Quinte Conservation: Flood watch for the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario

May 3, 2019

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UPDATE #1 FOR FLOOD WATCH ON LAKE ONTARIO AND THE BAY OF QUINTE

Lake Ontario is expected to rise at least 14 cm throughout the upcoming week. Water levels will continue to rise before peaking in late May or early June.

As of May 2, 2019, Lake Ontario was recorded at 47 cm above average for this time of year, which is 13 cm below the recorded level for May 2, 2017. This amount is 43 cm below the peak in 2017.

Lake Ontario water levels are influenced by uncontrolled, above average outflows from Lake Erie, local rainfall and runoff throughout the Lake Ontario Watershed, and reduced Lake Ontario outflows, in order to balance flooding impacts on the St. Lawrence River. Record breaking water levels for this time of year have been recorded for Lake Erie. Above average precipitation was received across the Great Lakes over the past three months. Flood conditions continue on the lower St. Lawrence River. Flows on the Ottawa River reached record highs.

High winds, storm surges, and waves can cause shoreline damage and wave uprush.

Outflows from Lake Ontario will increase, as water levels rise, in accordance with the Plan 2014 F-Limit. The current provisional forecasts suggest that Lake Ontario outflows will be increased by early next week.

Flooding and other high water impacts have been reported from areas of Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River during periods of strong winds.

Shoreline residents are advised to either secure or remove loose items from their properties where there is a risk of encroaching flood water.

Sandbags can be effective in protecting your residence. Sandbags are not intended to protect shorelines and accessory buildings. For more information on ways to protect your shoreline, contact the Quinte Conservation office and speak with expert staff in the planning and regulations department.

Boaters need to be cautious of floating debris and should take proper safety precautions when out on the water.

It is important that the public never wade through or play in flood water as it is extremely unsafe. Flood water can be contaminated with septic and hazardous debris.

The public is advised to obey any posted road closure signs and to check with their municipality for updates on road closures.

If you are concerned that your shoreline well or septic has been compromised, please contact your local health unit. Do not drink the water and find an alternative water source to use. This message does not apply to municipal drinking water systems.

Staff will continue to monitor conditions and will provide an update if forecasts and conditions change. For current water levels or to report any observations of flooding, residents are encouraged to visit QuinteConservation.ca.

This message will be in effect until (or updated if anything significant changes before) Monday, May 13, 2019.

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency. It serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County. It provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership. Quinte Conservation’s main goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony. More information about Quinte Conservation is available at www.quinteconservation.ca. Continue reading “Quinte Conservation: Flood watch for the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario”

One million species at risk of extinction due to human actions, report says

It is more important than ever that you write to your members of parliament and demand concrete action on the climate emergency and protection of our air, water, and land. Sample letters HERE.

Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN-backed report obtained by AFP that painstakingly catalogues how humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends.

WATCH the VIDEO

The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, CO2-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves — to name but a few of the dwindling services rendered by Nature — poses no less of a threat than climate change, says the report, set to be unveiled May 6.

Indeed, biodiversity loss and global warming are closely linked, according to the 44-page Summary for Policy Makers, which distills a 1,800-page assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature.

Delegates from 130 nations meeting in Paris from April 29 will vet the executive summary line-by-line. Wording may change, but figures lifted from the underlying report cannot be altered.

“We need to recognise that climate change and loss of Nature are equally important, not just for the environment, but as development and economic issues as well,” Robert Watson, chair of the UN-mandated body that compiled the report, told AFP, without divulging its findings.

“The way we produce our food and energy is undermining the regulating services that we get from Nature,” he said, adding that only “transformative change” can stem the damage.

Deforestation and agriculture, including livestock production, account for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and have wreaked havoc on natural ecosystems as well.

Jayne Forbes of Extinction Rebellion speaks to FRANCE 24

‘Mass extinction event’

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report warns of “an imminent rapid acceleration in the global rate of species extinction.”

The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, CO2-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves — to name but a few of the dwindling services rendered by Nature — poses no less of a threat than climate change, says the report, set to be unveiled May 6.

Indeed, biodiversity loss and global warming are closely linked, according to the 44-page Summary for Policy Makers, which distills a 1,800-page assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature.

“We need to recognise that climate change and loss of Nature are equally important, not just for the environment, but as development and economic issues as well,” Robert Watson, chair of the UN-mandated body that compiled the report, told AFP, without divulging its findings. “The way we produce our food and energy is undermining the regulating services that we get from Nature,” he said, adding that only “transformative change” can stem the damage.

Deforestation and agriculture, including livestock production, account for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and have wreaked havoc on natural ecosystems as well. MORE

Canada Has New Rules Governing Its Marine Protected Areas. Do They Go Far Enough?

