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Is the Oak Ridges Moraine protected?

Wednesday, February 22nd 2012 4:16:47pm

Media Advisory

Coalition fears consequences of dumping, development and draining on the moraine


Attention: Assignment Editors; Environment Reporters/Media photo-op

Event: The Moraine Can’t Wait campaign is hosting a presentation on the biggest threats to drinking water on the Oak Ridges Moraine. The event is open to the public and lunch will be provided.

Date and time: February 23, 2012; starting at noon

Location: Toronto City Council Chambers, Members Lounge, 100 Queen Street West

Special Guests and Speakers:  
• Kristyn Wong-Tam, City Councillor, Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale
• Josh Matlow, City Councillor, Ward 22 St. Paul’s
• Debbe Crandall, Executive Director, STORM
• Josh Garfinkel, Senior Campaigner, Earthroots
• Debbie Gordon, Outreach Coordinator, STORM

Please join City of Toronto councillors, councillors from six municipalities on the moraine, MPPs, and the Moraine Can’t Wait team (made up of three conservation organizations: STORM Coalition, Earthroots, Ontario Nature) for an urgent presentation on ongoing dumping of contaminated soil out of Toronto into abandoned quarries and private property on the moraine, putting the safety of our drinking water at risk. The Moraine Can’t Wait campaign is calling on the Province to address the issue of contaminated landfill and permanently protect the Oak Ridges Moraine.

For more information, contact:

Josh Garfinkel, Senior Campaigner, Earthroots: 416-562-3894 (cell); joshg@earthroots.org

Victoria Foote, Director of Communications, Ontario Nature: 416-444-8419 ext. 238; 647-290-9384 (cell); victoriaf@ontarionature.org

Debbie Gordon, Outreach Coordinator, STORM: 905-853-8340 (cell); debbeday@rogers.com

Backgrounder:

The Oak Ridges Moraine is one of Ontario’s most prominent ecosystems. It is a geological ridge of land up to 300 metres high that extends east to west, north of the City of Toronto. More than 30 of the rivers that drain into Lake Simcoe and Lake Ontario have their headwaters in the moraine.

The moraine:

• Provides drinking water to more than 250,000 residents and millions more in the Greater Toronto Area.
• Is southern Ontario’s rain barrel, with permeable sands and gravels that absorb and collect precipitation, slowly recharging the deep aquifers.
• Covers 190,000 hectares, forming the headwaters of 65 streams flowing south to Lake Ontario and north to Lake Simcoe, Lake Scugog, Rice Lake and Georgian Bay.
• Supports the largest and most diverse breeding bird populations in southern Ontario
• Is home to 32 kettle lakes - a very significant habitat.
• Hosts the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail - a 273 km recreational trail that traverses the entire length of the Moraine.
• Provides habitat for 40 percent of Ontario’s species at risk including bobolinks, red-shouldered hawks, monarch butterflies and peregrine falcons.
• Is vulnerable to contamination as current brownfield legislation does not adequately address commercial fill.



Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters and 140 member groups across Ontario (charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001). For more information, visit www.ontarionature.org

Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition (STORM) is focused on protecting the ecological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Since 1989, STORM has been working at the local and regional levels to ensure that municipalities make good planning decisions to protect its ecological and hydrological functions. For more information, visit www.stormcoalition.org.

Earthroots is a grassroots conservation organization that works aggressively to protect wilderness, wildlife and watersheds in Ontario through research, education and action. Our dedicated staff and focused campaigns have achieved effective protection of threatened ecosystems for over 20 years on behalf of our approximately 12,000 supporters in the province. We use many techniques to propel issues forward including public education, advocacy, primary and secondary research, media awareness and creative peaceful activism. For more information, visit www.earthroots.org.