Water

Navigation Protection Act Map

(2015-12-01) As part of its 15th anniversary, Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) is in the process of preparing updated maps on development in Canada’s forests and forested watersheds. Given on-going concerns about changes to environmental legislation in Canada over the past few years, we decided to make a map that identifies the specific water bodies (oceans, lakes and bays, and rivers) listed in the “Schedule of Navigable Waters” under the Navigation Protection Act.[1]

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Investigation into CNRL's uncontrolled releases of crude bitumen in the Primrose area of Alberta reveals failures to protect the public interest

(2014-02-06) Peter Lee, executive director of Global Forest Watch Canada and co-investigator, notes that the evidence gathered documents inadequate provision of timely information to the public, both on the part of the Alberta Energy Regulator and CNRL. He adds, “Both the Alberta Energy Regulator and CNRL have been slow to provide information and the information provided has been sparse and frequently inaccurate.”

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CNRL's Persistent 2013-2014 Bitumen Releases near Cold Lake, Alberta: Facts, Unanswered Questions, and Implications

(2014-02-06) Dr. Kevin Timoney (Treeline Ecological Research) and Peter Lee (Global Forest Watch Canada) provide an independent investigation of ongoing bitumen releases at Canadian Natural Resources Limited Primrose operations near Cold Lake, Alberta. They find that there are significant problems related to Canadian Natural Resources Limited and the Alberta Energy Regulator failing to inform the public and failing to adequately address operational problems.

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Hydropower Developments in Canada

(2012-01-18) These 2 reports focus on the distribution and environmental impacts of hydropower developments, especially their greenhouse gas emission impacts.

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Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Increase in Athabasca River Delta Sediment: Temporal Trends and Environmental Correlates

(2011-05-05) A new study, published in the prestigious scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology, by scientist Dr. Kevin Timoney and GFWC's Executive Director, Peter Lee, documents that a group of toxic compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are increasing in the Athabasca River sediments and are linked to Alberta's bitumen industries.

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A Forest of Blue: Canada's Boreal Forest, the World's Waterkeeper

(2011-03-18) A first of its kind report published by the Pew Environment Group and co-authored by GFWC's Peter Lee and Ryan Cheng reveals that Canada's boreal, the world's largest intact forest and on-land carbon storehouse, contains more unfrozen freshwater than any other ecosystem. As United Nations' International Year of Forests and World Water Day coincide, world leaders are grappling with water scarcity and pollution - and scientists are calling boreal protection a top global priority.

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Comprehensive conservation planning in Canadian boreal regions

(2010-05-10) Published in the scientific journal Biological Conservation (authors: DW Schindler and PG Lee). In a water-scarce world, there is increasing pressure to divert and exploit boreal freshwaters, and devising conservation plans to protect boreal freshwaters and their catchments is urgent. We propose a catchment-based approach that includes water and chemical mass-balances as a sensitive means of detecting early degradation of many ecosystem services in both catchments and freshwaters.

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Does the Alberta Tar Sands Industry Pollute? The Scientific Evidence

(2009-10-22) This research paper determines whether physical and ecological changes that result from tar sands industrial activities are detectable. The findings conclude that: present levels of some contaminants pose an ecosystem or human health risk, the effects of which deserve immediate and systematic study; projected tripling of tar sands activities over the next decade may result in unacceptably large and unforeseen impacts to biodiversity, ecosystem function, and public health, and; the attention of the world's scientific community is urgently needed. As published in The Open Conservation Biology Journal, 2009, 3, 65-81.

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The Last Great Intact Forest Landscapes of Canada: Atlas of Alberta (Parts I & II)

(2009-04-02) This 2-part atlas was published in the hope that it will assist Albertans in their efforts to sustainably manage their important forest legacy; its production was triggered by the Alberta Government's release of Alberta's Land-use Framework in December 2008. The atlas reveals a dramatic reduction in large blocks of Alberta's natural boreal forest landscapes due to the expansion of industrial activities in recent decades. Part I of the atlas provides context and maps of Alberta's intact forest landscapes; Part II focuses on the threats to these forests.

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Where Land and Waters Meet: An Assessment of Canada's Riparian Forest Management Standards

(2004-07-21) This report accompanies the earlier GFWC report, Where Land and Waters Meet: Understanding and Protecting Riparian Areas in Canada's Forests (link under "Related stories" below). This newer report looks at riparian forest management standards across the country. It identifies many weaknesses in existing standards.

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