“I think it’s the first time the government has said no to the oil and gas industry.” – Sigrid Kuehnemund, World Wildlife Fund of Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada cites public backlash as one of the motivating factors for changing the rules governing marine protected areas.

sunrise over the Atltantic Ocean in the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick
The new rules controlling what kinds of activities can take place in marine protected areas will not be retroactively applied to existing areas. Photo by Makasana Photo/Alamy Stock Photo

In an announcement last week, Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s minister of fisheries, oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, laid out new rules banning oil and gas development, trawl fishing, mining, and dumping in Canada’s marine protected areas (MPAs).

The move is a response to the Canadian public’s surprise—and disapproval—when it learned in 2017 that the planned Laurentian Channel MPA off Newfoundland and Labrador would allow oil and gas drilling in 98 percent of its area.

“We got a lot of feedback from the public saying, ‘We don’t think you should … have oil and gas activities in marine protected areas’,” says Jeff MacDonald, director general of oceans and fisheries policy for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Such a strong negative reaction led to the formation of a national advisory panel, its report, and ultimately the new rules.

In line with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi targets, Canada has committed to protect 10 percent of its territorial waters by 2020. The changes bring Canada closer to the standards set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which guide nations’ compliance with the Aichi targets.

In addition to MPAs, the new rules also apply to two other ways of protecting the oceans around Canada: marine national wildlife areas, and national marine conservation areas. MORE

RELATED:

Canada protects important natural habitats in Quebec

Workers must be at the centre of shaping Canada’s ‘Green New Deal’

“..perhaps the biggest and most immediate challenge is to ensure working people get engaged — that Canadians can spot a sham deal, and know a real Green New Deal is focused on improving their lives. Even the most artful federalism and smart policy crafting won’t amount to much if those it aims to benefit don’t want it.”

An idea has been developing. Perhaps three of the biggest threats to our societies – environmental destruction, public austerity and economic inequality – stem from a single problem: a rapacious economic model that assumes everything, including people, is a resource to be consumed. Until there’s no more.

For many, that’s the analysis creating enthusiasm about a Green New Deal. In simplest terms, a Green New Deal is an economic strategy to boost jobs and wages through decarbonizing the economy. But it’s also much more complex, aiming at the core structural problems that got us here.

Recently, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has been publicly expressing his support for the concept. He’s pledged a federal green retrofit program that would create jobs for trades workers, cut carbon emissions, save people money and improved the quality of our homes lives. He’s promised tax changes on high-wealth Canadians to address inequality and bring in new revenue.

With a federal election this fall, Singh’s policy-designers need to press ahead. But even while there needs to be speed, caution is required if a Green New Deal is to succeed.

Those determined to reverse austerity, inequality and environmental damage need to help Canadians be clear that there’s a huge difference between a Green New Deal and a Green Neoliberal Deal. Something new that reproduces the same old downward pressure on wages, the same tax unfairness, the same lobbyist machine at the heart of the system – and the same bonanza pay-off for investors — is no Green New Deal.

We’ve been living in the neoliberal model for so long it’s easy to forget there are others. From the 1940s to the 1970s, Canadian governments developed a model based on a national economy with social safety nets, high taxes on high incomes and laws supporting workers’ collective bargaining, among other features.

For Green New Dealers, economic structures matter. The results of an economic model – how gains are shared, where investment is targeted – greatly depends on who sets the rules. Green New Deal architects need to bring together the political coalition they need to be the change they want. MORE

Crowds of Edmonton students march for climate change action

“It’s 2019. Can we all now please stop saying “climate change” and instead call it what it is: climate breakdown, climate crisis, climate emergency, ecological breakdown, ecological crisis and ecological emergency?” – Greta Thunberg

 

 WATCH the Video Hundreds of Edmonton students and supporters marched through downtown and rallied at the Alberta legislature Friday as part of Climate Justice Edmonton.

On Friday afternoon, students from schools across Edmonton swarmed downtown streets and marched for government action on climate change.

At 12:30 p.m., students walked out of class and took to the streets, making their way from Churchill Square to the Alberta legislature building.

The movement is part of Climate Justice Edmonton, and protests could be heard from surrounding buildings.

READ MORE: ‘No jobs on a dead planet’: Students around the world strike for more action on climate change

“We were planning this demonstration before Jason Kenney was elected but now it feels even more urgent,” student organizer Abram Ilcisin said. “We know his policies will make a bad situation worse.

“He is promising to double down on a dying fossil fuel industry and roll back much needed public investment in renewables; this makes me worry whether I’ll be able to find good work in my future” he continued.

“We want to remind every voter and politician of what the IPCC report said — the action we take in the next few years could literally determine our whole future. For our government to not take real action is frankly negligent and cruel to future generations.”

RELATED:

Vancouver climate strike organizer Rebecca Hamilton says students are coming together to fight for their lives