TORONTO, Sept. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Hydro One and the Grand River
Conservation Authority (GRCA) announced today they will partner on two
environmental restoration projects to create and enhance important
wildlife habitat at the Luther Marsh Management Area, as part of Hydro
One's Bruce to Milton Biodiversity Initiative.
The two initiatives will restore former agricultural lands by
establishing Upland Forest and Native Grassland habitats. These
efforts will help to create and expand contiguous habitat areas
essential to many wildlife species and, species at risk, including the
Loggerhead Shrike and Short Eared Owl. Luther Marsh is widely used by
the local community, and users will have the opportunity to learn more
about the importance of biodiversity and this restoration project when
visiting. The Luther Marsh Management Area is home to many species at
risk and rare flora and fauna.
The Biodiversity Initiative is an innovative mitigation approach that
will create and enhance natural habitat in partnership with
community-based organizations, First Nations and Métis and
municipalities. The initiative shifts Hydro One's focus from its
traditional compensation approach of "area for area" replacement of
woodlots when constructing new high-voltage transmission lines. Hydro
One was recognized by the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) for
this Biodiversity Initiative receiving the CEA 2009 Environmental
"We are very proud of the Biodiversity Initiative and the opportunity it
provides us to enhance the natural habitat and give back to communities
as we modernize the electricity transmission system," said Laura
Formusa, President and CEO, Hydro One Inc. "Partnering with the GRCA
means that local values and priorities are reflected throughout the
process, helping to ensure success while making sure Hydro One can
deliver the electricity Ontario needs."
"Hydro One's Biodiversity Initiative is enabling us to create, enhance
and manage over 105 hectares of additional wildlife habitat in one of
southern Ontario's most significant natural areas, resulting in an
extremely high value restoration project that will have a large and
positive environmental impact on the local area as a whole" said Joe
Farwell, Chief Administrative Officer, GRCA.
This year, seven partners will receive funding from Hydro One to
implement 22 locally-designed biodiversity initiatives. These projects
will help restore and enhance approximately 380 hectares of habitat and
ensure there is net gain of woodlot and wildlife habitat within the
four watersheds crossed by the new transmission line. Approximately,
280 hectares of woodlots will be removed to enable construction of the
Bruce to Milton Project.
The Bruce to Milton Project received Ontario Energy Board section 92
Leave to Construct approval on September 15, 2008 and Environmental
Assessment approval on December 16, 2009. This new 180 kilometre
double-circuit 500 kV transmission line from Kincardine to Milton will
transfer more than 3,000 megawatts of clean and renewable power from
the Bruce area to southern Ontario. This project represents the largest
expansion to Ontario's transmission system in 20 years. The new line is
planned to be in-service in December 2012.
For more information on the Biodiversity Projects and partners please
Hydro One delivers electricity safely, reliably and responsibly to homes
and businesses across the province of Ontario and owns and operates
Ontario's 29,000 km high-voltage transmission network that delivers
electricity to large industrial customers and municipal utilities, and
a 123,000 km low-voltage distribution system that serves about 1.3
million end-use customers and smaller municipal utilities in the
province. Hydro One is wholly owned by the Province of Ontario.
The Grand River Conservation Authority manages water and other natural
resources on behalf of 38 municipalities and close to one million
residents. It develops and implements programs, directly and with
partners, to improve water quality, reduce flood damages, maintain a
reliable water supply, facilitate watershed planning, protect natural
areas and biodiversity and provide environmental education.