Latest Event Updates
For Immediate Release: Cap-and-trade withdrawal threatens to derail municipal climate progress across Ontario
July 10, 2018
(Hamilton, Oakville, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor) – The Urban Climate Alliance – a coalition of five city-level Ontario environmental organizations – has researched the potential impact of provincial withdrawal from cap-and-trade and found that cities are facing a massive funding gap. Hundreds of millions of dollars of cap-and-trade revenues have already been directed to projects in Hamilton, Oakville, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor that will help fight climate change, with even more money anticipated for planned projects. The province’s withdrawal from the cap-and-trade program, with no clear alternative funding stream identified, threatens to derail municipal climate progress across Ontario.
The province’s cap-and-trade withdrawal leaves Ontario cities in a difficult position. With such a large funding gap, cities will struggle to continue ambitious climate program commitments using their limited tax base. “Money from the cap-and-trade program was helping Ontario cities fight climate change, but it was also making them more livable and dynamic,” said Robb Barnes, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. “One of the biggest benefits from provincial investments in cities has been money for social housing repairs” said Dusha Sritharan, Climate Change Campaigner at Toronto Environmental Alliance.
The Urban Climate Alliance researched where funding from carbon pricing has gone so far in Hamilton, Oakville, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor. Already, money has been directed to a wide range of climate programs, including:
- The development of community energy plans;
- Upgrading energy efficiency in municipal buildings;
- Retrofitting social housing to modernize the building stock while reducing greenhouse gas pollution;
- Purchasing electric buses and low-emissions vehicles;
- Building more pedestrian- and cycling-friendly streets; and
- Scaling up the use of renewable energy.
“In Oakville, cap-and-trade money is already helping the Town of Oakville develop a community-wide energy plan, and build over $600,000 in cycling infrastructure. Oakville had applied for $8.1 million in cap-and-trade program revenues to support the purchase of battery electric buses for Oakville Transit, which would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions and had the added benefits of reducing noise pollution and increasing ridership” said Giuliana Casimirri, Executive Director of Oakvillegreen. “We are extremely concerned that a critical source of funding for municipal climate change action has been lost!”
For further information, please contact:
Oakvillegreen Conservation Association
The Urban Climate Alliance is a collective of urban-based environmental groups made up of Ecology Ottawa, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Environment Hamilton, Oakvillegreen Conservation Association and Citizens Environment Alliance (Windsor).
With Giant Hogweed making more appearances in the news this past month, we figured it’s a perfect time to remind everyone how they can get involved in the fight against invasive species. Everyone has a role to play – we need citizens to be on the lookout for new invasions and to remove invasives when and where possible. Of course, the first step is understanding what invasive species are and how you can report them. That’s what this post is all about!
What are invasive species?
Invasive species are “non-native species that have been introduced from another geographic region and whose introduction or spread negatively impacts native biodiversity, the economy and or society, including human health” (Ontario Invasive Plant Council, 2016)
Why are invasive species a problem?
Invasive species can aggressively displace native species, leading to species extirpation and extinction as well as a reduction in overall biodiversity. Biodiversity is necessary in order for ecosystems to be resilient and adaptable to change. Invasive species also alter food chains, fire cycles and soil chemistry and can reduce forest growth. These changes may lead to a reduction in the ecosystem services provided by natural communities. The economic cost of invasive species in Canada is an estimated 36 billion dollars annually.
Learn more about invasive species and their impact HERE.
Why monitor invasive species?
Monitoring invasive species is extremely important if we want to manage them effectively. We need to know where the leading edge of an infestation is, and where species are showing up in new locations so that we can prioritize management to have the greatest impact. Reporting invasive species through tools such as EDDMapS sends information to local authorities so they can make these management decisions. Many municipalities don’t have extra funds to track emerging problems. That’s why citizen monitoring is really important!
Species of Special Interest in Oakville
Honeysuckle (several invasive species)
Giant hogweed and wild parsnip
Find out more about these common invasive species HERE.
From Mapping to Action
Want to use your new knowledge to start eradicating invasive species, but not sure where to start? Larger, higher quality and less invaded areas are the highest priorities for action. This is because they take the least time and effort for the best quality result. In heavily invaded areas, an extreme amount of effort would be required for eradication. Plus, in these areas, if all invasives were removed there would be hardly anything left to hold the soil down and regenerate. If you’re interested in fighting invasive species in Oakville, contact email@example.com for more information. You can also visit our other invasive species webpages for details on all things invasive.
Get Started – Using EDDMapS Ontario
EDDMapS (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System) is a system for tracking invasive species occurrences in real time.
Species can be reported either on the EDDMapS Ontario website or using the EDDMapS Ontario app, which is available for iPads, iPhones and Android devices. Simply create a free account and you’re ready to go!
To report a species using the EDDMapS app:
- Choose the species from the list under ‘Species Categories’
- Enter the location (automatically entered if you’re using the mobile app)
- Add at least 1 photo. Close up photos showing ID features and photos showing the area of infestation are especially useful.
Enter the size of the infested area. This is the total area of land containing that invasive species. You can estimate this area by drawing an imaginary line around the perimeter of the infestation, excluding any areas that aren’t infested.
- Enter the habitat where the individual is located. There may be some overlap (e.g. if you are on an urban trail that runs along a roadside) but try to choose the option that best represents the habitat of the species.
- Enter the percent cover for the species. To estimate this number, imagine that you are looking at an aerial view of the infested area. How much of that view is occupied by the invasive species? This is also called canopy closure or ground cover, and it indicates the severity of the invasion within the infested area.
- Choose the abundance category that best describes the infestation. Is there a single plant, scattered plants or dense patches?
- Enter approximate number of individuals of that species present in the infested area.
- Check off the appropriate plant description boxes to give a bit more information on the condition of the plant at the time you found it.
- If you were using a specific monitoring protocol you can also indicate this – if not just choose ‘NA.’ You can also enter any additional information under ‘Notes.’
- Hit ‘Save.’ The report will be added to your upload queue. This allows you to use the app while offline.
- Once you’re online, go to your upload queue and upload all of your reports.
Note: If you’re using the website instead of the app, the fields are the same but in a different order. Start by logging in and clicking the ‘Report Sightings’ tab.
You can also use the app or website to identify invasive species and learn more about them. In the app, you can go to ‘All Species’ and click the ‘i’ button beside any species to access species information, images and a map showing all reported occurrences of the species. On the website, click on ‘Distribution Maps’ to view a map of reported occurrences for each species, and click ‘Species Information’ for descriptions and images of each species.
For more information, refer to the EDDMapS HANDBOOK or check out our resources for reporting invasive species in Oakville.
Learn how you can minimize the spread of invasive species HERE.
We can’t believe one more year has gone by. The 2017-2018 school year is behind us and it was full of incredible moments and discoveries.
With the support of Oakville’s teachers, Nature inspired and motivated thousands of students to take action and make a difference in their woodlots, creeks and natural lands. Children and youth experienced first hand and from direct observation natural displays, giving them the opportunity to test prior knowledge in the real world and make stronger connections.
We learned together about food webs, ecosystems, rocks and minerals, water, interactions and so much more.
We removed invasive species, planted trees and cleaned up paths and creeks.
Despite being in environmental education for many years, nature never ceases to surprise us. Being able to see the world through the eyes of children, their sense of wonder and excitement is priceless and our inspiration.
At Oakvillegreen we are looking forward to keep inspiring and increasing students’ curiosity and environmental awareness!