Prince Edward County, almost-an-island located on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario, is quite a remarkable place. Off the beaten path, it has developed a largely tourist-based economy based on such things as beautiful unspoiled scenery, artists, good wines and fine dining. Aside from its importance to the human psyche, it is also very important to migrating birds. Long Point sticks out into Lake Ontario and many birds (as in thousands upon thousands) land there after a tiring flight across Lake Ontario. As a consequence the entire area is an Important Bird Area. This area was prominently mentioned during the KFN Workshop and if you want to get a flavor of just how important it is I ask that you take a look there.
It is also pretty windy and thus has attracted the notice of wind energy developers. You’d think any government that claimed to be “green” wouldn’t be putting wind turbines, with their demonstrated ability to slaughter birds and bats and destroy habitat, into IBAs. Unfortunately, the current Ontario government doesn’t seem to care one bit, as witnessed by the following pictures, all of which can be clicked on to enlarge.
First, we have a picture of where PEC is, and you can see the chain of islands that comes across the Lake. For a really unsettling picture of all the wind projects planned for the eastern basin of Lake Ontario, see amherstislandwindinfo.com.
Next, here’s a closer look at the area in the box.
First, there was the Ostrander Point project, 9 turbines, which by itself has upset many of the naturalists and bird watchers all over Canada. UPDATE, 5/16/11 – the CBC, not known for criticizing any aspect of the wind industry, produced a reasonably accurate video (and this companion hardcopy) about Ostrander.
Now we show the recently announced White Pines project, 30 turbines. Notice the empty spot in the “middle”? One note – these are estimated locations and names, based on wpd’s draft site plan.
And finally, here’s the cumulative picture. You’d think someone would want to study the effects of these projects in their totality, but that seems to get in the way of business. Too bad for the birds.