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November Newsletter 2019

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
First of all thanks so much to Randy Cadue for his great picture of the cleaned up canal between Belle Park and Belle Island.  See pic at the end of this update.  Great work by all involved!

1) AGM Reminder, Nov. 14, 7 pm, All Welcome!
2) Shoreline and River Restoration Initiatives
a) Belle Island, b) Lake Simcoe, c) Holnicote Estate in UK, d) recap of previous links
3) Kingston Pilot in Global Climate Change Initiative
4) 3rd Xing Climate and Tree Concerns
5) New e-mail address for contacting Mayor and Council
6) News from Chamber of Marine Commerce
7) Kingston Sail Maker John Clark
8) On the Birch Bark Canoe Front

1) AGM Reminder, Nov. 14, 7 pm, All Welcome!

What : AGM including interesting and up-to-date short presentations by Kenny Ruelland and Lesley Rudy on this year’s turtle projects
When:  Thurs, Nov 14, 7 pm
Where:  Frontenac Village Condo Common Room.
NOTES:  All welcome.  Light Refreshments.  Accessible.  To get to Frontenac Village, go as far north as possible on King St. to the cul-de-sac that is the entry to the parking garage.  Signs will be posted for directions on foot. Parking available at the Anglin Parking Lot or Food Basics.  If you need accessible entry, please contact Mary at 613-544-1246.

2) Shoreline and River Restoration Initiatives
a) Belle Island: Thanks so much to both Brodie and Travis and all others involved.
Letter from Brodie Richmond, Manager of Environmental Projects, City of Kingston, to  Travis Canadien of the Belle Island Caretakers’ Circle concerning clearing the channel between Belle Park and Belle Island
“Hi Travis – we completed our shoreline work earlier this week along the south shore of the former Belle Park landfill and at the culvert under the bridge to the island.  Work involved removing general debris, fallen branches, and garbage (tires, shopping carts, and metal) in and around the culvert.  
Also, you may recall that during our working group meetings earlier this year I had committed to removing the hydro pole near the island.  I’m very happy to tell you that we have now removed four (4) hydro poles and over 300 metres of overhead electrical wires.  Electrical service now terminates approximately 350 metres west of the island.  
I understand that you may have additional issues with our work at Belle Park and the channel that currently separates the island.  Alan Mcleod (cc’d on this email) has asked that he be the contact person for you on these and future concerns. 
Kind regards,

Travis’s response:
“Thats great news about the hydro poles and I am glad you were able to remove so many of them.
Niawen’kó:wa – thank you very much, for restoring flowing water around the Island once more. 
As for the “ditch” between the Park and Belle Island, We were only asking that the removal of the golf cart bridges be completed, not that it be dredged… that conversation/decision will definitely have to be decided by the Confederacy Chiefs and Paul Williams.
There are bigger fish to fry, more pressing issues to be resolved for the Stewardship of the Island, before we can begin to tackle dredging the ditch. It would make sense to also include removal of the decaying 911 bridge and replace with one that doesn’t restrict the water flow (no culvert). The improper removal/insufficient depth of the golf cart bridges has become an issue with the low water levels… the outcrop that has been left brings you to the middle of the now flowing Water.
It is this that we are requesting to be resolved… in Winter Time, like last Time, would likely be ideal. 
It wouldn’t disturb the sediment/leachate underneath. 
Once again, Niawen’kó:wa, for all that you have done, and continue to do, for Belle Island

b) Lake Simcoe  They are involved in a great natural shoreline restoration initiative:
And here is a wonderful follow-up from Mary Louise Adams on Facebook at the Belle Island Caretakers’ Circle site.
“Gittman’s study confirmed what many experts had begun to suspect. “Armored” shorelines such as bulkheads offer less protection against big storms than people think. By reflecting wave energy instead of dispersing it, they tend to wear away at the base, which causes them to gradually tilt seaward. Although they still function well in typical storms, they often backfire when high storm surges overtop them, causing them to breach or collapse, releasing an entire backyard into the sea.”…/as-coastal-flooding-surges…/

c) Holnicote Estate in UK 
The National Trust said the project at Holnicote Estate in Somerset is the first of its kind for the UK.

A project to return rivers to a more natural state where they meander “like the branches of a tree” is being brought in to help wildlife and tackle flooding.
The National Trust said the project at Holnicote Estate in Somerset is the first of its kind for the UK and will allow rivers to flow through multiple channels, pools and shallow riffles as they would have done before human interference.
It differs from more conventional river restoration projects which bring back the bends or “meanders” in a single straightened stream, and aims to reconnect the water courses with their original flood plains.
It is hoped the scheme will reduce the frequency of flooding – which could become more common with climate change – by slowing the flow of water. It could help with other impacts of climate change such as drought by holding more water in the landscape, the Trust said.
And it could boost wildlife such as threatened water voles by improving riverside habitat.
Work has already begun to return a tributary of the River Aller, on the edge of Exmoor, to its original flow to allow natural river and wetland processes to develop across 10 acres of land.
If successful, it will be developed across a 33-acre site on the River Aller itself.
The approach, known as Stage 0 and based on successful projects in the US, will use diggers to move earth and recreate channels that allow the water’s natural flow, mud and wildlife to rebuild a stream and wetland system.
And some habitat restoration will be “fast tracked” using wood debris and key plant species.
The creation of a more natural landscape will help a range of plants and animals, including 300 water voles released on the estate by the conservation charity in the past year.
It will allow a landscape which has been drained and intensively grazed in the past to become re-wetted and develop naturally, and the Trust said it will see how the habitat develops before making decisions on future management.
Ben Eardley, project manager for the National Trust, said: “Many streams and rivers have become disconnected from the surrounding landscape through years of land drainage and mechanised flood control.
“Conventional river restoration projects typically ‘re-meander’ straightened streams, working on the assumption that these streams were single channelled before human interference.
“But there is strong evidence that prior to disturbance many watercourses naturally flowed through multiple branching channels, a bit like the branches of a tree.”
He said that over hundreds of years people had simplified and concentrated rivers into single, straight channels which have been disconnected from the landscape, moving water rapidly down stream and providing no buffer against floods, droughts or the loss of topsoil.
He added: “With an increase in flooding and droughts predicted through climate change we need to make our landscapes more resilient to these challenges.”
The scheme is being run in conjunction with “Interreg 2 Seas Co-Adapt” – a European programme covering England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium – and the Environment Agency.
It is also part of the National Trust’s Riverlands project, where more than £14 million will be spent on seven river catchment schemes around England and Wales.
This Author: Emily Beament, Environment Correspondent.

d) recap of previous link
The mid-October update included a fascinating piece by a Japanese environmentalist on trees being more effective than concrete against Tsunamis.  Here is it once again.
The Japanese and Chinju-no-mori* Tsunami-protecting forest after the Great East Japan Earthquake 2011** Akira Miyawaki, Yokohama, Japan with 32 photos and 2 figures

In light of the fact that the city has received 20 million from the feds for shoreline mitigation, we believe it is important to have a serious look at alternatives to rock revetments – especially as the Inner Harbour shorelines of Doug Fluhrer Park, Molly Brant point, Emma Martin Park, Belle Park and Belle Island are at stake.

3) Kingston Pilot in Global Climate Change Initiative
(Received November 6, 2019) 
Kingston is among 25 Canadian municipalities selected for an intensive pilot with the leading global climate initiative
The City of Kingston has been selected to join the first Showcase Cities cohort led by the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) Canada. As a member of this cohort, over the next year Kingston will receive intensive support to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change.
Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change, and through this pilot project which includes technical support, training, exclusive networking opportunities and access to tools and resources, Kingston will advance its ambitious climate action objectives.
“As a City, we are committed to demonstrating leadership on climate action. The support we receive from the Global Covenant of Mayors will help us identify opportunities to reduce our GHG emissions, and better leverage current initiatives,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “This is a great opportunity and it’s an honour to be among the 25 showcase cities from across Canada taking part in this initiative,” he adds.
Municipalities are leading the way on low-carbon solutions — from building retrofits to green transit fleets. And with municipalities influencing half of Canada’s GHG emissions, scaling up local solutions is key to meeting Canada’s climate targets. As a participant in the GCoM Showcase Cities, the City of Kingston will be a part of this ‘best practice’ climate change community, gaining knowledge and internal capacity, while developing ambitious climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives.
The Global Covenant of Mayors Canada is a collaboration between FCM, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the Global Covenant of Mayors Secretariat and the International Urban Cooperation Project supported by funding from the European Union.
“Together we are creating ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preparing our communities for the impacts of a changing climate,” said Megan Meaney, Executive Director of the Canada office of ICLEI.
The initiative combines two leading domestic climate programs, the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program and Building Adaptive and Resilient Communities (BARC), with the leading global climate program. The GCoM Canada is piloting this approach, which will build on FCM and ICLEI’s more than 25 years’ experience in delivering climate change programs in Canada.

4) Third Xing:  Climate and Tree Concerns
Laurel Claus Johnson, local Mohawk activist, has expressed concern over the trees being cut on the east side of the river to prepare for the Third Crossing.  She is particularly concerned about a large sugar maple on the east side of the river.  The trees on the west side have already been cut down.  She was interviewed earlier on CKWS about this.  She is advocating for a public ceremonial recognition for this sugar maple that is to give up its life for the bridge.  Also, in a recent meeting with Councillors Rob Kiley and Jim Neill, and in keeping with the city’s stated concerns about both openness and transparency, and climate change, it was suggested that some public announcement be forthcoming about what trees will be planted in the city in exchange for those being cut down.

5) New e-mail address for contacting Mayor and Council
As always, it is best to contact your councillor directly if you have an issue.  However, in addition, in order for your concern to actually be considered part of the public record, you do need to e-mail the clerk.  The problem with this is that often your correspondence is included with 50 other letters and so may not actually be read. Here is what was recently received from the city.
“ is the new email address created by the City to foster open government, community outreach and simplify the way to send written correspondence to the Mayor and all members of Council.
 When written communication items are sent to this address, the items will be received by the City Clerk’s Department and then distributed to the Mayor and all members of Council on your behalf. Please note that this email address replaces the need to add the Mayor and all members of Council in the To: or Cc: fields of the emails you are sending. 
This email address has also been added to the Mayor & Councillors web page to help you transition from needing to email all members of Council individually:

6) News from Chamber of Marine Commerce
Received Oct 28
Political math good for lakes, Citizens Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), October 28, 2019.  The Great Lakes contain about 21% of the world’s fresh surface water and are central to an even higher percentage of President Donald Trump’s re-election prospects.  In a case of political math serving the environment, the administration has announced a revised five-year Great Lakes restoration program that maintains current restoration funding at about $300 million a year.  Trump repeatedly has proposed cutting that funding by 90%, to $30 million a year.  If, as Trump says, he “loves” the Great Lakes, he will restore the regulatory foundation that has helped them to rebound and thrive.

Received Oct 31
What the New Great Lakes Plan Means for Ohio, Spectrum News (Austin, Texas), October 30, 2019.  For the last three years, the Trump administration has proposed completely eliminating or severely shrinking funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  As has become routine, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from Great Lakes states has fought back each time to make sure the money stays put.  But then last week, just seven months after the White House proposed a 90-percent cut to the $300 million initiative, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler went to Michigan to unveil a new five-year plan to continue funding and protecting the Great Lakes.  The new 30-page plan maps out five focus areas: Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern, Invasive Species, Nonpoint Source Pollution Impacts on Nearshore Health, Habitats and Species, and Foundations for Future Restoration Actions.

Beneficial use for the Great Lakes, Dredging and Port Construction, October 31, 2019.  Efforts are under way in the states bordering the five US Great Lakes to reuse dredged material improve water quality, keep navigation channels clear, and fortify and recreate habitats.  Initiatives in one of the states bordering the five Great Lakes are particular telling to accelerate beneficial reuse of sediment: in Ohio, with its northern border on Lake Erie, the spur is a July 2020 deadline set by a state law to end open lake placement of dredged materials.

Unusually high water levels to continue in the Great Lakes, forecast predicts, WXYZ (Detroit, Michigan), November 5, 2019 (also appeared at CTV News, at Upper Michigan Source, at Fox 11 Online and at WJR).  A new forecast says Great Lakes levels are likely to remain unusually high and may set additional records.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Detroit on Monday released its outlook for the next six months.  All five Great Lakes are expected to resume their seasonal decline, but they’ll remain well above normal and will be higher in January than they were at the beginning of this record-setting year.  Huron and Michigan are likely to set monthly records in February, while Superior will come close.

7) Kingston Sail Maker John Clark

8) On the birch bark canoe front
We are so excited about our upcoming traditional birch bark canoe build with Algonquin Traditional Knowledge Keeper, Chuck Commanda this April.  Stay tuned…..
Here is a short video of a birch bark canoe launch in Prince Edward Island just to whet our appetites.

So that’s a wrap for this month,
Mary Farrar,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour