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May Newsletter 2021

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Thanks so much Hilbert Buist for the ongoing wonderful pictures from Belle Island.  Always so grateful for the daily posts on Facebook.  Uplifting! 

1. Six Continuing Concerns re  Inner Harbour Contamination Clean-Up
2. Open Air Fire By-Law Now in Effect
3. City Workshop for Building Pool Fences and Decks – May 5 & 19
4. City’s COVID Info Page
5. Story Behind Capitol Compromise
6. Nominate Distinguished Citizens for Awards
7. National Aerial Surveillance Program
8. Third Crossing Update
9.  City of Kingston Annual Report
10. Sir John A. Macdonald Committee Update
11. Important City Zoning By’Law Meeting re Ribbon of Life, Apr 29
12. New Date for Rotary Shoreline Clean-Up – May 29, 2021
13. City Traffic Calming Survey – Deadline May 6, 2021
14. Earthub Opens Kingston Chapter
15. Utilities Kingston Offers Customers Rain Barrels
16. Utilities Kingston’s Sewer Lining Program
17. Who’s that Guy Gliding Along Kingston’s Waterfront?
18. Short Film Series on Economic Impacts of Shipping
19. 160th Annual Beaver Hat Ceremony
20.New DOORNEKAMP Shipping Line
21.Great Lake Guardian Research Vessel
22.Seafarers’ Union Demands Vaccine Plan
23 Changing Water with Changing Seasons
24. Microbiome and COVID
25. Blue Roofs and Flooding
26. The Problem of Airborne Plastics

1) Six Continuing Concerns re Inner Harbour Contamination Clean-Up

1) Transport Canada is looking to divest itself of its water lots.
However, some of its water lots, like the Inner Harbour, are too contaminated and so they have to clean them up before they can divest. Huge and expensive clean-ups are being planned in a variety of places like the Inner Harbour to get that done.
The problem is that this clean-up will not solve the problem because there will be continuing flow of contaminants into the Inner Harbour from a) on-land brownfield sites releasing contaminants into ground water, and b) from storm sewer overflows.
The question remains – When will it have to be done again?  Possibly in 50 or 100 years? We have no idea about the lifespan of this proposed clean-up.
Perhaps Transport Canada is hoping the city will take over the cleaned-up water lots so the city will have to deal with future problems, not Transport Canada? 
2) A number of scientists with different sorts of expertise are weighing in on this issue.The basic problem is with WATER FLOW IN RIVERS.
Jeffrey Giacomin (Chemical Engineering Prof), is saying that the re-suspension of contaminant particulate would be “catastrophic” and would affect the drinking water and swimming options up and down the Great Cataraqui River as well as downstream and into Lake Ontario.    
3) Revetment to prevent erosion is both wrong and disastrous for Inner Harbour wildlife.  It actually creates erosion when water from rain and waves gets in the cracks between the rocks and releases soil.  We have seen evidence of the folly of revetment in Breakwater Park. Much better methods for preventing erosion are planting trees, shrubs and other plants along the shoreline.  Doug Fluhrer Park and the Inner Harbour shoreline is increasingly a haven for wildlife.  The proposed revetment will destroy the turtle habitat. How are turtles supposed to climb over those huge rocks.  And how are new hatchlings supposed to climb over those rocks to get into the water every spring and fall? 
4) Openness and Transparency We are still waiting for the relevant research to be made public.  Council deferred accepting city staff’s report recommending acceptance of Transport Canada’s 71 million dollar project (with the city contributing 1-2 million) until someone from Transport Canada comes to a city Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies Committee meeting to answer questions from Council and the public.  We are assuming this will be at the upcoming June 15 EITP meeting.  We have requested the RMC report, the SNC Lavalin report commissioned by Transport Canada and any other relevant research on the Inner Harbour published in the last two years via Access to Information.  The RMC and Lavalin reports were to have been made public by now. Still no word.
5) Serious problems for MetalCraft Marine and the Kingston Marina  Bob Clark of MetalCraft Marine says both of those businesses will have to shut down because Transport Canada will not continue leasing their water lots as of 2023.   Frontenac Village Condo is also affected as they also lease water lots from Transport Canada.  MetalCraft Marine employs 95 people, and as they found out during the KROCK Centre location debate, there is no other place they can move their business to. In the meantime, Transport Canada is increasing payments for leases by such an enormous amount, that city staff is now looking into it. 
6) This is a very expensive project costing $71 million with the City of Kingston contributing an estimated 1-2 million for revetment along the Doug Fluhrer Park shoreline. Is this actually a wise use of tax-payer dollars?

2. Open Air Fire By-Law Now in Effect
Received from the City April 19, 2021.
Free permit now needed to have open air fires
The bylaw regulating the setting and maintaining of open air fires came into effect at 12:01 a.m. April 19. and promotes public safety by requiring residents to read the rules for safely managing different kinds of open air fires. Once you have read the rules for the kind of fire you intend to have, you receive the permit!
“If you’re going to have an open air fire, we want to ensure it’s done safely. This bylaw will ensure transparency, consistency, and improve safety by reducing risks associated with open air fires,” says Chief Fire Prevention Officer Ted Posadowski.
There are seven permit types available for the public. Appliances that are exempted from the bylaw and do not require a permit are appliances with mechanical shut-offs (for example, propane or natural gas appliances, and grilling or cooking fires using smokers, barbecues, masonry barbecues, charcoal appliances, hibachis, and contained pizza ovens.
“Our primary focus over the coming months will be on educating and informing residents to ensure they are compliant with the new bylaw,” says Posadowski.
To learn more and apply for your free permit, visit:

3. City Workshop for Building Pool Fences and Decks – May 5,& 19
What:  Permit Application Process
When:  Deck Building Zoom Info Session May 5 at 5:30 pm Register online through Zoom.Register for the May 19 pool fence session here. ​​​​​​​

Each session will start with a 30-minute presentation, followed by consultations in smaller groups where residents can walk through their designs with City staff. Individuals looking to review their designs are asked to prepare a digital version of their plans.
You need a building permit for decks that are going to be two feet above ground or higher, or a pool fence enclosure where the pool can hold more than two feet of water. You can apply for Building Permits using the City’s online DASH – development and services hub – portal at
The workshop will offer tips on how to use DASH to apply, what design considerations you should take into account, and the applicable zoning and fees for constructing a deck or pool fence enclosure in Kingston. 
For more details on building permits and deck and pool fence enclosure construction, see the City’s building permits webpage.

4. City’s COVID Info Page

5. Story Behind Capitol Compromise

6. Nominate Distinguished Citizens for Awards – Deadline May 13.
First Capital DistinguishedCitizen/Honourable Achievement Award – These awards recognize volunteers of all ages for their community contributions. The First Capital Distinguished Citizen Awards recognize a lifetime of volunteer work, while the Honourable Achievement Awards recognize more specific efforts. 
Civic Award for Youth Volunteerism – These awards recognize youth in three categories – Grades 5-8, Grades 9-12 and post-secondary youth up to age 24 – who demonstrate leadership, care and compassion and/or ability to overcome personal challenges, motivate others or use special skills to improve the community’s quality of life.
How to Proceed?
Online at
At City Hall216 Ontario St. or at a City of Kingston recreation centre when these facilities reopen following the provincial shutdown (Artillery Park Aquatic Centre, Rideau Heights Community Centre or the INVISTA Centre).

7. National Aerial Surveillance Program
Received from The Kingstonist, April 24, 2021 – Chris Vilela
National Aerial Surveillance Program Airplane Visits Kingston Area
“From time to time, residents of Kingston and area may periodically spot a bright red airplane flying overhead, with the conspicuous word “Surveillance” painted on its side.
The eye-catching red airplanes of Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) have been flying since 1991 and are used to detect and prevent pollution in Canadian waters, measure growing or receding ice levels, survey the Canadian marine environment, observe endangered marine life, and ensure a safe and efficient transportation industry along Canadian waterways such as Lake Ontario.
The NASP fleet includes a Dash 7 based in Ottawa, serving the North during the July to November Arctic shipping season; a Dash 8 also based in Ottawa, serving Central and Eastern Canada; a Dash 8 based in Moncton, serving Central and Eastern Canada; and a Dash 8 based in Vancouver, serving Western Canada and Western Arctic.
Surveillance done through NASP plays a significant part in reducing the frequency of pollution in Canada, such as oil spills, and in maintaining the safety of marine shipping by providing evidence for the investigation of shipping incidents.
NASP airplanes are equipped with a large array of equipment, including side-looking airborne radars, infrared/ultraviolet line scanners, electro-optical infrared camera systems, automatic identification systems, satellite communications systems, and geo-coded digital camera systems.
Along Canada’s coastline and during seasonal whale migration periods, NASP also plays a role in helping protect endangered whales. Because of NASP surveillance, vessels are advised when marine mammals have been detected in the water, enabling them to slow down or avoid those areas. NASP surveillance prevents net entanglement and leads to fewer collisions between vessels and endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale and the Southern Resident killer whale. Since 2018, Canada has also used drone technology to help with the surveillance and protection of whales, mapping, and surveying ice and oil spills in Canada’s Arctic.
Beyond whale and pollution detection, NASP crews also support national security events, police investigations, search and rescue incidents, humanitarian efforts, and civil emergencies.
NASP operations are led by Transport Canada, in partnership with other federal departments like Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, as well as provincial governments and the private sector. NASP patrols fly about 4,000 flight hours a year.”

8. Third Crossing Update

School virtual presentations
Education and providing opportunities for kids of all ages to learn about the bridge construction continues to be a big part of the project. The project team has been giving virtual presentations to primary and secondary schools across Kingston over the last few months showcasing the design, construction and building of the Third Crossing. The team has made five presentations to four different schools and 34 classes – so far over 780 students have learned about, and had an opportunity to ask questions about, the Third Crossing as it relates to their studies in structures, geography, environment and design. If you’re interested in having a member of the project team speak to your school or class please contact us at
East shore construction along Highway 15 and Gore Road
Starting in May, construction work will begin along Gore Road from Point St. Mark Drive through to the intersection of Highway 15 and Gore Road. Updates to the area, based on feedback from residents and stakeholders, including Emergency Service Providers in Kingston and the Project Team,  include new active transportation infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians, transit users and multi-modal travellers. We understand the impact of continued growth and development and are working diligently to co-ordinate the timing, and staging of work to reduce anticipated temporary disruptions to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. We will continue to inform residents on the east shore of planned work. Thank you for your continued patience as we start this next phase of work. Find out more about decision-making and the input received on the new designs of the east shore roadwork on the Third Crossing website.
Highlights of the construction:
The first work visible will be utility work at the intersection of Hwy 15 and Gore Road.
Traffic control, and pedestrian accommodation plans will be implemented providing signs and onsite traffic controllers to help with car and pedestrian traffic
Work hours are anticipated to be regular hours starting at 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. There may be some need for extended work hours, but residents will be informed prior to the work starting
Single lane closures along Hwy 15 are expected during this construction work
We understand Hwy 15 is a busy road during morning and afternoon commutes. Any lane reductions to Hwy 15 or Gore Road will happen outside of rush hour, if possible
We are working with the Transit department with the City of Kingston for any disruptions to transit
Main span installation near the east shore
You may have seen some of the amazing photos of the main span being installed closer to the east shore. We are sharing lots of photo stories on the City’s social media accounts and we have also created a new one-minute video about the main span and its speedy installation. The aerial drone video shows the work completed in just a couple of months, including the installation of  first pieces of steel main span , the placement of the main span over the navigation channel in the Cataraqui River and some incredible angles of the bridge.
Naming campaign
Thank you to everyone who has connected with us about the naming campaign. We always appreciate hearing from residents about the project. We are now in Step 2 of the phased approach. During this step, the Project Team is hosting virtual meetings and asking residents to complete a three-question survey.
Virtual meetings
If you are First Nations, Métis or Inuit and living in the Kingston area we are inviting you to a series of community meetings. In these meetings, community members will share ideas for naming themes, discuss opportunities for public education around the new name, and will create a shortlist of names based on ideas collected from different sources. Following Step 2, there will be a broader engagement with the public on naming themes, concepts and potential names anticipating to begin in June. To participate in virtual conversations around naming themes, please email us at There will be four more meetings (participants are not required to attend all meetings).
Survey open to all Kingston residents
If you are a resident of Kingston and want to share your naming ideas as part of Step 2, answer the survey on the City’s engagement platform. The input received will be included in the discussions for a longlist of names for the bridge. The survey closes May 9, 2021 at 4 p.m. Complete the survey now!
If, for any reason, you would like to answer the survey in other ways, either by phone or email, connect with us.
Request a paper copy of the survey by calling 613-546-0000. We will provide you a postage-paid envelope to return the survey to City Hall.
Complete the survey over the phone with City staff by calling 613-546-0000.
The survey is also available for download on the City’s Engagement page.
Find out more about the naming campaign on our project website.
22 Bat houses have been installed
As part of the project’s work with the Ministry of Natural Resources we have installed a total of 22 bat houses which are an important part of habitat protection and maintaining a healthy ecosystem. 
In the spring of 2019 four bat houses were installed on the east shore of the Cataraqui River. A total of 22 bat houses have been installed as part of the Tree Management Plan for the project. More information about our wildlife considerations are on our website.

9. City of Kingston Annual Report for 2020
Received from the City, April 12, 2021
This offers an overview of the City’s progress on the priorities set by Council in its 2019-2022 Kingston Strategic Plan – and a number of pandemic-related initiatives to support the community and safely operate services during COVID-19. Key stories and infographics offer a snapshot of the City’s performance in Council’s five priority areas:
Demonstrate leadership on climate action 
Implemented energy conservation measures in facilities, old and new.
Introduced the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund to support charities’ and not-for-profits’ GHG-reduction efforts.
Increase housing affordability
Approved funding for 170 affordable units/rooms financially supported by the City.
Worked with community partners to offer affordable housing at 1316-1318 Princess St.
Broke ground on mixed-income housing at 27 Wright Cres.
Partnered with Ontario Government and Homes for Heroes to develop a tiny home community for veterans who are homeless.
Secured properties for pandemic use that will be used for supportive housing once the pandemic is over.
Improve walkability, roads and transportation
Completed the John Counter Boulevard Overpass.
Enhanced safety for cyclists by expanding the paved shoulder on Perth Rd.
Targeted $16+ million for public transit and active transportation projects with added funding from other levels of government.
Completed Kingston’s first AAA intersection and Leroy Grant Multi-use Pathway.
Strengthen economic development opportunities
Developed the first-ever Kingston Integrated Economic Development Strategy.
Welcomed FlyGTA to Kingston Airport.
Formed a multi-stakeholder group to bring more family doctors to Kingston.
Re-framed the Workforce Development and In-Migration Strategy to aid in economic recovery for those impacted by the pandemic.
Foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces
Pursued a plan to reckon with the legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald and present more inclusive histories of Kingston.
Consulted with Indigenous peoples on Phase III of the Engage for Change: YGK Reconciliation Journey.
Worked with the Boys and Girls Club to offer summer camps to 1,400+ young people during the pandemic.
Residents can get an even deeper look at final updates to the 2019-2022 Kingston Strategic Plan, by visiting

10. Sir John A. Macdonald Committee Update
We have been informed that notes will be posted here:
Notes are being reformatted to ensure they meet accessibility guidelines for posted materials and will be posted on a regular basis. 
If anyone wants to attend a virtual meeting they can email and request a public zoom meeting invite. All the meetings are listed in the City events calendar at and are added to the committee page as the meeting date draws nearer. 
To date, staff has received zoom requests from 5 members of the public for the first two meetings.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wed, May 5 from 2;30 – 5:00 pm

11. Important City By-Law Meeting-re Ribbon of Life  Apr 29
Received from the City March 8, 2021
The purpose and effect of the new City-wide Zoning By-law will be to restrict the use of land and the erection, location and use of buildings and structures within the entire municipality of the City of Kingston.
After the By-law is in force, no land shall be used and no building or structure shall be erected, altered or used in any manner except in conformity with the provisions of the By-law.
The By-law will not apply to prevent the use of land if such land, building or structure was lawfully used for such purpose on the day of passing of the by-law, so long as it continues to be used for that purpose.
In conjunction with the new City-wide Zoning By-law project, a special meeting of Planning Committee has been scheduled to hold a non-statutory public meeting on the following specific topics as discussion papers: – Schools & Places of Worship – Environmental Protection Areas & the Ribbon of Life
A second non-statutory public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 23, 2021 on two additional specific topics and further notice of that meeting will be provided at a later date. Statutory public meetings for the new City-wide Zoning By-law will be held at a future date and further notice will be provided in accordance with the provisions of the Planning Act. Key Map:
The new City-wide Zoning By-law will affect all lands within the municipal boundary of the City of Kingston. Accordingly, no key map is provided. ***** Address of Property: City-wide (location in DASH shown as City Hall, 216 Ontario Street) Name of Applicant: City of Kingston City File Numbers: D14-043-2016
Details around how to view and participate in the meeting are available on the City’s website at
Additional information about the City-wide Zoning By-law project and the discussion paper topics can be viewed on the project webpage or by accessing the Development and Services Hub (DASH) at
Enquiries may be made by contacting Laura Flaherty, Project Manager, by email or by phone 613-546-4291, ext. 3157 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Written comments may be sent to Planning Services via: Mail: 216 Ontario Street, Kingston, ON K7L 2Z3 Fax: 613-542-9965 Email:
The Planning Committee will receive two discussion paper reports at the Non-Statutory Public Meeting, which will be available to the public on the City of Kingston’s website at on April 23, 2020.
 If a person or public body would otherwise have an ability to appeal the decision of the Council of the Corporation of the City of Kingston to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal but the person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the City of Kingston before the proposed City-wide Zoning By-law is passed, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision.
If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting, or make written submissions to the City of Kingston before the proposed City-wide Zoning By-law is passed, the person or public body may not be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal unless, in the opinion of the Tribunal, there are reasonable grounds add the person or public body as a party.
If you wish to be notified of the decision of the City of Kingston on the proposed City-wide Zoning By-law, you must make a written request to: City of Kingston, Planning Services 216 Ontario Street Kingston, ON K7L 2Z3
If you have received this notice and you are the owner of land that contains seven or more residential units, please post this notice in a location that is visible to all of the residents. If you are a person with a disability, and need City of Kingston information provided in another format, please contact customer service at 613-546-0000 or

12. New Date for Rotary Shoreline Clean up –  May 29
Because of the pandemic and resultant emergency lock-down situation in Ontario, Rotary (District 7040) has recommended this postponement. We wanted all volunteers to be safe, not take any unnecessary risks and abide by regulations.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, is asking all residents of the province to “limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household
 “The Great Lakes and Watershed Cleanup” Team
The Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup | Rotary in Kingston
More anon..

13. City Traffic Calming Survey – Deadline May 6, 2021
Received from the City, April 15, 2021
The City of Kingston is seeking your input as it reviews its Traffic Calming Policy and develops new Traffic Calming Guidelines. Visit by 4 p.m. on May 6 to learn more, ask questions and complete a 10-minute survey (see alternate ways to provide input below).
Aimed at improving neighbourhood road safety, traffic calming involves the use of physical measures that alter driver behaviour and improve safety for all road users. Improving walkability, roads and transportation is one of Council’s strategic priorities for the 2019-22 term.
“The proposed policy and accompanying draft guidelines recommend new ways for traffic calming concerns to be considered and introduce additional traffic calming tools available for use,” says Matt Kussin, Manager, Transportation Policy and Programs.
The policy review will result in a new standardized approach to traffic calming as the City seeks to better address vehicle speeding concerns in neighbourhoods across Kingston. This includes prioritizing measures that can be installed more easily and quickly compared to other measures that are typically considered. Under this new approach, traffic calming implementations could take place along 12 neighbourhood streets each year.
The City will review and consider input when finalizing the policy and guidelines. All input will be compiled in a report and presented to the Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies Committee in June, along with the proposed policy and guidelines.
Don’t have a computer? The survey can be completed over the phone or may be mailed out to you (with a return postage-paid envelope) by calling City Customer Service at 613-546-0000.

14. Earthub Opens Kingston Chapter
Received from The Kingstonist, April 15 – Jessica Foley
Access to news is an integral component of a healthy community. If you believe the same, click here to subscribe to Kingstonist.
The Earthub Kingston chapter is brand new, operated by Stephanie Young and Rebecca Hannaford, and has growing community support.
“I was absolutely thrilled when I connected with Stephanie and Rebecca,” Belanger shared. “They have been extremely helpful and have essentially taken over the Kingston area for Earthub. While I am located/based out of Ottawa, Kingston is my hometown, so it really touches me that my first ‘out of Ottawa’ Chapter started there!”Rebecca Hannaford admitted she had been “turning a blind eye to what was really going on, on our planet.” After watching the documentary A Plastic Ocean, she realized that simply recycling isn’t really helping the environment.“After seeing that documentary, I started reading more and doing more inquiring into the various local environmental projects. I did a major overhaul on my own home’s usage of products that were creating waste. I changed a lot of the products we were using as well as started making some of my own products that were eco-friendly, rather than buying the chemical products,” she said.While making these changes, Young, a friend of hers, asked her to save her empty pill bottles as she was collecting them for Brittanny Belanger from Earthub.“Earthub for me, started by collecting a few empty pill bottles and dropping them off at Steph’s house. I knew I wanted to help make a bigger difference on the planet, other than in my own home,” Hannaford continued. “From there, Steph, Brittanny and I chatted about the idea of starting the Kingston chapter and mimicking the success they have had in Ottawa. We started searching for end users for egg cartons, since that worked so well for Ottawa. We also started searching for groups making sleeping mats for the homeless from milk bags locally to donate milk bags too. We now have a small list of items we collect and end users that need the product.”

Stephanie Young also told Kingstonist what led her to join the organization. She shared that this past year helped her take stock of her wants versus her needs, which led to her joining sustainable living and eco conscious pages and sites. It was at one of those sites she learned about Earthub.“I was really inspired by Brittanny’s work, so much that I wanted to know how I could help,” she said. “I started by collecting all my Mom’s pill bottles and then putting a call out to the neighbourhood Facebook page I started: The People of Henderson Place Neighbourhood Watch.”
She said the pill bottles started coming in from people in her neighbourhood, but she wanted to do more.“I shared my excitement with Rebecca and before we knew it Earthub Kingston Chapter was up and running,” she continued. “While it’s still in its very early stages, I’m thrilled with our response from the community thus far, and people’s enthusiasm about the project only elevates the notion that small acts together can make a significant impact on our landfills. My only regret is that I didn’t tune in sooner…”

Learn more about Earthub on their website and follow them on Facebook. The Kingston Chapter has an open Facebook Group where they share what they are currently collecting, and spread awareness about sustainability, engineering, eco-friendly products, and more.

15. Utilities Kingston Offers Customers Rain Barrels
Received April 12, 2021
Garden-lovers: celebrate spring – get a home-delivered rain barrel to capture spring showers for use in your garden. This spring, Utilities Kingston is offering rain barrels for sale to its customers.  Order online or by calling 613-546-0000, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can order more than one rain barrel.
Delivery: The barrels will be delivered to customers’ homes. No delivery appointment is required, and customers do not need to be home to receive their rain barrel. Delivery will be contactless, and physical distancing requirements due to COVID-19 will always be maintained.
Cost: Rain barrels cost $56, including HST and contactless delivery. This charge will be added to the customer’s Utilities Kingston bill.
Availability: Rain barrels are available to residents of the municipality of Kingston, who receive a utility bill from Utilities Kingston.
These rain barrels hold approximately 210 litres; have a child-proof lid and mosquito/debris screen to keep water in the barrel clean and free of pests; and may be connected to other barrels to increase water capture capacity.
Rain Barrels Conserve Water and Energy
Rain barrels help protect the environment by reducing the amount of treated lake water used for watering gardens, and by diverting rainwater from the sanitary and storm sewer systems. They help conserve energy by reducing the amount of water and wastewater that Utilities Kingston needs to pump and treat – and save you money by lowering your water consumption. Give your growing garden some love with rain water; it contains minerals that make it better for plants than treated tap water.
How to Install Your Rain Barrel
Rain barrels are easy to install. Just follow these steps or watch Utilities Kingston’s video:
Place the rain barrel on a platform two to three feet off the ground.
Cut the existing downspout above the top of the rain barrel then re-install the downspout elbow so that it sits just above the centre of the barrel’s screen. Alternatively, you can use a downspout diverter and run a hose to the rain barrel while leaving the downspout in place.
Punch out the overflow hole on one side of the barrel, then connect the barrel’s overflow hose and direct it away from the foundation of your home. 
In the winter, simply turn the barrel over so that water does not accumulate and freeze, then re-install the downspout to direct water away from your foundation. 
Multiple rain barrels can be installed in tandem to increase capacity.
You work hard for your garden! Plants prefer rain water. Show your garden some love – get it a rain barrel. For more information or to order online, visit; or call 613-546-0000, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

16. Utilities Kingston’s Sewer Lining  Program
Received  April 8, 2021
Sewer lining program will extend life of infrastructure – no digging required

Utilities Kingston is continuing the now annual sewer lining program to rehabilitate aging pipes and improve operating efficiency – using a process that avoids digging up pipes and disrupting neighbourhoods.
Starting in April, up to 8,000 metres of sanitary sewer main will be lined in several neighbourhoods including Strathcona Park, Grenville Park, Hillendale, Polson Park, and Calvin Park. The program was successfully piloted in 2020, in the Kingscourt area.
“Aside from improving the infrastructure, this work reduces otherwise clean storm water from infiltrating the sanitary sewer system, increasing pipe capacity and reducing the risk of localized basement flooding. The work will also increase operating efficiency, as reduced sewer flows mean less pumping and treating wastewater,” says Jim Miller, Chief Operating Officer of Utilities Kingston.
Instead of digging up the road along the entire length of the sewer main, Utilities Kingston’s contractor, Insituform Technologies Limited, will access the pipe through maintenance holes to complete the work. This involves preparing the inside of the sewer mains and then inserting a felt liner that is saturated with a resin. This resin compound is then cured-in-place to form what is, essentially, a ‘new pipe within a pipe’. 
Information for residents in the work area:
To reduce the disruption to customers, the lining work will be completed within a 12-hour period. Residents in the affected area will be notified approximately 1-2 weeks prior, and again 24-48 hours prior to the lining process.
When the liner is initially inserted, it will temporarily block the sewer laterals that carry wastewater from homes and businesses to the sewer main under the street. Utilities Kingston’s contractor will cut these out to open the service, but residents will need to take temporary measures to reduce the wastewater coming from the property. 
It will be important that residents in the work area take steps to avoid filling the sewer lateral with wastewater, creating a risk of sewer backup to the home.
Use cottage rules for flushing.
Wait to shower, wash clothes, or run the dishwasher until you are notified that the work is complete.
Delay washing cars.
Every little bit helps. For example, you can turn off the water when you shave or brush your teeth.
As Utilities Kingston carries out work in your neighbourhood, they and their contractors remain committed to the health and safety of workers and the public. The utility is adhering to all relevant safety guidelines released by Ontario to protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19.
Workers will not enter customer premises (unless in an emergency). Please practice physical distancing by keeping at least two metres away from Utilities Kingston employees and contractors. 
More information and contacts
View the Utilities Kingston project page for additional information on this work.
For concerns directly related to this work, call the contractor’s 24-hour line at 905-523-2605.
General inquiries can be directed to customer service, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 613-546-0000.

17. Who’s that Guy Gliding Along Kingston’s Waterfront?
Received from The Kingstonist, April 8 – Paul Soucy
Phil Yendt rides his electric hydro-foil on Kingston’s waterfront. 
He easily draws as much of a crowd as is permitted wherever he goes. Gliding on the water like a hot knife through butter. You may have seen him at his usual spots, either at Confederation Basin or down by the Pump House Museum.
“Everyone who sees it is amazed and wants to know more,” he said. “Some people want to try it, some people are afraid of it, but it’s my addiction these days.”
His name is Phill Yendt, and he’s been riding his electric hydro-foil for nearly two years — for him, it’s a great way to get outdoors and social distance.
It looks like a mini surfboard with a seat and propeller.
“I use this handheld remote to control the propeller,” he said “Other than that it’s just balance.”
The hydro-foil can reach speeds of nearly 45 kilometres per hour, but Yendt says the feeling of gliding on the water that fast becomes uncomfortable.
“I’ve only maxed it out to see if I could,” he added.
Phil Yendt rides his electric hydro-foil for onlookers at Kingston’s waterfront. Photo by Paul Soucy.
It was years of watching the many kite-surfers along the Kingston shoreline that drew Yendt to this new sport. Many of the kite-surfers use an electric hydro-foil to reach the speeds they do, he said.
“It’s a unique feeling,” he said. “You’re basically standing two feet above water — it’s just this, sort of, a feeling flying.”
And when he’s reaching those speeds and gliding along the waters the way he does, you can’t hear a thing.
“It’s whisper-quiet,” he described it. “If you’re riding on a sea-doo or you’re wakeboarding, you can hear that constant smashing of the water. This when you’re lifting up above the water, there’s such little drag it’s almost complete silence.”
He’ll even ride behind the Wolfe Islander III if the weather is right. With a year and a half of experience under his belt, Yendt said he’s become a partner with the manufacturer and can offer lessons under their umbrella. For more information Phill can be reached at

18 WATCH NOW: New short film series highlights economic impact of Great Lakes (Northwest Indiana), April 4, 2021. A new short film series shines a spotlight on Great Lakes shipping and its wide-reaching economic impact.  The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership, a coalition of U.S. and Canadian maritime groups, commissioned the “American Anchor” film series to “tell the untold tale of shipping in America.”

19.  PortsToronto celebrates 160th annual Beaver Hat Ceremony with the arrival of the first ship of the season, PortsToronto (Toronto, Ontario), April 7, 2021 (also appeared in 6 other publications).  In a sure sign that spring is here, earlier this morning, PortsToronto “crowned” Captain Sumit Kumar of the MV Federal Hudson with an antique silk and beaver top hat – first presented in the spring of 1861– at the annual Beaver Hat Ceremony.  For the past 160 years, PortsToronto has celebrated the official opening of the commercial shipping season by crowning the captain of the first ocean-going vessel or “saltie” to arrive at the port.  Geoffrey Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto, is quoted.

20New shipping line, The Times (Wellington, Ontario), April 15, 2021.  A new container shipping line operated by Doornekamp Construction will soon begin trips between Halifax and Picton.  The ship will arrive in Picton every other Tuesday, starting in May, and can carry up to 300 40-foot containers.  Ben Doornekamp, Vice President at Picton Terminals, anticipates the route will expand to the other Great Lakes.

21Learning about the Lake Guardian working to protect our Great Lakes, Daily Detroit (Detroit, Michigan), April 14, 2021 (also appeared at WBFO).  The Lake Guardian, the 180-foot long EPA research vessel is on a mission to study the Great Lakes, keep an eye on the lower foodweb that underpins the ecosystem, and discover new species.  Dr. Annie Scoffield, lead for the Great Lakes biology monitoring program out of the Great Lakes National Program Office, is one of 26 crew members on the Lake Guardian, and she discusses going through all five of the Great Lakes right now doing the spring monitoring program. 

22Seafarers’ union demands vaccine plan for 15,000 marine workers after COVID outbreak on Atlantic Huron, CBC, April 20, 2021 (also appeared in 3 other publications).  The union that represents 15,000 Canadian marine workers is demanding the government come up with a plan to vaccinate seafarers after the most recent COVID-19 outbreak on the Atlantic Huron, a Canada Steamship Lines bulk carrier.  The ship, now anchored in the St. Lawrence River, often plies the Great Lakes and was delivering iron ore to Quebec City when the crew got sick last month, according to Jim Given, the president of the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada.  Given says that over the course of the pandemic more than 50 cases of coronavirus have been reported on Canadian ships and two marine workers have died due to these outbreaks.

23. Changing Water with Changing Seasons

24. Microbiome and COVID

25. Blue Roofs and Flooding
Received from What on Earth April 22 – Vicki Qiao
You’ve probably heard of a green roof, which sits on top of a building and is covered with vegetation. But what about a blue roof?You might have guessed that it has something to do with water. Indeed, a blue roof collects stormwater through a pond system, temporarily stores it and gradually releases it afterward — offering a way to conserve water and prevent water damage. 
During a storm, rainwater can overwhelm urban sewer systems and send contaminated, untreated water into lakes and rivers. A blue roof could help solve this problem.
“It’s a new form of green infrastructure,” said Rohan Hakimi, an engineer in integrated water management with Credit Valley Conservation in Ontario. Hakimi said the benefit of blue roofs is most evident in industrial commercial areas, which make up almost 30 per cent of commercial lands in cities. 
“When it rains in these areas, because of all these hard surfaces, the water doesn’t have anywhere to go, so you get a lot of runoff and risk of flooding.”
Water damage has become the leading cause of personal property claims in Canada, said Bruce Taylor, president of Enviro-Stewards, a company that provides businesses with sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.
He said our current urban infrastructure was not designed for the extreme weather conditions we are increasingly experiencing as a result of climate change. “With climate change, you won’t get the same amount of precipitation but you get it in a shorter duration in bigger, shorter storms,” Taylor said. “If you get water faster than you designed for, then it fills up and it starts backing up and you get flooding. And flooding is very expensive wherever that occurs.”
A blue roof system stores rainwater and slowly releases it using flow-control devices or structures, from customized trays to existing building risers that cause water to dam up. Together, they act as a temporary sponge, collecting and then releasing the water over time. The stored water also provides the building with a cooling effect through evaporation, as well as additional water for reuse.Enviro-Stewards will be doing an impact assessment for two community organizations based in London, Ont., including a food bank, where the water stored in the roof will be used for irrigation in their greenhouses and gardens, said Taylor. 
An “active” blue roof has a greater capacity than a “passive” one, allowing it to store water for a longer period of time and releasing it at a faster rate. Since the food bank doesn’t have the pool liner required for an active roof, they implemented a slow-release roof drain as a passive blue roof.
Taylor said that blue roofs are more affordable than green roofs for the general population, although some jurisdictions have managed to successfully combine the two. For example, the RESILIO project in Amsterdam will install 10,000 square metres of blue-green roofs on social housing complexes (see photo above). A blue-green roof incorporates the water storage layer below the green areas throughout the roof surface. When it rains, the water slowly supplies the necessary soil moisture for the plants and trees.
Enviro-Stewards is working with Credit Valley Conservation on a blue roof pilot project in Mississauga. They looked at the benefits of blue roofs in an industrial commercial neighbourhood — how they would capture and store water on the roofs of large buildings that were close together.
“We saw kind of a scaled-up impact that would really help to prevent flooding and provide other environmental benefits in these industrial commercial areas,” Hakimi said.
“We’re hoping through this project we can show and quantify more accurately those benefits and really help people see that this is actually possible.”
26. The Problem of Airborne Microplastic
Received from  What On Earth, April 22 – Mike Crawley
Here, There and Everywhere: The Problem of Airborne MicroplasticA new study has shown that large amounts of microplastic are floating into the atmosphere from roadways, oceans and farm fields. Once there, it can be carried by winds to the most remote places on Earth.
Airborne microplastic takes many forms and comes from many sources, but a key contributor is discarded plastic waste, according to the researchers, whose study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Plastic biodegrades very slowly, and fragments into smaller pieces that can be carried by air currents. A significant percentage of these fragments comes from synthetic textile fibres.
“It can be either as really small fibres, films, what we call particles or even microbeads,” Canadian researcher Janice Brahney told Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald, saying these tiny particles are “much smaller than what you could see with the naked eye.” (The photo above shows microplastic particles seen through a microscope.) Brahney, an associate professor of watershed sciences at Utah State University, worked with colleagues to investigate the sources of airborne plastic and how the plastic entered the atmosphere. 
The team first identified how plastic particles find their way into the atmosphere, focusing on sources and samples from the western United States. She and her team found three main ways this was happening.
“Highways and roads were really the most important variable for moving plastic into the atmosphere,” said Brahney. “When a car passes over a road, it generates that energy that can move plastics high into the atmosphere. Imagine a car driving on a dirt road — you can see that plume of dust coming up after it. Within all that dust is also microplastic.”
Another way microplastic ends up in the atmosphere is from the movement of ocean waves.
“Because microplastics tend to be a lot less dense than water, they’re floating on the surface,” said Brahney. “As the waves are churning and bubbles are bursting on the surface of the ocean, that has the capacity to emit these tiny particles into the atmosphere where they can then be transported.” 
One thing that surprised Brahney and her colleagues was that their work showed more atmospheric microplastic makes its way from oceans to land, rather than the other way round. That’s because the oceans hold more of what is called “legacy pollution” — decades-old particles that are now being picked up from the sea by winds and deposited on land.
The third way microplastic particles ended up in the atmosphere was as a result of agriculture. The researchers identified two major sources of plastic in agricultural soils. First, biosolids from wastewater treatment plants are used as fertilizer, and include significant amounts of plastic. Second, in recent years, plastic mulch has been used in significant amounts in agriculture and can enter soils. 
According to Brahney’s models, plastic particles can stay in the atmosphere anywhere from a few hours to more than six days. “That’s certainly long enough for plastics to travel in between continents and reach every corner of the globe,” she said.
The impact of microplastic in the atmosphere is unclear to the researchers at this point. Brahney suggested the particles could influence atmospheric chemistry, including cloud formation, and therefore have some impact on weather.
They could also affect the balance of solar radiation that we need for heat and energy. It is hard to quantify the amount of microplastic in the air, but Brahney has generated an estimate based on her area of study. 
“Above the western United States, at any given time, there’s about a thousand tonnes of microplastics in the air. And if we extrapolate that across the entire United States, we estimated about 22,000 tonnes per year. It’s also estimated that we consume and inhale about a credit card’s worth of microplastic every single week.”

So that’s it for now.
Happy springtime – despite all the difficulties we face these days
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour