~ Canaan Connexion ~

Here in the country where urban and rural meet, we are concerned about the
environment around us. We tend to take it for granted. We may not be able
to change the world but we can try to change the world around us. It starts at
home and everyone of us can do something about it. This page is meant to
focus on some of the issues and stories that affect our environment... from the
water we drink, to what we put in our land and how we treat all living things around us.

Deep-sea Fish on the Verge of Extinction

Environmental news stories

Environmental links

Local organizations
Amphibian Conservation Club (A.C.C.) - news and information
Clarence-Rockland Environmental Society
Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre
Problems with Wildlife? - Caring for animals
Turtle Care Centre needs help with volunteers and donations
Wildlife Ontario

Amphibian Conservation Club (A.C.C.)

(A frog's story....) It started in April 2003, when a kid, who had already formed an Amphibian Conservation Club (A.C.C.) the previous Fall, set out to explore Petrie Island.

Eleven year old, Gabrielle, the founder, wanted to adopt our habitat and found out throughFriends of Petrie Island (FOPI) that eventually it would be filled in with sand for a future parking lot, part of a beach development. She had recruited 10 members, ages 7-14 years old, who became part of the Habitat Team and other families from communities inside and outside the greater Ottawa area who became ACC-Petrie Island Ambassadors.

Their goal was to learn all they could about amphibians so that they could translocate our species and friends successfully to our new habitat that offered many of the same features and more.

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Clarence-Rockland Environmental Society

The Clarence-Rockland Environmental Society (CRES) is a group of residents from all parts of the municipality who want to raise environmental awareness and protection. They gathered for the first time in the spring of 2003 and continue to meet every 4th Tuesday of the month at the Rockland bandstand hall at Parc Simon, near J-M Lalonde Arena.

For more information, please check out their Web page on this site.
Click here.

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Click here to see Clarence-Rockland's refuse 'n recycling news

Ottawa-Carleton Wlidlife Centre

Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre closes rehabilitation facility/hotline service

OTTAWA, Nov. 29, 2002 – The Board of Directors of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre(OCWC) regret to announce that they will be closing the Moodie Drive wildlife rehabilitation facility, and its Conflict Resolution telephone hotline service. The Centre finalized its decision at its annual general meeting November 28.

The Board blames actions by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) and a lack of support from the City of Ottawa’s Emergency & Protective Services (EPS) staff for the loss of what has been a widely used and valued community service for the past 15 years. More...

More information about the Wildlife Centre, including a story that suggests "Ottawa City council seeks return to progressive wildlife service", can be found on the Wildlife Ontario site.

Problems with Wildlife? Questions? Caring for animals

If you are having a problem with wildlife you can be sure you are not alone. Although it can be extremely frustrating, it is important to remember there is a solution and it is a TEMPORARY situation. More...

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Turtle Care Centre

Turtle Crossing: If you see these signs along the road, they have been placed there byClick on pic to go to their site...
Turtle S.H.E.L.L. Tortue organization, a registered Canadian charitable organization dedicated to turtle Safety Habitat Education Long Life.

Thanks to the dedicated work by Rockland's "Turtle Lady", Michel Andre-St.Cyr, the group was established in the fall of 1999, to care for
turtles, install highway turtle crossing signs, to provide public education and awareness of the plight of our indigenous turtle populations and habitats.

The organization could use volunteers and donations for their Turtle Care Centre.
If you can help, call:
(613) 446-9927 or check out our "Turtle" page for more.

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This is Nicola... she visits our deck regularly...Wlidlife Ontario

This Web site is privately run and offers advocacy assistance for Ontario's wildlife. It includes assistance to wildlife problems, a message board, a questions and feedback section, news, issues and alerts, resource links, and a link to "Problems with Wildlife, noted above. More...

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Environmental Links

Air Quality Ontario
This is where you go if you want to learn more about air quality and actions you can take.

Amphibian Conservation Club (ACC)
The Amphibian Conservation Club (ACC) is a youth (9-14 years old) club aimed at the protection and conservation of amphibians in the Ottawa area.

Canadian Environmental Auditing Association
Mission: To encourage the development and discipline of environmental auditing and the improvement of environmental management of public and private organizations through environmental auditor certification and the application of environmental auditing ethics, principles and standards.

ClimateArk - Premier Climate Change Portal
A Climate Change Portal and Search Engine dedicated to promoting public policy that addresses global climate change through reductions in carbon dioxide and other
emissions, renewable energy, energy conservation and ending deforestation.

Community Nature Watch
Their goal is to protect and enhance the natural heritage of eastern Ontario. in carbon dioxide and other emissions, renewable energy, energy conservation and ending deforestation.

Composting Council of Canada
A national non-profit, member-driven organization with a charter to advocate and advance composting and compost usage.

Environment Canada
Environment Canada's Internet resource for weather and environmental information. The Green Lane TM helps connect Canadians, exchange information and share knowledge for environmental decision-making.

Environment News From MSNBC

Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products
Inexpensive "old-fashioned" substances can
easily replace more toxic cleaners and
chemicals around the house.

Forest Conservation Portal
Ecological Science Based Forest Conservation
Advocacy Providing Vast Rainforest, Forest and Biodiversity Conservation News and Information.

Ontario Ministry of Environment & Energy

Ontario Waste Management Association
...speaks for nearly 300 independent companies in the private sector who provide the products and services for a better environment. Our business is to protect the environment through the proper management
of waste and recyclable materials.

Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
The OFNC's Conservation Committee has been in existence for 32 years. Today, it continues a long tradition of working for the preservation of natural environments in the Ottawa region and beyond.

Recycling Council of Ontario
...is a not-for-profit organization committed
to minimizing society’s impact on the
environment by eliminating waste.

South Nation Conservation
From headwaters north of Brockville, the South Nation River flows northeast for 175 kilometres (109 miles), and empties into the Ottawa River near Plantagenet. The watershed is a complex ecosystem which South Nation Conservation is mandated to protect. "Our mission is to ensure that the management of natural occurrences, natural resources and human activities results in the protection or improvement of our water resources."

Turtle S.H.E.L.L. Tortue
An organization, a registered Canadian
charitable organization dedicated to turtle
Safety Habitat Education Long Life.

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Canaan Road ~ Bird Watching
( Close to 100 species identified... More...)

Canaan Road - Enviro-Driving Tip:
In many areas of Ontario, including Clarence-Rockland, We see many species
of wild animals on the roads. Please drive with extra care along Canaan Road
where moose and deer are also seen on a regular basis.

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Bog to Bog, a project is working with landowners to protect and link isolated natural areas with a series of forested corridors, is focusing on lands from Ottawa, east to Voyageur Provincial Park, and north of Highway 417. Participating landowners will help connect significant natural areas, such as the Alfred Bog, Mer Bleue Bog and the Larose Forest, with a series of forested corridors.st. More...
The Eastern Ontario Biodiversity Museum
The EOBM was the only independent, regionally-based, full-service natural history museum in Ontario, with a focus on exhibits, collections, and research. It became a leader in biodiversity education in Eastern Ontario, through school and public programmes, field outings, and publications. Sadly, the museum closed in 2005 due to a lack of funding support.

However, you can still participate in Eastern Ontario biodiversity through the Eastern Ontario Natural History Observer Network and the e-mail "NatureList". Send an e-mail to:
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Stretching across 1.5 million hectares, from Algonquin Park to the Quebec border to the St Lawrence River, the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF) is no ordinary woods.

It is a group of dedicated individuals and organizations working together to sustain and ensure the health of the forests of eastern Ontario - now and for the future. This alliance of people concerned with the sustainability of Eastern Ontario forests is truly the backbone of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest.
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The Nature of the Rideau River

The scientists of the Canadian Museum of Nature and their partners have completed the Rideau River Biodiversity Project. Get in on the action and explore the resources. Find out why biodiversity is important to you.

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Click on pic to go to their web site...

Promote the judicious use of private lands in Prescott-Russell to ensure sustainability of natural resources. More...
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Environmental News Stories

Deep-sea Fish on the Verge of Extinction
Hinterland Who's Who flies again
Human activity and the environment
Attack of the lawn-eating grubs
Giant research balloon launched to study ozone layer
Drivers, stop your engines! Gasoline industry and government launch anti-idling campaign
Pesticides and cancer
Ontario: Immediate access to air pollution information
Common pesticide ending up in semen of farmers
Weedkiller targeted by city poses risk
2,4-D found in semen and urine of farmers, study reveals
 Stop trapping squirrels
Retailer joins fight to solve orphan problem
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Deep-sea Fish on the Verge of Extinction
By Omid Ghoreishi - Epoch Times
Jan 12, 2006

A group of biologists from the Memorial University of Newfoundland say that the number of some deep-sea fish species in the north Atlantic has declined to the extent that the species meet the World Conservation Union (IUCN) criteria for being critically endangered.

"Our results indicate that urgent action is needed for the sustainable management of deep-sea fisheries," say the researchers in a paper published in the Scientific journal Nature.

The study is focused on five species that live on or near the bottom of the Canadian waters in the northern Atlantic Ocean, namely the roundnose grenadier, onion-eye grenadier, blue hake, spiny eel, and spinytail skate.

"This study is unique because we had such a long time series for these species, knew or could infer their generation time, and were able to apply the IUCN criteria," says Jennifer Devine, one of the researchers.

"We believe our study is a crucial piece in the growing pile of evidence that fishing in the deep-sea has detrimental and far-reaching effects on the entire deep-sea ecosystem."

According to the study, the species have decreased between 87 and 98 percent over only 17 years. Also, the two grenadier species have declined by 93.3 and 99.6 percent over a 26-year period.

"No population fluctuates as much as 90% naturally, especially in such a stable

environment as the deep-sea. Any changes made to halt these population declines would not be evident for several generations — approximately 100 years," says Devine.

A decline in the oceanic cod, rays, tuna, and other types of fish due to over-fishing in the 1960s and 1970s caused a shift in commercial fishing to the deep-seas. Devine says prior to the 1970s, deep-ocean trawling on the continental slope was non-existent, but it has become important all over the world as shelf fisheries declined. And this is the reason they believe trawling has had an impact on deep-sea fishes and the deep-sea ecosystem.

Because of slow growth, late maturation, long life, and low fertility rates, deep-sea fish are extremely vulnerable to over-fishing.

As one of the initiatives to stop the rapid decline of these species, the researchers have suggested the establishment of "deep-sea protected areas".

"A recent article in Science has shown how a marine protected area in shallower habitat has been effective. Additionally, we have seen the call for reduced fishing mortality on deep-sea stocks in the Northeast Atlantic and believe that could be an appropriate conservation measure," says Devine.

Devine says that so far, they have seen no sign that their research has caught the attention of the authorities or that there is any action planned to help the situation.

Read The Epoch Times here.

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Hinterland Who's Who flies again

The federal government is relaunching a widely-recognized TV ad campaign to bring knowledge of wildlife to a new generation.

A common loon

Hinterland Who's Who, a series of 60-second public service ads profiling Canadian animals and birds, became widely known after it was launched in the 1960s.

The introductory flute music is instantly recognizable, and the topics – covering animals from the American black duck to the woodchuck – brought nature into the living room.

Environment Canada said there are eight new ads being broadcast Monday, 30-second segments that "build on the classic theme of the original Hinterland Who's Who" and 60-second commercials aimed at younger viewers with "a modernized soundtrack".

But "don't worry, that familiar tune is still there," the agency said.

The animals in the news ads are the polar bear, monarch butterfly, common loon and leatherback seaturtle.

The government's also promoting a new website for Hinterland Who's Who.

On the site, viewers can watch the original 60-second video clips, the new clips – and some spoofs of the series. More...
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  Human Activity and the Environment

Air — Water — Soil — Plants — Animals
Get immediate insight into how Canadians influence the environment! Human Activity and the Environment (HAE) 2000 provides extensive data on population, economic activities, the environment and explains relationships among these key elements. Based on data from dozens of different surveys and databases, HAE is an all inclusive blend of current figures, historical facts and authoritative analysis. Click for more.

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  Attack of the lawn-eating grubs
White grubs are eating lawns bare
Prepare battle plan for grubs
Controlling Lawn Grubs
Grubbusters - all natural and pesticide free
Pictures to help you identify grubs
A story in a 2002 summer issue of the Ottawa Citizen talking about the white grubs that invade our lawns. Here are links to similar information.
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  Giant research balloon launched to study ozone layer
Giant Research Balloon Launched into Ozone Layer -- A giant research balloon, as tall as 25 story building, was launched into the ozone layer at 4:02 EDT on September 3, from Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, by scientists from Environment Canada, the Canadian Space Agency and the University of Toronto. The balloon will collect information on the effects of industrial chemicals and climate change on the ozone layer. (CANADA NEWSWIRE PHOTO/Environment Canada) Click for full story.
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  Drivers, stop your engines! Gasoline industry and government launch anti-idling campaign
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 14/02 - Motorists can save fuel and money by not letting their engines run unnecessarily. This is the message of a new public
awareness campaign being tested at participating gasoline retail outlets in Mississauga.
The Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI) and the Government of Canada today jointly launched a pilot anti-idling project to remind drivers to turn off their cars if they are stopped for more than 10 seconds. The CPPI represents Canada's gasoline refiners and marketers. Click here.
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  Pesticides and cancer
Lawn care companies are trying to convince us they’re safe, but thirty-two of the 34 most widely used pesticides in Canada have never been tested for environmental or health risks. Read Suzanne Elston's story from Straight Goods.

Click here.
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 Ontario: Immediate access to air pollution information
Ontario's new on-line emissions reporting registry - OnAIR - will make polluters more accountable to the public by providing regular information about what emissions are being put into the air and by whom.

Ontario is the first jurisdiction in the world to require monitoring and public reporting on a full range of greenhouse gases linked to climate change. This information will help Ontario set future air quality targets and track progress in the fight against smog, acid rain and climate change.
Click for more.
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 Common pesticide ending up in semen of farmers
OTTAWA - A common pesticide used to spray lawns and golf courses often ends up in the semen of the men who spray it, according to a new Health Canada study. 2,4-D has been used for almost 40 years. According to a study of 97 male Ontario farmers, about half had detectable levels of pesticide. Click for more from the CBC, plus their "Indpth: Pesticide Debate".

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Weedkiller targeted by city poses risk
2,4-D found in semen and urine of farmers, study reveals
Tom Spears
Sunday, May 26, 2002
The most common weedkiller on Canadian lawns and golf courses for the past 40 years, 2,4-D, is often absorbed into the semen of men who spray the pesticide, and is passed on to their wives during sex.

If the woman is pregnant, the fetus is also exposed to the pesticide, says a Health Canada study of 97 male Ontario farmers.

The department has no idea what effects this may have on the next generation, but it wants to know if the men's exposure could harm their children.
2,4-D is one of the main chemicals under scrutiny in the City of Ottawa's debate on lawn and garden pesticides.

It is an organochlorine that kills broad-leafed plants, but not grass. It's widely sold in Ottawa stores and is used by lawn care companies in brands such as Killex, Trillion and Par-3, often in a mixture with two other weedkillers, dicamba and mecoprop.

In broad-leafed plants such as dandelions, it acts like a growth hormone, causing a burst of uncontrolled growth that ultimately kills the dandelion while not affecting the grass.

The study, published in a research journal called Reproductive Toxicity, is by a team led by Health Canada researcher Tye Arbuckle of the Bureau of Reproductive and Child Health. She also teaches at Queen's University.

Health Canada calls the pesticide amounts "trace levels." About half the men had detectable levels of pesticide, and those who did averaged 20 to 30 parts per million in seminal fluid. Those men who showed pesticide in their semen generally also had it in their urine.

 "Given the importance of semen as a potential carrier of chemicals posing reproductive hazards, it is crucial to understand the relationship between pesticide-handling practices, the presence and levels of pesticide residues in semen and the risk of adverse reproductive outcomes," the department adds in a summary of the study.

It says this study is the first to make some initial estimates of exposure and comparisons between pesticide levels in semen and urine. The Ontario farmers were not so bad compared with farmers in Argentina, whose 2,4-D levels were as much as 300 times higher than those of Ontario men. The men in Argentina had significant damage to their sperm cells.

But what about the far lower exposure levels in Canada? So far the effects, if any, are unknown. Most of the sperm damage once caused by 2,4-D-based pesticides was caused by dioxins that crept in as accidental contaminants, said Barbara Hales, a pharmacology professor at McGill University. Her field is how men's exposure to drugs or chemicals can affect their offspring.
But the industry says those early years of contaminated 2,4-D are long gone, and there's no dioxin in today's weedkiller. Still, Ms. Hales added, "it's always a concern," and so far the health evidence is inconclusive.

The fetus could only be exposed in its earliest embryonic stage, before it is protected by an amniotic sac, she said. And the amount of 2,4-D in seminal fluid "is really, really low."

The pesticide industry's 2,4-D task force says the chemical is utterly safe when used properly. It quotes a 1997 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which concludes 2,4-D is "non-carcinogenic, non-teratogenic (does not cause birth defects) and non-mutagenic."

As well, it has the support of one of the study's co-authors, University of Guelph toxicologist Len Ritter, who wrote: "While we can also all agree that it would have been more comforting had we not detected any residue in semen, we can't conclude that the detected levels constitute any risk because ... the study simply detected that exposure had occurred, at extremely low levels that pushed our analytical capability to its limit and required special methodology to even be able to detect these extremely low levels."

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Stop trapping squirrels
Retailer joins fight to solve orphan problem
Graham Hughes
Tuesday, May 14, 2002
The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre is awash in baby squirrels, and one major retailer is helping to get the word out to homeowners to stop live-trapping.

The centre has about 100 squirrels and more than 50 more with foster families. The cages are full, and overflow squirrels are in boxes. Feeding the critters is a little like painting a bridge -- by the time you're done feeding the last one, it's time to go back to the first.

Live traps are one of the reasons for the squirrel explosion. But the situation may improve.
Last fall, the centre's president, Donna DuBreuil, convinced Home Depot to stop selling live traps. Now there's a "scrap-the-traps" campaign to convince homeowners to stop using them.
She said the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act makes it illegal to trap and relocate any wild animal outside of close proximity to where it was captured.

 Steve Wilkinson, manager of the Home Depot on Baseline Road, said the decision to end trap sales followed the meeting with Mrs. DuBreuil.

"Like me, a lot of our customers were not aware of the law and the effect of trapping," he said.
He said he did not feel it was good policy to sell traps to customers who would be breaking the law if they used them. In addition, Mr. Wilkinson said, Home Depot will use information from the centre to provide seminars on animal-proofing.

The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre is having to find space for about 100 orphaned squirrels and has placed another 50 with 'foster parents.' Home Depot is joining the campaign to convince homeowners to stop live-trapping, which adds to the orphan problem.

Many homeowners who find a wild animal in their home or garage think capturing the animal in a live trap and relocating it is a humane solution. But relocating a mother often means leaving young orphans who can't care for themselves and sentences them to a slow death, said Ms. DuBreuil.
In the past, she said, trapping and relocating wildlife was considered humane. But 60 to 70 per cent of the baby animals taken to volunteer organizations each year are orphaned after their mother was trapped and relocated, Mrs. DuBreuil said.

If the babies are found, the finder cares for them, or has them euthanized. Expensive repair bills are also possible if the young animals die under inaccessible steps or between walls.

As well, those who set traps often catch a skunk and panic about what to do next, she said.
"Helping them is equivalent to helping someone defuse a bomb."

For information on animal-proofing or other animal-related problems, call the centre's hotline at 726-6965.

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