Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Sir John A Issues and Transport Canada’s multi-million dollar clean-up proposal remain important. History needs to be rewritten and Nature can teach us so much!
LOCAL NEWS AND ISSUES
1. Sir John A. Update – Indigenous Contributions to the Birth of Canada.
2. Proposed Inner Harbour Clean-up Project: What Nature Can Teach Us
3. Doornekamps’ Deep Water Dock for Cruise Ships + Newsletter
4. Queen’s Mandates COVID Vaccine Requirement
5. Construction of New Wolfe Island and Amherst Island Ferries Complete
6. Final Designs for Third Crossing’s Eastern Shore + Styrofoam Update
7. Utilities Kingston’s Satisfaction Survey
FROM FARTHER AFIELD
8. Levying Charges on Carbon Content of Imports?
9. World’s Ships Not Able to Deliver Xmas Gifts?
10. A Digital Dog Nose
11. Super Dogs Saving Turtles
12. Free Stuff Stores Add Reuse Option to Recycling Programs
1) Sir John A Update- Indigenous Contributions to the Birth of Canada.
Thanks so very much to Chief Don Maracle, Chief Dave Mowat and the Kingston Historical Society for recent correspondence about the War of 1812.
The consensus is that the war could not have been won without Indigenous support. And without that critical support Canada would most probably be part of the US, not the country we know and love today.
Widespread recognition of Indigenous contributions to the birth of Canada as a country is long overdue.
Chief Don Maracle of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Council sent this interesting and formative link –https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.3786289
Chief Dave Mowat of Alderville clarified Mississauga participation with the following statements:
“In his book Donald E. Graves incorrectly identified Mississauga warriors at Crysler’s Farm as Mohawk rather than Mississauga…. Graves I suspect at one level was unable to differentiate between Mohawk names and their spelling AND Mississauga names in the Anishinabemowin! That’s just a theory but I also must thank retired NAC Patricia Kennedy for her advocacy in identifying our warriors. Those men eventually helped found Alderville in the mid 1830s.”
In November of 2013, both Chief Dave Mowat and Chief Maracle were honoured as representatives of their Nations at Chrysler’s Farm when Stephen Harper commemorated the battle’s 200th anniversary.
Better late than never, but clearly much more recognition is due!
Here is the link to the Sir John A June 6 Celebration of his life provided in the Kingston Historical Society’s most recent “Limelight” newsletter – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_StO-SZirpE
Hugh Segal’s excellent short keynote speech begins around the 20 minute mark.
2. Update on Proposed Inner Harbour Clean-up Project- What Nature Can Teach Us
A brief outline of the project is available here – https://www.kihproject-projetpik.ca/Home/IndexEN
Comments submitted by the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour are at the end of this newsletter.
Nature knows how to heal. Current accepted engineering best practice is being called into question.
Community outreach for input will be happening throughout 2021 and 2022. Your comments are important. If you would like to submit a comment e-mail KIH project-projetKIH@golder.com.
In the meantime, we have been advised that there will be a presentation from Transport Canada at the City’s Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies (EITP) committee meeting this Sept 28 beginning at 6 pm. Council and community members will have the opportunity to ask questions.
3. Doornekamps’ Deep Water Dock for Cruise Ships + newsletter
4. Queen’s Mandates COVID Mandatory Vaccine Requirements
Received from The Kingstonist Aug 26, Jessica Foley
Queen’s University is joining other universities and colleges in Ontario in implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all individuals (students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors) participating in university activities in person, either on Queen’s campus or other Queen’s property….
This comes after “all universities and colleges in Ontario received a letter from the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (COMOH), recommending mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies at all post-secondary institutions across the 34 Public Health regions in the province,” Queen’s states in their updated policy.
Earlier this month Queen’s released a Residence Update, indicating that “students living in residence are subject to a vaccination status mandatory disclosure process. Information to date reflects that 98 per cent of students living in residence have indicated that they plan to be vaccinated, including 82 per cent who are already fully vaccinated, and a further 16 per cent have committed to completing the process in the coming weeks.”
Petitions both for and against the mandatory vaccine policy have been started by Queen’s students in response to the original Campus Re-Opening Framework, and subsequent vaccine policy that the university has put in place. Read our coverage of the petition in favour of a vaccine mandate, and the petition to end the vaccine mandate.
