Last week residents in Ontario and Quebec were waken up at night from loud booming sounds. What was the cause of this? Well, you may not believe it but it was from ice! Ice or frost quakes, as they are called, are when crashes occur from the breaking up of ice. These quakes are scientifically known as cryoseisms, and they are caused by water in the ground expanding at cold temperatures. Once the water expands, the ice and ground below cracks and crumbles causing loud noises. Not only are there loud noises, but these ice quakes can even shake the ground. In Ottawa, Nature Canada’s staff member Julia Gamble said “At first it felt like snow or ice was cracking and… read more →
The bull trout (salvelinus confluentus) is a salmonid, specifically a char, and Alberta’s official provincial fish. Native to northwestern North America, bull trout of Alberta are listed as a threatened species according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and as a vulnerable species under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. A recent Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development blog post estimates that there are only a total of approximately 20, 000 bull trout remaining in the province. That population estimate alone might not set off alarm bells to the casual reader, but when you consider that the Alberta Government’s fish stocking program planted 1, 667, 406 rainbow, brown, and brook trout (or roughly 83… read more →
With the last long weekend of summer now just a distant memory, some of you will be preparing your waterfront properties for the cold weather ahead. We have a slew of helpful tips and how-to’s that will guide you through the process of setting up and stowing away items on your property in an environmentally friendly way. Check out our handy resource, called ‘Living by Water’ to learn what you can do to prepare for runoff, snow removal, wildlife, plumbing, leaves and more. Living by Water – Fall edition.
Guest blogger José Luis Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez shares his experience of working in the mining industry in the Canadian arctic. He explores an interesting alternative to storing mine waste in natural or man-made containment ponds that has had success in an Arizona mine. Read Part One of this story.And now for the conclusion of this story. Remember where we left off? I was telling you about how metal mining companies can turn their toxic waste into a revenue stream through a practice called “upcycling”. Here’s a quick recap. Upcycling is the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value. Upcycling is an emerging, small, disaggregated industry that is full of innovation and is… read more →
By Alex MacDonald, manager of Nature Canada’s protected areas program This 2nd annual Canada Water Week, we are asked to discover our respective water footprints. At the outset it seems pretty straightforward, right? But as you have no doubt learned by perusing the CWW interactive infographic, the true water footprint of many of the foods we consume and products we buy is hidden – and very complex. For example, did you know that 10% of all water withdrawn in Canada is used in the manufacturing sector? Manufacturing includes many complex steps to turn raw materials into finished products, among other things. And what if you consider how much water is used in the extraction, processing and refinement of each of… read more →
As lakes across Canada started to phase from water into ice earlier this month, I asked if any of you has a favourite lake or water body. I also mentioned that Nature Canada is introducing the first national Love My Lake Declaration. Well now I’m back to invite you, your friends and family, your co-workers and your fellow freshwater-lovers to sign it! The Declaration represents a list of people from coast, to coast, to coast (and beyond!) who want to declare their love for Canada’s lakes and other (fresh)water bodies. Simply fill out and submit the form below and voilà, you’ve made official your love of Canada’s aquatic environments – in all their wondrous and valuable forms. Last week I… read more →
Ice formation, Stan Wojtaszek With Fall well underway, Canadians are saying “see you soon” to lakes and ponds all across the country for yet another winter. Swimming, paddling, fishing and visits to the lakeside cottage have, among other things, been put on hold for awhile. But now is a great time to reflect on the many ways that lakes and ponds help us connect to nature throughout the year; how they are part of our experience of the ‘true north, strong and free’. And I can’t forget all the opportunities lakes offer for pond hockey, ice-fishing and skating during the winter months! Canadians love their waterscapes, it’s pretty much a fact. Saskatchewan-based author Allan Casey explores the almost intrinsic relationship… read more →
Yesterday (June 8) was World Oceans Day and Canadian Rivers Day is coming up on June 12. What better time to celebrate water? By taking a moment to “Like” the RBC Blue Water Project on Facebook today, you will be contributing directly to water conservation projects. RBC has already committed $50 million over ten years for fresh water protection, but when you Join The Wave you’ll be adding an extra dollar to that fund. Help RBC Blue Water Project create a wave of 50,000 people who have joined the campaign by the end of the week!
Photo: tkeneipp Today marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. Why not celebrate by making these small changes every day for the month of May: Watch less TV Buy fewer things Eat more vegetables, grains, and fruits while eating less meat Take the stairs instead of the elevator Ride the bus or your bike to work or school Use less water in and around your home Tells us about your act of green in the comments – and ask your friends and family what they’re doing! Earth Day is also the first day of advanced voting for the federal election. As you go to the polls, choose the party that will protect and conserve nature on behalf of all Canadians.… read more →
By March I’ve usually had my fill of snow, so I tend to welcome the annual spring melt — but wait, is there a dark side to spring? One environmental chemist says so. From a University of Toronto Scarborough press release: “During the winter months, contaminants accumulate in the snow,” says [University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) environmental chemist Torsten] Meyer, an expert on snow-bound organic contaminants and a post-doctoral fellow at UTSC. “When the snow melts, these chemicals are released into the environment at high concentrations.” In a specially designed, temperature-controlled laboratory at UTSC—which includes a homemade snow-gun and a chemical pump—Meyer creates large baths of fresh snow already tainted with organic contaminants. This one-of-a-kind set-up enables the researcher to… read more →