The West Coast of Ontario, who wouldn’t want to vacation here with sand, water, cottages, campgrounds and the best sunsets in the province or live here with all the year round opportunities that abound in such a rich area of natural diversity. There are great opportunities to hike through areas of natural and scientific interest (classed as ANSI by the Government) such as the lower Maitland or Bayfield river valleys or the Pinery Provincial Park.
You can paddle down multiple river systems and stand in awe when witnessing the migration of bird and waterfowl species like Golden Eyes, Scaups, Mergansers the flocks of Tundra Swans and Sandhill Cranes, to mention a few. Where else could you stand outside your house or barn and see raptors like Red Tailed Hawks and Bald Eagles move in pairs or groups back and forth from Lake Huron during parts of the day or listen to the calls of the Screech, Short Eared, Long Eared and Great Horned Owls in the evening? No doubt about it, an amazing place to live or visit ~ for now.
All the brochures that have been developed to help draw the tourists to the areas along Lake Huron may not point this out yet, but soon they will be able to include the great attraction on the West Coast of Ontario of being able to drive up and down the Bluewater Highway and be in awe of the grand structures erected in the name of green energy. Wow, it will be so amazing to see 49 storey high towers with bus sized hubs on the top and blades that reach the size of football fields! It will be no trouble to spot them, as there are close to a thousand planned to be built from Sarnia to halfway up the Bruce Pennisula (450 of them right here in Huron County – whoo hoo!) you can just stand anywhere on the ‘West’ coast and look ‘East’ and they will be right there for you to gaze at in wonder!
It really is unfortunate that the migrating birds can’t read the brochures so they could plan to re-route their own trips a little east or west of Lake Huron, but then again it is only 13 on average (based on the most recent Ontario study) that are expected to meet their demise by getting too close to just one of these structures, so I guess it’s really no big deal if let’s say 6000 of your bird community leave your southern clime and head north for the summer to find only 150 of you left after traveling through Huron County. Oh wait, I must have that wrong… it would only be 5850 birds killed on average there during the year, not from one flock…not quite the same, so I guess they could still take their chances?
If you’re a naturalist and enjoy watching a hawk or kestrel or any of the bird or animal species that hunt by sound or hover on predictable winds, I’m sure they will relocate somewhere inland that you could travel to in your leisure time, once those that survive the blades have discovered their prey is hard to locate with the interference of the turbines and have moved elsewhere in Ontario.
Might I suggest that instead of spending a lot of tax dollars on printing new Tourism brochures and booklets we just add bright colourful stickers that catch your attention. They could say “Come to the Beautiful West Coast of Ontario…oh by the way, just don’t look East”, unless you are one of those tourists in the CANWEA ads that apparently flock to areas with Industrial Wind Turbine Developments…but that could be a whole new tourism plan!
Beverly Budd, RR2 Goderich