the South Shore of PEC as an IBA:

    http://www.ibacanada.ca/site.jsp?siteID=ON003&lang=EN

  6. Suzanne Lucas says:

    JD perhaps you could also detail your own credentials. The blog post you are commenting on is about an article written by naturalists, folks whose education and professional experience qualify them as informed participants in this debate. I find it difficult to believe that you would know more about the environmental effects of IWTs at Ostrander Point than these experts but am willing to keep an open mind if you would be willing to share your name and your qualifications relevant to this issue.

  7. Mark says:

    And what is your expertise in determining and stating that there will be no species permanantly harmed with the placement of these monster Industrial Wind Turbines in the County? That’s a pretty bold statement. Perhaps you can provide the data you used in making that conclusion. Did you include humans in your research?

  8. JD says:

    The south shore of Prince Edward County is not an internationally recognized Important Bird Area. It has never met any of the international standards for an IBA. It has been designated an IBA by some Canadian organizations that do not have any specific standards of determination.

    The waters offshore are where the IBA is located. It is so designated because of the scaup, mergansers and scoters that winter there. These birds have seen their populations decline by about half – some 3million birds – as a direct result of climate change.

    Birds will survive only if they adapt to climate change and the changes it brings to their breeding situation. There are scores of birds that have already been identified as threatened because they are not adapting to climate change. There are probably hundreds if not thousands more.

    Canada and Canadians are the greatest per capita contributors to the problem. In Prince Edward County we are uniquely blessed with both wind and solar energy sources which will have to be harnessed if we are to have a solution (or we can choose nuclear). There will be no species permanently harmed if we act on placing turbines in Prince Edward County. I’m not sure the opposite is true.

  9. Cheryl Anderson says:

    Thank you for commenting on our blog, Fred. The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists has consistently maintained, along with their partners Nature Canada and Ontario Nature that wind and other alternate sources of energy are necessary to continue on the path to environmental sustainability. However, turbines must not be situated in places of extreme habitat sensitivity like the South Shore of Prince Edward County. The South Shore harbours endangered species, rare habitat and is in the migratory path of millions of boreal birds – that is why (among other reasons) it has been declared a globally significant Important Bird Area. That is why we oppose turbines at the Ostrander Point Crown Land Block.

  10. Fred Snow says:

    I also have concerns about the impacts of wind turbines on wildlife, but I would like to see the anti-wind turbine folks come up with some solutions to renewable energy as opposed to solely opposing Wind Turbines.

    There are similar grass-roots groups in southern Appalachia campaigning to “save the mountaintops” in their state from mountaintop removal coal mining. If the loss of an entire mountaintop isn’t Habitat Destruction I don’t know what is.

    Please come up with some suggestions for alternate sources of renewable energy before you denounce wind energy.

  11. Doris Lane says:

    Of course South Marysburgh is the wrong place for turbines
    because of its natural habitat. It is too bad that people in power can not see the destructive nature of IWT`s. It will be a sad day for PEC when the first turbine is erected

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