Category Archives: Geography

Northern Quebec community receives $1.4 billion

1-BUILDING TOGETHER

“Building Together – A hydro project in Quebec works with collaboration from its neighbours.”, by Antonia McGuire appeared in WaterCanada’s May/June 2011 edition.

BUILDING2New roads, transported goods and purchased services, employment for trades and construction workers,  transferred knowledge of a water  treatment technology to the local community. When it comes to the business of water sustainability, the regional economic spinoffs are clearly significant. In the case of Eastmain 1A/Sarcelle, a northern Quebec hydroelectric project, the local community benefited from a boost of up to $1.4 billion, increasing quality of life and providing jobs. Of that amount, $632 million went to contracts awarded to the Cree people in the area, and over $260 million was invested in environmental measures. 
  HEADER IMAGESome people are already calling it Canada’s project of the decade, but what’s truly unique about this project is its collaborative approach. As part of its $5 billion sustainability development  strategy Hydro-Québec’s Société de développement de la Baie James (see “About SDBJ/SEBJ” at end) has earned an international reputation for providing world-class services in project engineering and construction in cooperation with First Nations communities.
Sharing resources
HYDRO QUEBECHydro-Québec and subsidiary SEBJ have an agreement to work together with the Cree people—through the partnership, they share resources such as personnel and environmental experts to assess the risks around water quality.
MAP3“A joint committee of representatives from the Cree and SEBJ decides everything together—how we go about it, who does it, and what it means for the Cree communities,” says Hydro- Québec’s biologist specializing in water quality for SEBJ, Roger Schetagne. “The Cree participate in all sampling, and are involved in every stage of the project. The methodology and all results are presented to the community very openly.”
It doesn’t end there. Despite $1.25-billion spent over four years by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada on water and wastewater infrastructure, documents obtained from Health Canada revealed that one in five First Nations communities still lack safe drinking water…Prior to the agreement with Hydro-Québec, the Cree Waskaganish  First Nation did not have an adequate water treatment system and some people still used and drank surface water from the river.
CREE COUNCIL“Water services were already an issue for the Waskaganish community, who, at the time, had an obsolete drinking water facility,” says Schetagne. Before the project, he says, SEBJ and First Nations people decided to build a new water treatment facility. The location and type of water treatment was decided with the Cree, and the facility was completed in 2009. It runs on a waterproof membrane water cleaning technology that is easily transferred to the Cree people.
SAFE WATERThe SEBJ/Hydro-Québec and Cree project team also provides a targeted local health campaign about healthy, safe drinking water practices. “We work in collaboration with the Cree board of health on this issue,” says Schetagne.
This sustainability development project is not only bridging two cultures to do business, but the work being done along the way is helping others develop real-world adaptation strategies— lessons that can provide benefits to the partnership and beyond.
About SDBJ/SEBJ
Back in 1971,the Société de développement de la Baie James
(SDBJ) formed a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec known as Société
d’énergie de la Baie James (SEBJ). For the past three decades, SEBJ has offered numerous services in power generation, transmission plant engineering, project management, and construction, as well as developed an expertise in remote areas and multicultural environments. Today, Hydro-Québec’s SEBJ group is spearheading one of the largest hydroelectric developments in the multicultural environments.
ANTONIA MCGUIREAntonia McGuire
is a Toronto-based
freelance writer.

$500M Invested in St. Lawrence Seaway

ST

The following article, “$500 million being invested in St. Lawrence Seaway”, was posted to renewcanada.net on April 30, 2014

ALGOMA SHIPThe St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. (SLSMC) marked the opening of the Seaway’s 56th navigation season with the transit of Algoma Central Corp.’s newly  built ship, the Algoma Equinox, through Lock 3 of the Welland Canal. The vessel is the first of eight Equinox-class ships that are being purpose-built for trade in the St. Lawrence Seaway.

slsmc ceo and administrator“Algoma Central Corporation’s fleet renewal is a leading example of the unprecedented level of investment that is happening throughout our navigation system,” said Terence Bowles, president and CEO of the SLSMC. “The Seaway alone is spending almost $500 million on modernizing its infrastructure—the biggest transformation in five decades.”

SLM LOGOIn concert with various domestic and ocean carriers investing $1 billion in new vessels, the SLSMC is investing $395 million between 2014 and 2018 to revitalize its locks and structures. Likewise, the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. (SLSDC) is mounting a $92 million effort over a comparable timeframe.

BETTY SUTTON“Our asset renewal program will do more than just rebuild the lock infrastructure,” SLSDC administrator Betty Sutton said. “The introduction of new technologies will make the waterway even safer, more efficient, and more reliable. These investments signal a long term public commitment to shipping on the Great Lakes/Seaway System.”

GREAT LAKES SEAWAY SYSTEMMore than 227,000 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity are supported by the movement of goods within the Great Lakes-Seaway System.

http://renewcanada.net/2014/500m-being-invested-in-st-lawrence-seaway/

Additional links providing background

http://www.mmdonline.com/events/transit-of-the-baie-st-paul-marks-opening-of-2013-st-lawrence-seaway-season-98514

A Photo Journey through Atlantis, Bahamas ~ Fabulous!

ATLANTIS PARADISE ISLANDThe following is a reblog of Leslie Carter’s (my all time #1 favorite blogger!) from her Bucket list publications.  (http://bucketlistpublications.org)- posted Jan.27, 2014
Thank you, Leslie  for this wonderful and magical armchair travel journey.

A Photo Journey through Atlantis, Bahamas.

Royal Tower, Atlantis, Bahamas

Trying to explain everything that Atlantis, Paradise Island has to offer in one post would be impossible. Surprises and unique adventures were around every corner. From water slides, marine habitats, adventure currents, nightly entertainment, spas, sports, and a casino, it was important to pick favorites and cover those activities first because the endless adventures would provide a lifetime of entertainment. Follow our Atlantis journey through a series of my favorite photos.

Celebrity Transfers picked us up at the airport and drove us to The Reef, Atlantis in style.

Celebrity Transfers, Atlantis, Bahamas

The Reef provided us with all the comforts of home including a kitchen, garden tub, amazing ocean views, a semi-private pool, and easy access to the white-sand beaches.

The Reef, Atlantis

The Reef, Atlantis

Our View from The Reef, Atlantis Bahamas

Aquaventure, Atlantis Paradise Island’s water park, is a 141-acre waterscape with non-stop aquatic thrill ride features over twenty million gallons of water, thrilling high-speed water slides, a mile-long river ride with rolling rapids and wave surges, 20 swimming areas, a spectacular kids water-play fort, and 11 unique and refreshing swimming pools. We rode The Current and somehow managed to stay in the tube even when everyone around us was falling out.

Aquaventure, Atlantis Paradise Island

The Current, Atlantis

Aquaventure, Atlantis Paradise Island

The Marine Habitat offers a unique opportunity to explore lagoons, caves, coral formations, and underwater ruins designed to showcase exotic marine life ranging from dolphins and sea lions to sharks, rays, barracuda, to piranha, and eels. Athena loved the sharks the most; amazed by their graceful movements.

Atlantis, The Dig

The Dig, Atlantis

Playing with sea lions and dolphins was a first for my sister, Gabriella. The smile never left her face during the entire time we were in the extraordinary, almost dreamlike, environment.

Funny Sea Lion, Atlantis, Bahamas

Swimming with Dolphins at Atlantis, Bahamas

Every beach at Atlantis has its own unique allure and charm. Mom relaxed during her morning stroll on Atlantis Beach where she rubbed her feet in the fine powder-sand and we all splashed in the waves of The Cove Beach while looking at the spectactular vista of azure water.  Beaches, Atlantis Bahamas

Beaches, Atlantis Bahamas

Visiting Atlantis included adventure, relaxation, family-fun, and side splitting entertainment with Sherri Shepherd. It also included over-coming one of my greatest fears – swimming with sharks through Sea Trek.

Sea Trek Walk with Sharks

Sea Trek Walk with Sharks

The options at Atlantis are endless. When you book your vacation, start thinking about what you’d like to do the most immediately because you’re in for a non-stop, dream-like experience.

STOP KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE PETITION

KEYSTONE PIPELINE

A brief excerpt from Avaaz.com taken from an e-mail received 03.06.14

Right now, the US government is about to make the defining climate decision of Obama’s presidency - whether to approve a monstrous pipeline that will transport up to 830,000 barrels a day of the world’s dirtiest oil from Canada across the US.

If approved, the Keystone XL pipeline will help pump billions of dollars into the pockets of a few companies… but also millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. It’s been called “a fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet”. Bold public action has delayed it once, and a court ruling last week has dealt a serious blow to the project. Now, if we act fast and in massive numbers, we can help kill it for good.

Please sign the petition here -
http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_keystone_xl_pipeline_loc/?blTFScb&v=36936

I really feel confident that you will not hesitate to sign this petition before it is too late once you’ve read the Huffingtion Post article below:

STOP PIPELINE COLLAGE SIGN

The following article “10 Reasons to Oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline” is taken from Huffington Post ‘The Blog’ posted on
02/18/2014  by Rose Ann DeMoro – Executive director, National Nurses United (AFL-CIO) and California Nurses Association.

With the clock ticking down on a final decision by the Obama administration on Keystone XL, it’s a good time to summarize reasons to oppose a project that looks more like a pathway to pollution than a gateway to our gas pumps.

Citing the threat to public health and how the project would hasten the climate crisis, nurses have been on the front line of protests against Keystone, a 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil every day from Alberta, Canada to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, largely for export.

Here’s 10 reasons why:

1. No jobs on a dead planet
More jobs are certainly needed, but even the just concluded State Department assessment conceded Keystone would support only 35 post-construction jobs.

Infrastructure repair and promoting a green economy is a far better solution for the jobs crisis than a project that NASA scientist and climate expert James Hanson famously calls “game over” on the climate front.

If the threshold issue is jobs, nurses should support the pipeline as a full employment act in the volume of additional patients sickened by the pipeline’s health hazards and toll from accelerated climate change. But nurses see an inseparable link between environmental justice and the health of our communities and planet.

IMAGE1

2. Don’t drink the water…
From the ground to the pipe to the refineries, Keystone’s tar sands oil, with its thick, dirty, corrosive properties, pose a far greater hazard than conventional oil — a major reason for National Nurses United and nurse opposition.

Toxic contaminants in the massive water needed for extraction are infecting clean water supplies with towns nearby Alberta experiencing spikes in cancer deaths, renal failure, lupus, and hyperthyroidism. Huge pipeline spills near Marshall, Mi. and Mayflower, Ar. have led to respiratory ailments and other health ills. Pollutants from tar sands refineries are linked to heart and lung disease, asthma, and cancer.

3. And don’t breathe the air
Mounds of Petcoke, the carbon residue of tar sands refining, piled up for export for burning, have produced toxic dust storms that have left area residents gasping near Detroit, Chicago, and other locales. Canadian scientists are also alarmed at mercury “wafting” into the air from tar sands production which, in chronic exposure, have been linked to brain damage.

4. An asthma nation
Nurses see an explosion of asthma sufferers, especially children. More than 40 percent of Americans now live in areas slammed by air pollution with levels of particle pollution that can also cause higher incidents of heart attacks and premature death.

Keystone will multiply carbon emissions and speed up climate change resulting in more polluted air, higher air temperatures which can also increase bacteria-related food poisoning, such as salmonella, and animal-borne diseases such as West Nile virus.

5. The gathering storms
In the last year alone, we’ve seen the worst cyclone ever to hit landfall, fueled by sub-surface ocean temperatures 9 degrees above normal, the largest tornado ever recorded, record droughts, and other unprecedented weather anomalies. While some discount the link to climate change, there’s no dispute that the past decade was the hottest on record.

Nurses, as volunteers with National Nurses United’s RNRN project can attest, treat the human collateral damage, thousands of patients affected by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines, for example, who endured life threatening injuries and loss of their homes and livelihoods.

6. The carbon bomb
All workers and their families live in the same communities affected by the climate crisis and the pipeline health hazards. Despite naysayers who insist there is no environmental justification to block it, there is as much scientific consensus on Keystone as there is on the human hand behind the climate crisis, or the factual evidence of evolution.

In addition to Hanson, who calls Keystone “the biggest carbon bomb on the planet,” dozens of other prominent scientists signed a 2013 letter stating “the actual and potential environmental damage (are) sufficiently severe to reject Keystone to protect the climate, human health, and the multiple ecosystems this project threatens.”

In simple terms, Keystone would generate the carbon emission equivalent of 40 million more cars or 50 coal-fired power plants every year.
IMAGE2
7. Not headed to your gas pump
Contrary to the myth, Keystone would contribute little to U.S. energy independence. The oil is headed to Texas ports for a reason — to be shipped overseas. TransCanada, the corporation behind Keystone, balked at a Congressional proposal to condition approval on keeping the refined oil in the U.S., and reports say TransCanada already has contracts to sell much of the oil to foreign buyers.

8. Pipeline or bust for the tar sands industry
Proponents insist that if Keystone is blocked, the tar sands crude will just be shipped by rail. Many disagree, among them a pro-pipeline Canadian think tank that predicts without Keystone, “investment and expansion will grind to a halt,” a view shared by the International Energy Agency, Goldman Sachs and some oil executives. Increasingly, it appears, the pipeline is the linchpin for tar sands development.
9. Which side are you on?
In one corner, the American Petroleum Institute, the oil billionaire Koch Brothers, other fossil fuel giants, the far right American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and politicians they influence — the same folks behind the attacks on unions, worker rights and health care and social justice reforms.

Standing with NNU in opposition are every major environmental group, farmers, ranchers and community leaders along the pipeline pathway, First Nations leaders, most Canadian unions, and U.S. transit unions.

10. A last word, from Robert Redford
“The more people learn about the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, the less they like it,” says actor/environmentalist Redford. “Tar sands crude means a dirtier, more dangerous future for our children all so that the oil industry can reach the higher prices of overseas markets. This dirty energy project is all risk and no reward for the American people.”

PLEASE SIGN PETITION

Article link ~
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rose-ann-demoro/10-reasons-to-oppose-the-_1_b_4791713.html

Wolves change the course of rivers – Remarkable video!

WOLVES

The following excerpts are from ‘How Exactly Wolves Change the Course of Rivers’ by Ray Molina of yourdailymedia.com Mar. 1, 2014

…Trophic cascade is when the behavior of top predators have a trickling down effect on their environment. Let’s call these predators the “one percent.”
WOLVES LARGE ANIMALS
The one percent may be vicious killing machines who think only of themselves, but even bad intentions could have good outcomes. We are finding out that their murderous ways can be useful in controlling the over population of herbivores that are eating more than their fair share, which leaves little for a multitude of other animals lower on the food chain.
WOLVES WATER MAMMALS
Eventually there will be plenty of wolves, perhaps even too many, and at some point we may need to protect the rest of the food chain from these top predators.
WOLVES WATER BIRDS
But like most things, if not everything, there’s a time and a place.
WOLVES WATERFALLS
I do wonder about whether or not the Ecosystems would have just found a new way to balance themselves out over time. Who knows how long that might have taken though, or maybe it’s currently happening in ways we cannot yet witness.
WOLVES SCENES
The main culprit of our Eco failures is you and me through our destruction of habitats through land-developing and hunting and pollution. We really blew it, and now we’re trying to cut our losses by celebrating animals that repair our mistakes.

In the video below, Author/Activist George Monbiot describes to an audience at TED the effects of Wolves that were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in the mid 90’s.
He describes how the wolves, in a relatively short period of time, have transformed the landscape and allowed more varieties of life to flourish. And wolves did it in ways we never expected.
It’s a humbling reminder of just how connected life on this planet really is.

The original TED talk by George Monbiot, gives numerous examples of how “rewilding” our ecosystem can give us back the earth our predecessors had the privilege of experiencing.

NOTE: There are “elk” pictured in this video when the narrator is referring to “deer.” This is because the narrator is British and the British word for “elk” is “red deer” or “deer” for short. The scientific report this is based on refers to elk so we wanted to be accurate with the truth of the story.

When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable “trophic cascade” occurred. What is a trophic cascade and how exactly do wolves change rivers? George Monbiot explains in this movie remix.

Narration from TED: “For more wonder, rewild the world” by George Monbiot. Watch the full talk, here: http://bit.ly/N3m62h

Article link – http://www.yourdailymedia.com/post/how-exactly-do-wolves-change-rivers

OMG! My heart just jumped up to my throat!

BALLOON HIGHLINE

Hold on to your your favorite squeeze and/or whatever furniture you can grab and you might also want to take your heart medicine if necessary – you’re not going to believe this!
O.k. so my collage above is not what you’d expect for this post’s topic, but I didn’t want to give away the secret too soon!)

“You won’t get much closer to Skylining than this!…
We left winter behind and headed to the sun to try and turn our latest dream into reality…

All of the Skyliners team was excited to put their skills to the test on such an amazing line…
BALLOON HIGHLINE2
Thanks to the talent of the pilots, we came really close…
We’ll be going back again very soon to make it happen – watch this space!”

Youtube video, “The Balloon Highline” published on Feb 6, 2014 

Published on Feb 7, 2014 Globus Kon Tiki s’ajunta amb Skyliners per assolir un nou repte: passar per una cinta (Slack Line), d’un globus a un altre des de una alçada de 600 metres. L’event va tenir lloc a la comarca de la Noguera a Catalunya el 31 de gener de 2014. Translation: Globus Kon Tiki meets Skyliners to achieve a new challenge: to spend a tape (Slack Line), a balloon one other from from a height of 600 meters. The event took place in the region of Catalonia in Walnut January 31, 2014

O.K. Now breathe………….
Ah-h-h – this is more my style – magnificent and breathtaking panoramic videography,  colourful balloons, and gentle calming music – Enjoy! ~ 
Youtube video, “Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey”, published on 5 Nov 2013 by GaborVids ~

Support our team by watching our feature documentaryhttps://www.reelhouse.org/seb.montaz/…

http://www.facebook.com/theSkyliners
http://www.globuskontiki.com
http://www.sebmontaz.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTTAWA RIVER KEEPER ~ IMPRESSIVE VIDEO

OTTAWA RIVER

The following video, “Ottawa River Keeper”, was uploaded on Mar. 10, 2008, by Lu Utronki.  This video is designed to bring awareness to the importance of the Ottawa River for sustainability. 

The Ottawa River flows through the provinces of Quebec and Ontario for over 1200 kilometres.  There are almost 2 million people who live throughout the Ottawa River watershed.  To the Algonquin First Nations who lived by its banks and traveled by canoe the river was known as the Kitchi-sippi, meaning “The Great River“.  Visitors such as white water paddlers, fishing enthusiasts and river trippers from around the world looking for a wilderness experience  enjoy the Ottawa River year round.  The Ottawa River is a globally significant river and is part of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence watershed, and is the largest freshwater system in the entire world.

Hope to see you back here for our next blog featuring “Ottawa River Keeper Part 2″ and “Alexandra Cousteau on the Ottawa River” – a Youtube video published this year on September 14th.