Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Why we need . . . . the dark.

Join MVFN as we explore this serious, albeit fascinating, topic with Robert Dick M. Eng. P. Eng., Manger of the Dark-Sky Preserves program and Chair of the Light-Pollution Abatement Committee, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

The presentation Blinding Light! Bring Back the Night will take place on Thursday, Jan 18th, and is the fourth in MVFN’s “2017-18 When Things Go Bump in the Night” natural history series.

As one who had been watching the dark sky and the not-so-dark stars and other bright celestial objects one can see in a dark sky, our guest speaker, was almost always aware of the effects of man-made artificial light on the dark. However, he came to realize that the light was not simply a nuisance for star-gazers.

Robert Dick: “For over a century, astronomers have known about the impact of artificial light on the night sky. But this was just the ‘tip of the iceberg.’ Studies into the effects of light on our biology and mental functions are revealing a more profound physical impact.”

“Most life has evolved to accommodate starlight. It also accommodates bright moonlight for about a week every month. But it needs the remaining three weeks of only starlight to recover from the bright moon. More light than this changes the behaviour of animals because it is not an environment for which they had evolved.”

Dick implores us to listen to our common sense. Come to his presentation on Thursday January 18th and hear about the proven impact of artificial light at night on the ecology of animals and plants, and on our own biology, our vision and our brain. And consider what we can do to minimize this impact.

EVENT DETAILS

Thursday January 18, 2018 /  7:30 PM / Almonte United Church 106 Elgin St. Almonte, ON

Doors to the social hall at Almonte United Church will open at 7 PM and the program gets underway at 7:30 PM. Refreshments are available throughout the evening and a discussion will follow the presentation. As always, the event is free for MVFN members and youth 18 and under. Everyone is welcome, $5 for non-members fee at the door. For further information please contact MVFN’s Program Chair Gretta Bradley at  or visit mvfn.ca.

 

 

 

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Click here to link directly to the Ontario Nature Action Alert

Ontario is proposing to weaken legal protection for migratory birds by exempting commercial building owners from a key provision of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). The proposed regulatory amendment would remove the requirement for owners to deal with light reflected from tall commercial buildings, which is known to lead to the death or injury of millions of birds in Ontario every year.

Please join Ontario Nature in helping oppose this proposal (EBR Registry Number 012-3605)!

In 2013, an Ontario court ruled reflected light from building windows to be a ‘contaminant’ under the EPA. The court confirmed that the Province had the legal authority to require building owners to deal with light reflected from windows that were at high risk of killing or injuring birds. Yet, instead of acting upon the findings of the court, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is proposing to give up its power to protect migratory birds from reflected light.

The 2014 – 2015 Annual Report of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario called out the MOECC for abdicating its responsibility:

“… it appears that the ministry’s preferred approach is to ignore its regulatory responsibility and leave it up to property owners and managers to voluntarily follow guidelines and suggested strategies.” (p. 63)

Voluntary approaches will not address the problem. Based on over two decades of work by the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) Canada, it is clear that most commercial building owners will not take voluntary action.

Millions of birds, including many species at risk, will continue to die if the problem of reflected light is not adequately addressed. Sadly, these deaths are preventave. Technical solutions are available, but they will continue to be ignored without the compliance and enforcement measures in place to drive uptake by commercial building owners.

Join Ontario Nature in urging the MOECC not to proceed with this ill-founded proposal. Let the ministry know that Ontarians expect it to strengthen environmental laws, not to weaken them by changing the rules to sidestep its duties.

Please send in comments by the December 04, 2015 deadline. You can go to the Ontario Nature  article to submit comments, being sure to reference Environmental Registry #012-3605. Or set yourself up with a user name on the Environmental Registry and you can post comments confidentially to Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner on this issue (Reference  Environmental Registry #012-3605) and other notices posted directly on  Ontario’s Environmental Registry site on-line.

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