There are lot of opinions that have been expressed on the question of the proposed ecopasages under the causeway. Unfortunately, most of them are not well-informed. I am a sustaining member of the waterfowlers and I belong to a group called FOCAS , (Friends of the Causeway Association),which has been doing physical and library research on the issues for 2 1/2 years.The following are facts that can be supported by that research and are not their opinion.

1) a survey was completed in 2010 that shows that the floor of the marsh was , on average about 25 cm. (1 Foot ), higher than the water level in the Bay.Although the Bay water level changes dramatically from day to day.

2) There are people who fish in the Bay who are concerned about the presence of additional silt from the marsh.If the silt is removed from the marsh by increased water exchange with the Bay, it is up to the reader to determine where it will go and what effect on it will have on the health of the bay.

3) In 2010 the fences along the causeway prevented the death of all but 45 turtles of species at risk.There is no evidence available that the installation of ecopasages will keep any of those turtles off the road.They may be happier turtles or more naturally satisfied , but there is nothing to suggest that it will increase there populations . The fences have proved to be very effective at reducing road kill.

4) FOCAS has done a cost comparison based on information available about the causeway project.The result reveals that the cost of the causeway project would be 25 times greater than the cost of the alternatives offered by FOCAS.

5)The money for the project is coming for federal and provincial grants.This money comes from taxpayers.None of the money is from private sources.Any impact on the Norfolk Taxpayer will be do to huge ongoing maintence cost

For Dave Ankey (canvasback) and those who wish to become better informed their will be a open house at Port Rowan Community Center on June 2 from 5-8p.m.The different opinions will be heard at that time and they,by law, should be used in the determination of the preferred alterative.

In addition FOCAS is holding their AGM this Saturaday may 21 at the community center at 10 a.m. The public is always invited to attend and participate in the discussion. Those who wish to become informed and/or to participate are welcome.

Brent Taylor ( Mudman )
As I noted in my first post on this topic, there is an EA being conducted to decide on the best options for reducing roadkill of Threatened and Endangered species, which includes turtle, snake, and amphibian species as well as to improve the hydraulic connection between the Big Creek marsh and the Inner Bay.

Despite Mudman's assertion otherwise, ecopassages have been proven to reduce road mortality of the species mentioned above in both the US and Canada and the MTO has installed them in a number of places in Ontario. Large culverts will help to restore the natural waterflow and will benefit both fish and waterfowl and that's why Ducks Unlimited is a supporter and advisor on this project.

Yes, FOCAS has proposed alternatives to the ecopassages: Find and fence turtle nests to protect them from predators, find turtle nests, dig them up and hatch the eggs in incubators and release hatchlings, and raise hatchlings in captivity for a year or more and release them.

None of these options will reduce the mortality of adult turtles and will not do anything for snakes, frogs, and toads. Further, this would be very labor intensive and would have to be done every year to have any hope of being beneficial. And it would require considerable capital cost to construct and maintain a turtle "nursery". Where will that labor and money come from? Certainly not from CWS or MNR who think such a proposal is, well, absurd.

Finally, this approach will not do anything to increase the natural hydraulic connectivity between the marsh and bay, which I and many other anglers and hunters think is the most important aspect of the Causeway Project.

Dave Ankney

PS: If you want to hear more about the FOCAS proposals, then, by all means, attend their meeting today, but I'm going perchin'. :D
Hi Brent !

Unfortunetly due to my shift schedule I will miss both of those meetings. Will you be posting more info or where can I pick up the minutes of the meeting /newsletter ?

I believe that WE the public have a right to make an informed descision and no doubt there will be in attendance all the concerned parties( CWS,LPWMU,LPWRIF,Causeway Improvement Committee,LPWA,DUC,Delta Waterfowlers,Long Point Ratepayers Assoc., etc.,etc.) at the June 2nd meeting ?

I understand that work is to be started in the fall on this project ? Which I disapprove of as it may effect duck hunting along "B" Zone. I would sooner wait another year and make the right choice.
How many hydrologists, engineers, and ecologists does FOCAS employ? Without knowing the membership, these qualities are important to me in my ability to create an "informed decision".
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