Last night, Prince Edward County Council voted to endorse local naturalist objections to a proposed wind power project inside an Important Bird Area. In a 13-3 vote, the Council voiced agreement with local residents who oppose plans to build and operate nine wind turbines within Ostrander Point Crown Land Block, a critical refuelling spot for birds migrating from South and Central America on their way to and from Canada’s Boreal Forest.
Wind turbines and birding areas do not mix.
This is the message Prince Edward County Field Naturalists members Myrna Wood and Cheryl Anderson brought to council last night.
The best wind power is offshore on Lake Ontario, said Wood, but there is a moratorium on offshore turbines. She added there are a lot of other appropriate areas in the County and other parts of the province that would not disturb significant wildlife and would have just as much wind power. “We support the Green Energy Act and wind energy but it has to be put in the right place,” said Wood. “Ostrander Point is the wrong place.”
“Prince Edward County is the penultimate refuelling refuge for birds migrating from South and Central America on their way to and from the boreal forest,” Anderson said. “In the spring they can be seen on Doppler radar massing on the south shore of Lake Ontario waiting for an appropriate time to cross over to the closest land – which is Prince Edward County. When they arrive they are tired and hungry.”
Anderson explained the data of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory confirms millions of birds use this flyway. “If the plans of the Ontario government and Gilead Power are allowed to go forward, millions of birds will have to confront another obstacle when they arrive at their refuge. Nine wind turbines on the Ostrander Crown Land block and a further 20 proposed turbines in the PEC South Shore Important Bird Area, part of the WPD proposal, will have to be negotiated by the already exhausted and famished birds. There is no doubt that the mortality will be significant.”
Full story is here.
Gilead Associates, the company that is applying for a Renewable Energy Approval to build and operate the wind turbines within the Ostrander Point Crown Land Block, has applied to the Province of Ontario for a permit to “kill, harm and harass Blanding’s Turtle and Whip-poor-will as well as damage and destroy the habitat of Whip-poor-will for the purpose of the development and operation of Ostrander Point Wind Energy Park.”Gilead permits to lease Ostrander Point and destroy SAR habitat. Nature Canada has been working with local naturalists to protect this Important Bird Area and halt plans for the wind project.