Kingston Field Naturalists will hold a workshop Tuesday they hope will help shape a policy regarding wind farms, which are a divisive issue among environmentalists.
“Some are strongly in favour of wind farms; some very strongly opposed,” said Chris Hargreaves.
The organization, he said, is trying to determine “where can we stand between these groups.”
The naturalists have invited a number of speakers to their event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Outdoor Centre of Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area.
The aim of the workshop is to share information, Hargreaves said.
“Some people have very strong feelings,” he said. “This is an educational workshop, it’s not a rallying cry for one side or the other.”
In the morning, three experts will discuss the migration routes of waterfowl, raptors and songbirds. In the afternoon, another group of speakers will address the impact the wind farms are having along those routes.
The final scheduled speaker will be John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada, who is a big supporter of the provincial government’s Green Energy Act, Hargreaves said.
The Ontario government recently put a hold on the construction of offshore wind projects.
“They talk about a moratorium, but who knows how long it will last?” Hargreaves said.
More information about the workshop’s guest speakers and agenda can be found at www.kingstonfieldnaturalists.org.Registration fee for the workshop is $10. Lunch is $5 for pizza or bring an item for a salad buffet.
Workshop on Bird Migration over and around Lake Ontario
Tuesday March 8th, 10 AM – 4 PM
Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area Outdoor Centre
The Kingston Field Naturalists are organizing this workshop to discuss what is currently known about bird migration routes in Eastern Ontario. At present there is a range of opinions as to whether birds tend to travel along migration corridors over and around Lake Ontario, or whether they migrate across a broad front. Our aim is to develop a core of knowledge by which environmental assessments being carried out for wind farm projects can be evaluated. The program will include presentations by speakers from Ontario and New York State, and lots of discussion.
The morning will concentrate on bird migration routes over and around Lake Ontario. The afternoon presentations will look at the impact of wind farms on bird migration, and how this is measured. The impact on bats may also be considered.
9:30–10 AM: Registration
10 AM: Bird Migration Routes over and around Lake Ontario
- waterfowl movements — David Okines of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory
- raptor movements — Gerry Smith of the Derby Hill Bird Observatory in New York State
- songbird movements — notes by Ron Weir, editor of Birds of the Kingston Region
12:00 PM: Lunch
12:45 PM: Measuring bird migration and the potential impact of wind farms
- the Wolfe Island wind farm monitoring program — Andrew Taylor and Valerie Wyatt from Stantec
- the potential impact of wind energy projects on Important Bird Areas — Ted Cheskey from Nature Canada
- designing a beached bird survey — Barrie Gilbert, Wolfe Island
- impact of the Ostrander Point wind farm project? — Cheryl Anderson and Myrna Wood, Prince Edward County Field naturalists
- balancing support for wind energy, with concerns about the impact on bird migration, and other impacts on the area in which they are located — John Bennett, Executive Director, Sierra Club Canada
More questions and discussion
4 PM: Close
The workshop will be held in the Outdoor Centre at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area. This is just north of Kingston, close to Exit 617 on Highway 401 — see map. (There is no entry fee to the Conservation Area for workshop participants.)
Everybody is welcome to attend this workshop. The cost will be $10 for registration, (and free coffee and snacks throughout the day), plus $5 for lunch (pizza) or bring a contribution to a salad buffet.
Participants should register in advance, but pay on March 8th. To register, or for more information, please contact Chris Hargreaves