5. Construction of New Wolfe Island and Amherst Island Ferries Complete
6. Final Designs for Third Crossing’s Eastern Shore
Received from the Third Crossing team Aug 17, 2021
Landscaping and Restoration focusses on Nature, Accessibility and Connectivity
Future public engagement opportunities will be planned for the bridge and west shore where additional aspects of landscaping and site restoration, including opportunities for cultural heritage interpretation and public art will be explored.
Residents are encouraged to review the designs at Get Involved Kingston and register to ask questions of the project team (online) from Aug. 17 to Sept. 7 at 4 p.m.
“In designing the landscaping and site restoration plans, the team wanted to reflect the importance of the natural environment in the area, including the Cataraqui River and the large wetland north of the bridge,” says Mark Van Buren, Deputy Commissioner of Major Projects Office.
“After learning from an Indigenous ethnobotanist and considering input from key stakeholders, having a re-naturalized shoreland that promotes biodiversity along the Cataraqui River and enhancing accessible pathways for pedestrians were key elements for the east shore restoration.”
Technical considerations also helped determine the final designs for elements, including roadway alignment and drainage, stormwater management pond location, Pittsburgh Library parking lot modification, and surrounding utility infrastructure. Final design decisions were also guided by consultation with stakeholders and consultants.
The final design elements are intended to:
– Enhance the city tree canopy by planting new trees. Species native to the area that are well-suited to the east shore existing woodland and that create additional biodiversity have been chosen.
– Offer new and enhanced accessible connections to promote active transportation and healthy living. Including accessible sidewalks, cycle-tracks and pathways for use by pedestrians, cyclists and multi-modal users, and off-road paved and accessible pathways to connect segments of a future waterfront trail network.
– Restore and re-naturalize areas with low-maintenance vegetation to promote infiltration of rainfall run-off, reduce erosion of exposed soils and sediment deposition in the Cataraqui River.
Designed to respect the Cataraqui River and wetlands, the location of the Third Crossing’s natural environment which is dominated by the Cataraqui River and the large wetland north of the bridge makes it unique. To aid the design, the team is also incorporating elements of Context Sensitive Design (CSD). CSD aims to make the design of the bridge ‘fit with or respond to’ its’ environment.
Respecting this natural environment is reflected in many of the final east-shore design aspects, including:
– Re-naturalizing shoreland areas and the use of native and low maintenance landscaping materials that promote biodiversity.
– Re-aligning of pathways to avoid culturally sensitive areas and the rebuilding of the heritage wall parallel to Gore Road.
– Keeping the bridge as low as possible so it blends into the natural landscapes along this section of the Cataraqui River.
– Maximizing the span lengths to reduce the number of permanent in-water piers and reduce the impact on the natural aquatic environment.
– Having an above-standard life expectancy for the bridge, to minimize future maintenance and rehabilitation work and help to protect the natural environment.
– Construction on the east-shore landscaping and site restoration will begin in late fall 2021 and completion in the summer of 2022.
How to Get Involved
Learn more about the landscaping and site restoration plans for the east shore and ask the project team questions online at Get Involved Kingston.
You can ask questions of the team from Aug. 17 to Sept. 7 at 4 p.m.
Email the team atThirdcrossing@cityofkingston.ca
Stay connectedby joining theThird Crossing community e-newsletter.
STYROFOAM UPDATE FOLLOWING PROBLEM OF MUSKRATS CHEWING SILT CURTAINS
“The project has been working with a specialized supplier to provide an improved solution to better withstand deterioration impact from animals to our curtains. These improved curtains will be deployed around problematic areas throughout September. These curtains have been in process of fabrication throughout July and August, and will be shipping to site shortly. We also have various floats procured for repairs (from the same supplier) which are currently in transit, this will accelerate our float repair efforts once arriving. As you know, last week Belle Island and areas South of the Causeway were restricted to worker access by water, due to the Parks Canada Agency aquatic herbicide applications throughout this location. In the interest of Safety and as a precaution, we did not allow our personnel near Belle Island. However, we have reinstated clean-up and recon throughout areas south of the causeway this week and will continue our efforts going forward.
If you are seeing styrofoam in the water, we really appreciate hearing about location, including references to landmarks or shoreline area in photos is critical for our response teams to know where styrofoam may be accumulating. There are also various other construction projects currently underway throughout the Cataraqui and near the Inner Harbour, and our crews have also been collecting large debris and styrofoam originating from these other contractors, as part of our continued stewardship and care for the waterway.
Thank you very much,
The Project Team”
7. Utilities Kingston’s Satisfaction Survey
Received August 18, 2021
Are you satisfied? Utilities Kingston to call electricity customers for input.
Over the next month, Utilities Kingston will call some of its electricity customers to conduct a satisfaction survey.
The phone calls, from UtilityPULSE, will start this week and Utilities Kingston wants people to know these phone calls and questions are legitimate and authorized.
“We’ve been serving Kingston for more than 150 years and know that consumer values are changing. Please share your opinions to help us better understand and meet your needs and expectations. You can count on us,” says Kevin McCauley, Chief Customer and Technology Officer for Utilities Kingston.
Utilities Kingston has contracted UtilityPULSE, an opinion research firm, to call 400 of its 28,000 customers in central Kingston to ask a few questions about its electrical services. When they call, UtilityPULSE will ask to speak to the person who looks after your household’s electrical bill and then proceed with the survey, which takes less than 15 minutes. You will not be asked for account, financial or other personal information.
Utilities Kingston is one of many electric utilities in Ontario now conducting customer satisfaction surveys, as required by the Ontario Energy Board.
Questions or concerns about the survey can be directed to customer service at 613-546-0000.
Share. Participate. Engage. – GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca
FROM FARTHER AFIELD
8. To meet its climate goals while remaining competitive, Canada needs a scheme to levy a charge on the carbon content of imports, Toronto Star (Toronto, Ontario), August 30, 2021. A few weeks ago, the European Commission introduced the world’s first charge on the carbon content of imports — the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. Border carbon adjustment (BCA) regimes like this could play a big role in the future of global climate action, with important implications for Canada. The article is written by Michael Bernstein, the executive director of Clean Prosperity, a Canadian non-profit that works toward market-based solutions to the climate crisis.
9. How could all the world’s ships not be able to deliver our Christmas gifts on time,The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia), August 29, 2021. This article looks at the current challenges faced by international shipping and prospects for the future.
10. A Digital Dog Nose
Reading Time 2 minutes
Our smartphones know a lot about us: they can hear us, see us, and feel our touch.
What they can’t do is smell us — at least, not yet. But MIT researchers are working toward a future where we can have a mini olfactory system right inside our pockets.
Sniffing out disease: Diseases often change human body odor — and being able to pick up on this odor could lead to earlier and more accurate medical diagnoses.
According to Business Insider, modern medical articles have described yellow fever as smelling like raw meat, typhoid as baked bread, and diabetic ketosis as rotten apples. Two years ago, a woman swore she could smell her husband’s Parkinson’s disease.
And scientifically, this checks out: when a healthy cell is attacked by a virus, a toxic byproduct is produced. This byproduct can be emitted from the body via breath, sweat, or urine.
“In theory, this should be the earliest possible detection of any possible infection event,” Josh Silverman, CEO of Aromyx, a biotech startup that focuses on digitally replicating our sense of smell, told BI.
“You’re measuring the output of an infected cell. That can happen far before you get any viral replication.”
The problem is that a person’s sense of smell is weak and subjective, so we can’t rely on a human nose to diagnose a patient. A dog’s nose is much more sensitive, up to 100,000 times better than ours. (Sniffer dogs have even been trained to screen travelers for coronavirus.)
“Dogs, for now 15 years or so, have been shown to be the earliest, most accurate disease detectors for anything that we’ve ever tried,”said Andreas Mershin, a scientist at MIT. “So far, many different types of cancer have been detected earlier by dogs than any other technology.
The problem with dogs is that they have to be trained to sniff out each specific disease — and training them is expensive and time-consuming. Plus, it’s not super convenient to bring a dog into every doctor’s office or airport, for example.
So Mershin and his team are creating a digital dog nose that could eventually be built into every smartphone.
Nano-Nose: Earlier this year, Mershin and his team announced they had created a Nano-Nose — a robotic nose powered by AI — that could identify cases of prostate cancer from urine samples with 70% accuracy. The study claims that the robotic nose performed just as well as trained dogs in detecting the disease.
“Once we have built the machine nose for prostate cancer, it will be completely scalable to other diseases,” Mershin told the BBC.
According to Mershin, the Nano-Nose is “200 times more sensitive than a dog’s nose” when it comes to detecting and identifying tiny traces of different molecules emitted from a human body.
But the device is “100% dumber” when it comes to interpreting those molecules. That’s where AI comes into play — the data collected by the Nano-Nose sensors is run through a machine learning algorithm to interpret complex patterns of molecules.Interpreting patterns is key to making an accurate diagnosis. The presence of a molecule or even a group of molecules doesn’t necessarily signify cancer — but a complex pattern can. Scientists are still trying to figure out these patterns, but dogs pick up on them naturally. “The dogs don’t know any chemistry,” Mershin said. “They don’t see a list of molecules appear in their head. When you smell a cup of coffee, you don’t see a list of names and concentrations, you feel an integrated sensation. That sensation of scent character is what the dogs can mine.
To train the AI to mine this sensation as well as the dogs can, the team had to do a complicated analysis of individual molecules in the urine samples as well as understand the genetic composition of the urine. They trained the AI on this data, as well as on the data the dog’s produced in their own analysis, to see if the machine could recognize a pattern between the different data sets.
And it did: the machine learned what cancer smells like.
“What we haven’t shown before is that we can train an artificial intelligence to mimic the dogs,” Mershin said. “And now we’ve shown that we can do this.”
Outside the lab: Next, Mershin and his team need to replicate these results in a bigger study — he’s hoping to conduct another study with at least 5,000 samples. He also needs to ensure the system works outside the pristine lab environment; to be useful in the real world, the system is going to have to work in environments where multiple smells are present. Still, this proof of concept is exciting because it means a powerful way to diagnose diseases could eventually be found in everyone’s pocket.Smartphones that smell are nearing reality, Mershin told Vox.“I think we’re maybe five years away, maybe a little bit less,” he says, “to get it from where it is now to fully inside of a phone. And I’m talking [about deploying it] into a hundred million phones.”
11. Super Dogs Saving Turtles
From Christopher Knapper Aug 25 Thanks so much! https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/24/six-superdogs-who-save-turtles-north-carolina?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
12. Free Stuff Stores Add Reuse Option to Recycling Programs
Dave Kuhn works at the dump in Cornwall, Ont., and knows that a lot of stuff that ends up there shouldn’t.
“It’s really a shame to see something with life [left in it] just be destroyed just because somebody didn’t think that somebody else could potentially use it,” said Kuhn, who is the city’s waste management supervisor (and is seen in the photo above).
So last fall, Cornwall created an alternative: the fREe Store, where people can drop things off for others to take gratis.
It’s one of several programs across the country — from the Hodgepodge Lodge in Strathcona County, Alta., to the Re-Use building in Thessalon, Ont. — that go beyond recycling and help their communities reduce and reuse, too.
So far in 2021, Kuhn says Cornwall’s program has diverted 31.5 tonnes of waste, saving $5,000 and precious space in a landfill that only has enough room to take garbage for the next decade.
The initiative has also benefited hundreds of people who have taken stuff for reuse, including one family that recently lost everything in a fire and had to start over, said Kuhn.
Reusing items also reduces consumption and its environmental impacts — as Kuhn noted, a family that picks up a used dining table won’t have to buy a new one. “That’s one more that doesn’t have to get manufactured.”
Free reuse stores aren’t a new concept. The one on Hornby Island, B.C., has been in operation since 1978, when the island landfill closed, which forced the community to find new ways to deal with its waste to avoid costly shipping off-island.
The island’s Free Store takes nearly everything, from clothing to two-by-fours from demolitions, said Stani Veselinovic, the recycling program manager.
As of mid-August, there was even an old fibreglass boat up for grabs that “just needs a little bit of tender-loving care,” Veselinovic said.
While most reuse free stores across Canada are part of municipal recycling programs, some private recyclers have embraced the idea, too. Keep It Green Recycling in Vancouver provides recycling services mainly to the film industry and started a material reuse program in 2018.
Owner Kelsey Evans said after a production is over, film companies need a place to bring their old sets and props, from fake walls to doors to vintage clothing. The company works with non-profits and film schools to rehome them, but anyone is welcome to take items there.
Recently, that included a fake MRI machine. “It sat there for like a month and we were at the point of having to recycle it,” Evans recalled. “But then someone came in that had goats and they’re like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this would be perfect for my goats to play on.’”
Keep It Green Recycling recently started a junk removal service that offers the “junk” for reuse first instead of taking it directly to the dump.
Evans and Kuhn both say they work closely with charities like Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army that run thrift stores, offering them items that might be sellable, and taking things that don’t sell to try to find them a home through their reuse store.
Amid growing interest in the circular economy and reducing waste, Veselinovic and Kuhn have both been contacted by other communities interested in starting up similar programs, and hope they’ll soon be more widely available.
PRELIMINARY COMMENTS ON GOLDER’S DRAFT REPORT ENTITLED:
“Conceptual Sediment Management Plan for the Kingston Inner Harbour”
Submitted by the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour (FKIH), August, 2021
Two basic questions that need to be addressed at the outset:
1) Why is there so much community concern?
2) How do community members use the park?
The short answers are related to Climate Change.
The long answers need more unpacking.
In our opinion, several concerns need to be addressed before this project moves forward:
1) Increased Global and Local Community Awareness of Climate Change,
2) Community Uses of the Inner Harbour Parks and Shoreline
3) Insufficient Data regarding Species At Risk and their Habitats as well as Aquatic Eco-systems,
4) Insufficient Discussion about Potential Ongoing Sources of Pollution,
5) Concerns about the Viability of Dredging and Capping, and their Long-term Effects on the River’s Aquatic Eco-systems.
6) Concerns about Revetment as a Method for Mitigation Without Discussion of More Eco-friendly Solutions
7) Insufficient Discussion about Mitigation Specified by Shoreline Zone (toe,splash, bank and possibly terrace zones)
8) Concerns about Methods for both Short-term and Long-term Monitoring,
9) Concerns about Openness and Transparency
10) Concerns about Metal Craft Marine and the Kingston Marina.
11) Concerns about Indigenous Consultation
1) Increased Global and Local Community Awareness of Climate Change:
This change in perspective is in complete contrast to the perspectives of 15 years ago when the majority of community members were in favour of cleaning up the Inner Harbour – at any cost.
i) The Inner Harbour neighbourhood has seen significant gentrification over the last 15 years – with a growing population that really cares about the environment.
(Kingston has more citizens with PhDs than any other city in Canada. Quite a few live in the IH))
ii) The City of Kingston has declared a “Climate Emergency” reflecting citizen concern. Residents expect Council to act accordingly.
iii) There is growing awareness that preserving habitat is more important than human recreational opportunity.
Organizations such as Watersheds Canada advocate that 75% of shorelines be set aside for Nature and only 25% for human recreation.
2) Community Uses of Inner Harbour Parks and Shoreline
There does not seem to be discussion in the report about use of the area by community members – past, present or projected in the future.
i) Basically, the Inner Harbour is a Nature Park. It is a truly remarkable city asset in the middle of the downtown. People use the park passively, walking along the trail, riding bikes, walking their dogs, feeding the ducks and geese, watching the turtles, sitting and relaxing on the benches and enjoying a peaceful respite in nature.
ii) As the Inner Harbour is Kingston’s best location for small craft use due to the calm waters, people also come to get in and out of canoes, kayaks and use stand-up boards.
iii) Change in these uses is not expected. This is important because one concern expressed as the basis for the necessity of cleanup is “repeated exposure” to contaminants in the sediments. “Repeated exposure” is events like toddlers eating the sediments or people standing barefoot in the sediments for long periods of time. In our considered opinion, these concerns are overblown given current and projected shoreline use by community members.
3) Insufficient data regarding species at risk, their habitats, and aquatic ecosystems
i) Sadly, the report’s description of turtle habitat is superficial and inaccurate.
ii), As a result, methods for remediation are based on this inaccurate information.
iii) Given the inaccuracies of the turtle data described below (the one species we are very familiar with having been involved with citizen science projects for several years), questions need to be raised about the accuracy of the report’s descriptions of other species.
iv) There is no description of the aquatic plant environment that will be destroyed by invasive procedures such as dredging, capping and revetment and no discussion as to how this environment might be restored. Was a study done? (snorkeling?)
v) There are no suggestions as to what restoration efforts might be made to replace aquatic eco-systems following the dredging, capping and revetment being recommended.
Comments on the Species at Risk Portions of the Draft Report Related to Turtles
We have focused on this as we have done citizen science work involving turtles over the last few years.
Page 15 Table 1: “Restricted Activity Periods and Recommended Mitigation Measures for Species at Risk and Fish Communities within the KIH Study Area”
Column #1 – “Community”
SAR Turtles (Blandings, Northern Map, Snapping, Eastern musk, Midland painted)
FKIH COMMENT: To our knowledge, Blandings turtles have not been seen in the Inner Harbour for the last 20 years. Also, both Painted and Musk should be considered high probability as we know they both nest in the Inner Harbour.
Column #2 “Location of Suitable Habitat in the Study Area”
The report states: “These species are known to be present in the Cataraqui River. Map turtles are known to concentrate in the small bay at the north end of Douglas Fluhrer Park where abundant basking structures are present. Snapping turtles are also known to nest on shore at this location. No concentrations of the other turtle species are known within the study area.”
FKIH COMMENTS: Most of these statements are incorrect because they are incomplete, describing only a limited part of the turtle habitat.
A) Map turtles have an extensive habitat in the Inner Harbour
i) For the most part they bask along the Tannery shoreline. Up to 100 have been seen at one time basking there on trees that have fallen in the water. Some also bask where the report indicates – in the bay at the north end of Douglas Fluhrer Park where the city has provided a few basking logs.
ii) For the most part, Map turtles aqua-bask in the small bay at the north end of Douglas Fluhrer Park.
iii) For the most part Map turtles lay their eggs in Doulas Fluhrer Park and Kingston Marina areas. (For five consecutive years we protected over 100 nests from predation with nest covers. Over 50 volunteers were involved each year. Work is now being done by a graduate student under guidance of Dr. Stephen Lougheed of Queen’s University.) Map turtles also nest up the hill from the park, some even across Rideau Street opposite Rideaucrest and opposite the Tannery property and some go even farther afield.
iv) In our small radio-telemetry pilot study conducted in 2019, we discovered that the Map turtles documented preferred to hibernate in Kingston Mills where the water is more oxygenated. One also hibernated somewhere along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Accounts of our citizen science work is available on our webpage – www.friendsofinnerharbour.com.
Reports were also submitted to the ON Ministry of the Environment and Hillary Knack at Parks Canada.
B) The Map turtle population is large and apparently healthy.
i) Through capture/release protocols so far 212 turtles have been marked.
ii) Although anecdotal, we have noticed an increase in young turtles which we attribute to our years of protecting nests from predators.
iii) Not a single turtle examined in our capture/release protocols have shown any sign of malformation. Several had shells that appeared to have been damaged by boat propellors.
C) Snapping turtles stay mostly near the Rowing Club, not in the Douglas Fluhrer Park area.
i) Snapping turtles seem to prefer the more weedy area around the Rowing Club. They don’t bask.
ii) We know that Snapping turtles lay eggs along the K&P Trail going north along the trail from River St. and in the northwestern quadrant of the Tannery property. Nests have also been noted near the Barr property beside the National Grocer’s Building. Shells from predated nests have also been seen in the central portion of the Tannery property. Although not as common, in the last couple of years there were a couple of Snapping turtle nests protected in the Douglas Fluhrer Park area as well.
Midland Painted Turtles.
D) i) This past season we noted more Painted turtles in the small bay at the north end of Douglas Fluhrer Park. We attributed this possibly due to the fact of the Third Crossing bridge construction – perhaps this construction was part of the reason that the Map turtles returned a bit later than usual. And perhaps the Painted turtles felt a little bolder about using those city-constructed logs. We can’t be sure.
ii) We have noted that Painted turtles lay in the Douglas Fluhrer Park and Kingston Marina areas. They have also been noted in the Belle Park and Belle Island areas.
Eastern Musk Turtles
E) In 2020 one musk turtle nest was protected and this past season two musk turtle nests were protected – all near the Woolen Mill.
Basically, all four species inhabit the whole Inner Harbour. Our citizen-science project focused on the Douglas Fluhrer Park area (due to limitations of volunteer time) but we know from reports from the public that all species also inhabit the north and south shorelines of Belle Park and Belle Island and that Maps, Snappers and Painteds have all been seen laying eggs near the pumping station on River St.
Column #3 “ Restricted Activity Period(s)
The report states: “Mid-September through March (Overwintering)
Late May through early July (Nesting)”
i) As most of the turtles are Northern Maps and it would appear that they hibernate at Kingston Mills we are wondering if mid-September through March should actually be a restricted time? On the other hand, this point, we don’t know where the other species of turtles hibernate. They could well be hibernating along the western Inner Harbour shoreline – particularly Painteds that we know do not require oxygenated water.
ii) There is no mention here of the times when hatchlings appear. They can emerge mid-August though into late October. They can also emerge early March through to mid-June – in which case the time that work is contra-indicated should be longer.
iii) Work should definitely be restricted from May through to mid July as that is the busiest time for basking, aqua-basking and nesting. However, if one takes hatching periods into consideration, restricted times would be from early March through to late October. And if hibernation is occurring along the shoreline during winter, disturbance from October to March could also be contraindicated. More knowledge is needed here.
Basically there does not seem to be a good time to do the clean-up from the perspective of Inner Harbour turtles.
Column #4 “Recommended Mitigation Measures”
The report states:
“- Turtles will typically leave an area where disturbance is occurring.
– If possible, avoid in-water work during the over-wintering period, when turtles are less mobile.
– Install exclusion fencing around terrestrial work areas prior to 1 April to stop turtles from nesting, and maintain until end of July.
– Additional mitigation measures would be required for work outside recommended periods.”
i) Agreed that turtles will typically leave an area where disturbance is occurring.
ii) We are not comfortable with work happening over the winter months. Yes, it is important to protect the turtles from early March through to late October when they are hatching, basking, aqua-basking and laying – especially as it would appear that the Map turtles will most likely be hibernating at Kingston Mills. However, as stated earlier, we are not sure at this point, where the Snapping, Painted and Musk turtles hibernate. It is possible, if not likely, that they could be hibernating along the western Inner Harbour shoreline especially if they don’t require oxygenated water to hibernate. Basically, no time is ideal for work to proceed.
iii) Installation of exclusion fencing. Where are the turtles supposed to bask, aqua-bask and nest if they are being excluded from their normal habitat? From what we know about turtle behaviour, they come back to the same site year after year. If they are prevented from nesting at their normal sites there are no easily available alternatives. Some might make exhaustive searches. Others might eventually give up and drop their eggs in the water. It would really be an awful thing to inflict on them and has the potential to result in very few nests in the years when clean-up is occurring.
At the very least the whole area (especially that from south of the Woolen Mill to the Kingston Marina) should be divided into a number of sections to allow the turtles some habitat options throughout the clean-up process.
FKIH COMMENT ON APPENDIX C (page 7 of Appendix C))
There is no mention of Midland Painted Turtle in the Taxonomy.
4) Insufficient Discussion of Potentially Ongoing Contamination from Sources such as Stormwater and Brownfields – Putting the Horse before the Cart
Perhaps those at Golder felt this was outside their mandate but it remains a serious concern. If the clean-up occurs and nothing is done about ongoing potential contamination from sites like the Tannery and storm sewers what is the point of spending all of that money? At the very least, Transport Canada et al need to work in collaboration with the city to ensure that the city’s relevant contaminated sites are dealt with prior to any proposed federal clean up.
5) Concerns about the Viability of Dredging and Capping on Contaminated Sites and their Long-term Effects on Aquatic Eco-systems.
We worry that the proposed treatments of dredging and capping might cause more damage than cure. More input from experts in fluid mechanics, hydrogeology and biology is needed.
Based on our limited research into current work, we have concerns about
i) disturbance and resuspension of contaminants during the dredging and capping procedures.
One recent paper demonstrated that contaminants are unleashed simply through placement of machinery prior to work commencement.
ii) viability of capping given the shallowness of the water
iii) given flow patterns in Lake Ontario, we are concerned that contaminants may find their way west along the Lake Ontario shoreline and then on to the shoreline of southwestern New York State with possible liability consequences for the city.
iv) the actual (not assumed) viability of silt curtains for inhibiting unleashed contaminants.
Others with more expertise will no doubt offer more extensive comments on these issues.
6) Concerns about Revetment as a Method for Mitigation Without Discussion of more Eco-friendly Solutions.
In recent years, highly invasive methods such as dredging, capping and revetment have been falling out of favour. In a recent U.S. (2021) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) report, problems with the standard methods for revetment were found wanting.
As a result, more nature-based solutions are being recommended. We remain concerned that the methods suggested (dredging, capping and revetment, may not be in keeping with current best practice.
(http:www.fema.gov/txt/about/regions/region/Engineering/With/Nature_Web.txt).) pp 2,3)
“When riprap is the primary or only form of riverbank stabilization measure, the end result is typically a uniform, smooth channel, with no complexity. This means that there are no areas of vegetation either in or overhanging the water, leaving fish at risk from predation. In addition, a lack of riverbank diversity denies fish a place to seek refuge during periods of high water, which often results in their being washed out of a fast moving system during flooding. Riprap causes other, albeit less significant, problems as well. In areas of low vegetation, when exposed to direct sunlight, the rocks that comprise riprap can reflect light into the water, which increases water temperatures to an unhealthy degree for fish. Riprap also tends to suffer from structural integrity issues during and after high-water events. Losing rocks to high water or fast flows, a riprap structure will soon begin to fail in its purpose. Once the soil that riprap is designed to protect is exposed, the damage continues as before its installation. This possibility requires constant monitoring and maintenance, which ultimately becomes expensive and problematic…
Nature has always been capable of taking care of itself. Long before we began manipulating our environment, nature has run its own course. It is possible, then, that we can look to nature for examples to follow in making life near eroding or flood-prone waterways less risky while leaving as minimal a footprint as possible? Proponents of environmentally conscious and responsible construction believe so…. Lately, the tide has turned on the accepted practice of hard armoring due to public conscience of the eroding environment we live in.The 10 stories in this booklet represent a handful of successful alternatives to riverbank stabilization that have been taken throughout Western Washington. While this collection is in no way complete, it offers a comprehensive look at some of the varied techniques that are available for consideration. These best practices illustrate the fact that we can manipulate streams and rivers without completely overriding nature’s design, that indeed, it is possible to work hand in hand with nature to make living by the water not only viable, but much safer in the long run.”
No doubt others with more expertise will be offering comments on this as well.
7) Insufficient Discussion about Mitigation specified by Shoreline Zones (toe,splash, bank and possibly terrace zones)
The report does not specify these four zones with recommendations for each specifically.
We were pleased to see the recommendation to alter the shoreline near the Woolen Mill.
The large rocks installed by the city are difficult for the turtles to negotiate. When they return from laying, there is a one metre drop from the rock into the water that they are forced to deal with. Also the sandy area immediately adjacent to the shore that was placed for turtles to lay is inappropriate. Turtles prefer gravel to sand and they also prefer to lay further from the shore. The suggestion of a boardwalk and more natural slope is welcome.
8) Concerns about Methods for Both Short-term and Long-term Monitoring,
The report is lacking in specifics as to how this would be done.
9) Concerns about Openness and Transparency
i) We remain concerned about lack of third party assessment by parties not involved with the current proposal but also by those who have never been involved with Inner Harbour issues in the past. Some of our group worry about potential conflict of interest.
ii) We remain concerned about lack of access to information reports through Access to Information. We are hoping to have more access via this Golder report. There are a number of papers in the bibliography that we would like to see. We have reached out. No response as yet.
iii) So far communications have been unsatisfactory. We are looking forward to Transport Canada’s presentation at the City’s Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies (EITP) committee meeting this September 28 where we will have the opportunity to ask questions directly.
10) Concerns about Metal Craft Marine and the Kingston Marina.
Both of these businesses are strong assets for the City of Kingston. Metal Craft Marine has a niche market and supplies fire and rescue boats all over the world. They operate the Kingston Marina which also is an important asset for Kingston tourism. These businesses must survive. They cannot be shut down for even one season.
11) Concerns about Indigenous Consultation
We are concerned that the Indigenous consultations will be superficial – simply informative rather than reaching out for and digesting real alternatives. Our community association has had a long-standing and close relationship with the Belle Island Caretakers’ Circle.
We understand that the project is in the early stages and that many of these questions may be addressed during the public consultations to follow. We also understand that our focus as a community association is limited. Others with greater scientific expertise, particularly in areas such as biology, hydrogeology and fluid mechanics have greater expertise than we do and will most certainly be offering comments going forward. However, we wanted to share our thoughts at the outset to help draw attention to what we consider to be some of the serious problems in need of examination. Thank you for considering these comments.”
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour