Local grassroots organization receives funding to protect Burlington’s natural environment

Ontario Highway 6 descending the Niagara Escar...
Ontario Highway 6 descending the Niagara Escarpment through the Clappison Cut. Burlington and Hamilton are visible in the middle and background, respectively. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The environment in Burlington received a boost recently when Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL) was awarded a grant from Freshwater Future (formerly the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund.) The $3500 USD grant was used to help fund a hydrogeological groundwater review and study to bring about preventative action in an effort to safeguard headwater streams, wetlands, water tables and wells on the Mount Nemo plateau on the Niagara Escarpment in Burlington. This study also aims help protect threatened and endangered species habitats, and area residents from activities that create pollutants and/or negatively affect diverse, complex and natural ecosystems.
Freshwater Future is located in Petoskey, Michigan, and was designed to provide financial and informational support to citizen efforts to protect wetlands, lakes, streams, and other aquatic habitats across the Great Lakes Basin. There are two annual funding cycles, one in the spring and one in the fall. Grassroots organizations and citizen initiatives in both the U.S. and Canada are eligible for funding.

“The Great Lakes Region is defined by its rich water resources and aquatic habitats – majestic Great Lakes, pristine inland lakes, blue-ribbon trout streams, teeming coastal marshes, mysterious bogs, and unique fens. These resources are important to our economy and quality of life”, said Jill Ryan, Network and Fund Coordinator. “Citizen involvement is essential to the long term health of Great Lakes ecosystems and the health of democracy in the U.S. and Canada. We see this grant to Protecting Escarpment Rural Land as a sound investment in the future,” said Ryan.

PERL’s mission is to protect Burlington’s Niagara Escarpment Rural Land for future generations. Residents of Burlington and citizens who reside in the Bronte and Grindstone Creek watersheds will benefit from the grant provided by the Freshwater Future fund. The groundwater study will greatly benefit the Mount Nemo quarry application review process which has been underway since 2004, as the information provided is instrumental in making a sound, science-based, long term decision that will consider the sensitive natural environment of the Burlington Niagara Escarpment. Since the study indicated a potential effect on the sub-surface water flows to wells, streams, wetlands and headwaters, a stronger case can be made for the protection of these resources. “We are pleased that a portion of the Mount Nemo plateau was recently designated as Provincially Significant Wetlands, now known as the Grindstone Creek Headwaters Wetland Complex”, said Isabelle Harmer a long time Mount Nemo resident farmer. “This scientific study will help properly protect these wetlands and the threatened species that rely on them.”

Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL) is a citizen group dedicated to sustainability, quality of life, and the protection of the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Based in Burlington, Ontario, PERL has been carefully reviewing and commenting on an application for a proposed below water table quarry on the sensitive Mount Nemo plateau on the Niagara Escarpment in Burlington.
Amy Dixon
Communications Volunteer
PERL – Protecting Escarpment Rural Land
Tel: (905) 330-1173
Email: a_e_d1@hotmail.com

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