Tag Archives: Ottawa River

ALEXANDRA COUSTEAU ON THE OTTAWA RIVER

COUSTEAU OTTAWA RIVER

ALEX PHOTOAlexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of the famed oceanographer and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau, was in the Ottawa for a 13-day filmmaking trip to the Ottawa River watershed as part of a project to make three short documentaries on the Ottawa River, in co-operation with the Ottawa Riverkeeper group. Cousteau and    Riverkeeper Meredith Brown took to the water to sample the river near the Hull Marina, testing for oxygen, phosphorus and nitrogen in the water.  The documentary is about the Ottawa River and its tributaries, focusing on issues of waterway management and conservation. 

RIVERKEEPER LOGOIn my previous blog the video, ‘Ottawa River Keeper’ provides historical background and impressive scenery for  today’s video, “Alexandra Cousteau on the Ottawa River”, published on Youtube September 14, 2013.

BLUE LEGACY LOGOAlexandra Cousteau heads the Washington-based Blue Legacy foundation, which is “dedicated to advocating the importance of conservation and sustainable management of water in order to preserve a healthy planet.”

The three documentaries will be released in the spring of 2014.

 Link ~ … “The goal of our water quality monitoring program is to provide communities with timely, easy-to-understand information on water quality along their reach of the river; MEREDITH BROWNinformation that is surprisingly difficult, if not impossible, to get elsewhere,” says Riverkeeper Meredith Brown. “Not only does this engage communities in protecting the river, they have a right to know what’s in their water.”…

http://www.fondationdegaspebeaubien.org/en/news/alexandra-cousteau-tells-the-story-of-her-10-days-expedition-on-the-ottawa

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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.

“THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF ICE” ~ VIDEOS!!!

POWER OF ICE PHOTOPAD2

The following excerpts are taken from: FIRE AND ICE: What happens when you tamper with ice? By Steven Willard – Canadian Water Treatment magazine, Mar/Apr edition, 2006.

Ottawa’s Ice Dam Busters – Human Planet, Rivers, Preview – BBC One -uploaded on Feb 24, 2011 When the frozen river starts to melt and large ice blocks start forming a dam, it’s time for extreme measures to avoid flooding in the Canadian capital.


Ice is a dangerous substance.  History is filled with examples of the destructive power of ice, from glaciers of pre-history to the modern sinking of an unsinkable ocean liner…  Often the destruction from ice can be so severe that action must be taken to prevent damage.  The city of Ottawa did just this thing.  Worried that the ice might form a dam and back up the spring run-off which would then lead to flooding of low lying areas, the city had a program in the spring of the year to cut up ice on the Ottawa River and blast it in to manageable pieces to prevent a build up of ice in the river; a program that eventually brought the City of Ottawa to Court in 1997.

You’ll realize the danger in ice blasting in the following YouTube video, “Winter Ice Break-up at Rideau Falls, Ottawa, Canada“.  Watch at 3:30 into the video to see the blasting take place – unbelievable that they’d blast so close to the bridge where people are standing and a van is damaged by the flying ice!!!

Every spring since 1887 the city has blasted the ice of the Rideau and Ottawa rivers into small chunks so that they could be flushed easily and safely down the Ottawa River before the ice could pile up and act as a dam, above which flooding would inevitably happen.  Downstream from Ottawa, Rideau Falls Generating Partnership operated a hydro-electric dam at the base of the Rideau Falls.  In 1992, the City of Ottawa conducted their usual ice removal program and, as a result, chuckes of ice floated down the Ottawa river, over the Rideau Falls, landed at the base of the falls and piled up. The ice piles up as high as the drop of the Rideau Falls.  In essence an ice dam had been created.  The water built up behind this dam and quickly flooded the generating station causing considerable damage to the station and it ceased to generate power for some months. In 1996, the exact same events occurred with more damage to the station.  Rideau Falls Generating Station sued the City for damages, and won.

On the face of it, this seems unfair.  The City of Ottawa had done this work every spring for many years to prevent people from being flooded from their homes.  The city could not control the pile-up of ice at the bottom of the Falls, which the Court even called “unnatural.”  But riparian law is very strict: if you tamper with the natural flow of water (and ice for that matter), then you will be responsible tor damages created by your actions… The city also argued that the Ontario Municipal Act allowed a municipality the right to pas a by-law to control flooding.  The court held that the by-law passed by the city would not relieve the city from responsibility for its actions.  Simply put, the Municipal Act did not confer on the city a right to damage property.  This case stands for a number of points of law.  It confirms that the owner of riparian land has a right to the natural flow of water.  Anyone who tampers with that natural flow needs to take actions to prevent damage, even to the extent of preparing for extraordinary situations.  And finally, downstream lands cannot be sacrificed to save upstream lands.

The following shows just how destructive ice flows on the Rideau River can be: YouTube video, ‘Ice Flow Takes Out Dock – Rideau River’ Uploaded on Feb 23, 2009 ~ “An ice flow took out the end of our dock on the Rideau River near Ottawa, Ontario Canada. The dock was 78 feet long; it’s much shorter now! “

CANADA’S GREAT LAKES ARE IN TROUBLE

CANADA’S GREAT LAKES ARE IN TROUBLE

The following excerpts are taken from “Our Great Lakes Commons: A Peoples Plan to Protect the Great Lakes Forever”, by Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians.  I’ve also included some information from Environment Canada.

I encourage you to watch the video, “Incredible by Any Measure…the Great Lakes”, created by The Nature Conservancy, that I’ve placed at the end of this blog – a wealth of information and incredible cinematography.

The Great Lakes of North America form the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world, holding more than 20 per cent of the world’s surface freshwater and 95 per cent of North America’s. Add to this the groundwater underlying and feeding the Great Lakes or its tribu­tary streams and lakes, and the percentage is closer to 25 and 97 per cent respectively. The Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, which is their primary flow outlet to the Atlantic Ocean, are bordered by two Canadian provinces: Ontario and Quebec, and eight U.S. states…

The Great Lakes have a unique biodiversity and are home to more than 3,500 species of plants and animals. They were formed over 20,000 years ago when the last glacier continental ice sheet retreated. The Great Lakes provide life and livelihood to more than 40 million people and are the economic centre at the heart of the continent. They are, however, under serious threat from a wide variety of demands and sources… There is a misconception that the Great Lakes replenish themselves each year with rainwater. This is not true.

. . . we have built our economic and development policies based on a human-centric model and assumed that nature would never fail to provide, or that, where it does fail, technology will save the day. We have polluted, diverted and mismanaged the planet’s finite supplies of water to the point that they are now dangerously close to collapse in many parts of the world . . . The waters of the Great Lakes are no exception to this rule.

 The Great Lakes – some vital statistics

The five Great Lakes  hold one-fifth of the fresh water on the earth’s surface and 80 percent of the lake and river water in North America. The Great Lakes basin, including the water and land area that drains into the lakes, covers 766,000 square kilometres (295,700 square miles). The shoreline of the five Great Lakes and the connecting rivers stretches for 17,000 kilometres (10,200 miles), long enough to reach nearly halfway around the world. The water of the Great Lakes flows from the middle of the continent to the Atlantic Ocean.  The lakes contain the world’s largest system of freshwater islands, some of which are refuges for rare and endangered species. About five million people fish in the Great Lakes. Close to one million boats, mainly pleasure craft operate on the Great Lakes.

A few ways we can help keep the environment and wildlife species of our Great Lakes safe.

Keep hazardous materials out of the water. Purchase products that are produced in ways that have a low impact on the environment. Use safe disposal methods for insect and weed killers, paints, solvents, used motor oil, and other auto fluids. Take them to hazardous waste centres for disposal. Take used motor oil to a service station for recycling. Take medicines to a pharmacy for safe disposal. Keep litter, pet waste, leaves, and debris out of street gutters and storm drains. Avoid hosing dirt into storm sewers because it can reduce flow in them and be carried into lakes and rivers. Use low-phosphate or phosphate-free detergents. Use natural pest-control methods. Disconnect downspouts and direct rainwater into a barrel or onto your lawn or garden. Use separate stones and porous materials instead of concrete for walkways, driveways, and patios so that water will seep into the ground rather than draining into the sewer systems. Support car washes that treat or recycle their wastewater and dry cleaners that are using new “green” processes.

 Video – “Incredible by Any Measure…the Great Lakes”

 Links –

http://onthecommons.org/sites/default/files/GreatLakes-Final-Mar2011(2).pdf

http://www.ec.gc.ca/media_archive/press/2005/050526_b_e.htm

WOW! WHITEWATER KAYAKING – OTTAWA RIVER VIDEO

White Water Kayaking is certainly not a sport for the ‘faint of heart’… but what a ‘fun’ water sport for the more adventurous water enthusiasts!!!

Currents is a river stewardship focused WebTV program (online video documentary) which uses white water kayaking as a means to educate a broader audience about the risks threatening the world’s rivers and to help highlight the intrinsic value of preserving rivers in their natural state.

Other Vimeo videos on White Water Kayaking:

Barely Legal 2 Trailer from Airborn Athletics on Vimeo.


Dip, dip and swing your paddle
flashing with silver
follow the wild goose flight
dip, dip and swing… back for a visit again soon.