St. Catharines Hydro Generation Inc. has submitted a proposal for the construction of a hydroelectric dam across Twelve Mile Creek near downtown St. Catharines, Ontario. Twelve Mile Creek flows north towards Lake Ontario and provides habitat for the American eel, an endangered species, as well as more than twenty other cold-water fish species. A recreational trail runs along the river and whitewater paddlers use the weirs in the area as “play spots”.
The project as proposed would significantly impair navigation and fish habitat and movement in Twelve Mile Creek. It requires a number of approvals from various government agencies at both the provincial and federal levels.
LOW made four specific recommendations in our comment on the Environmental Screening Report, prepared as part of the provincial environmental assessment:
1. The project must be redesigned to leave at least ⅓ of the width of Twelve Mile Creek free of any material in order to comply with the Fisheries Act.
2. The project cannot proceed without further protections in place for the American eel, including evidence of the efficacy of any proposed fish or eel-ladder technology.
3. Any approvals granted for the project must be contingent on the efficacy of the measures put in place to protect the American eel, such that the dam must be removed or modified if it is found to jeopardize the survival and recovery of the eel.
4. The right to navigate on Twelve Mile Creek should be protected.
Read our full submission here.