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Council commended for stance on Ostrander Point

The Picton Gazette

By Caroline Schultz, executive director, Ontario Nature

June 2, 2011

I would like to commend the Prince Edward County Council for its majority endorsement of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists’ position on the threat posed to species at risk and migratory birds by the proposed wind farm at Ostrander Point.

Ontario Nature’s formal position on wind energy is that climate change poses one of the greatest risks to biodiversity and that we recognize the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gases emitted from burning fossil fuels in electricity generation.

We support the development of alternative renewable energy sources and fully agree that wind is an essential part of the energy mix that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. We particularly applaud the government’s commitment to eliminating dirty coal-fired electricity generation from the province.

We have also been very clear that wind energy development must present minimal threat to biodiversity. Specifically, we have insisted that wind turbines not be placed in Important Bird Areas, in other areas with high densities of birds or bats, such as key migratory pathways, or in significant natural areas inhabited by provincially or federally listed species at risk.

Ostrander Point is such an area. It is within a globally significant Important Bird Area, and each spring and fall it sees one of the greatest numbers of migrating songbirds in the province. It is one of the few truly wild places remaining along the northern shore of Lake Ontario and, as such, is a sanctuary for at least two threatened species, the Blanding’s turtle and the whip-poor-will.

It is one of the worst possible places to construct a wind farm. If we lose Ostrander, we will lose sight of what is truly important and debase the meaning of “green energy.”

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