Naturalists call for action to stop dangerous Amherst Island wind power project
From the Association to Protect Amherst Island is this call for help.
Call to Action – Nature Canada and Kingston Field Naturalists seek support to stop turbine project on Amherst Island
June 28, 2015
A 27-turbine wind power project proposed for internationally recognized Amherst Island, an Important Bird Area near Kingston Ontario, may be approved soon by the Ontario government.
The many Species at Risk on Amherst Island include birds (Short-eared Owl, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Whip-poo-rwill, Barn Swallow, Golden Eagle, Least Bittern, and Red Knot), Blanding’s Turtles, and Milk and Ribbon Snakes.
Amherst Island has an international reputation as one of the most outstanding places in North America to see concentrations of northern owls and is an important stopover for bats on their migratory path across Lake Ontario. Bats are becoming endangered in many places and in April 2015, Canada, the United States and Mexico signed an agreement to protect the pathways of migratory bats.
A wind turbine installation on this small island, as learned from the nearby Wolfe Island installation, would result in loss of habitat for Short-eared Owl and serious and irreversible harm to local populations of Bobolinks, Barn Swallows and Eastern Meadowlarks, and to breeding population of Red-tailed Hawk, breeding and roosting Purple Martins, and Osprey. Additionally significant breeding population of Blanding’s Turtle, Wilson’s Phalarope and Whip-poor-wills are also at risk. No one is considering the cumulative impact of this project and the many others that are operational or proposed for this important migration route on the vulnerable populations of birds and other wildlife.
More information about the Project and the Island can be found at: www.protectamherstisland.ca
This might the last opportunity to convince the Province to make the right decision and put an end to this project before it enters the expensive and draining cycle of legal challenges. It is time that Ontario’s green energy policy is balanced with its international obligations to protect biodiversity and that decision makers demonstrate genuine respect for the wishes of the overwhelming majority of community members. Please send letters to those listed below, asking that the wind-turbine project for Amherst Island be stopped completely – and permanently:
Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynne, firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, email@example.com
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Bill Mauro, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director, MOECC, Sarah Paul email@example.com
Senior Project Evaluator, MOECC, Susanne Edwards, firstname.lastname@example.org
CC Association to Protect Amherst Island email@example.com
Kingston Field Naturalists and Nature Canada
WCO note: we suggest also sending a note to your local field naturalists’ organization to alert them to this situation, if they are not already aware, and to any nature/wildlife/birding columnists in your local newspaper
Site plan map of Amherst Island: