As Ontario’s largest clean power generator, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) produces clean, reliable and safe electricity at its operations across the province. OPG is also a climate leader, having delivered the world’s single largest climate change action to date by closing our coal stations. Now, we are setting our sights to be North America’s leading climate change company by advancing clean energy technologies and solutions while driving economic growth and prosperity for Ontario and beyond.
A big part of our commitment to bettering and protecting Ontario’s environment is the continuing work of our on-site and regional biodiversity programs. We take pride in being habitat conservation leaders, focusing on protecting and nurturing habitats and biodiversity for the well-being of current and future generations of Ontarians. That’s why we continue to work with several partners to conserve the province’s natural corridors.
OPG’s biodiversity programs continue to grow and surpass its conservation goals year after year. Some of our conservation projects include installing nesting boxes, arranging for the removal of invasive Phragmites australis, monitoring and protecting species at risk and their habitat as well as hosting many community engagement and education events.
Currently, OPG is partnered with Bruce Power on an ongoing restoration project to bring back Baie du Doré to its natural ecological state. Baie du Doré is a bay area wetland suffering degradation by the invasive phragmites.
The removal of Baie Du Doré’s phragmites population is a multi-year plan which began in 2018. The plan involves the use of Truxor cutting machines (like a floating lawn mower!), herbicide treatments on dry ground and strategic tarping of areas. In 2019, approximately 7.2 acres of phragmites was removed from Baie du Doré, according to the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre.
The progress of the phragmites initiative is visualized using OPG drone services. The photos and videos help OPG assess if the removal efforts are effective in protecting this sensitive wetland.
OPG also recently partnered with South Nation Conservation (SNC) to restore the popular J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area in Russell, Ontario.
The public park, located about 40 kilometres southeast of Ottawa, started as a 16-acre land donation to SNC in 1980 by Alex and Mable Little and Jean Hay to protect the family’s natural legacies and provide a natural recreational area for the community.
Today, it is one of the conservation authority’s most popular public parks, welcoming more than 20,000 visitors each year and providing a serene natural green space surrounded by urban development.
The new three-year partnership will see SNC plant native trees and shrubs, repair existing erosion, stabilize streambanks, and restore in-stream habitat to increase biodiversity. The bulk of the work will take place throughout 2021 and 2022.
SNC has a long history of partnering with OPG to work on environmental stewardship projects that help to increase biodiversity and restore habitats for plants and animals in woodlands, grasslands and wetlands. Last year, a three-year project with OPG was completed by SNC in the Larose Forest.
To learn more about Ontario Power Generation and our environmental commitments, visit our website at OPG.com.
Arden McPhail is a McMaster Earth and Environmental Science Co-op student working with the Environment and Business Support teams at Ontario Power Generation. She has worked on many of the Biodiversity initiatives with an interest in their groundwater and GIS programs.