Posted on December 5, 2012.
The newly-installed ecopassages under the Long Point Causeway are featured in an article in the winter 2012-13 edition of Ontario Nature magazine. The article can be found on page 8 at the following link :
Since it was established as the Federation of Ontario Naturalists in 1931, Ontario Nature has been a champion for nature in Ontario protecting wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters and 140 member groups across Ontario.
Posted on November 20, 2012.
by Chris Mcmillan, CD 98.9 Simcoe
It’s been a long time coming, but construction on three ecopassages under the Long Point Causeway has begun.
The first shovel went into the ground earlier this week and the Long Point Causeway Improvement Project Coordinator, Rick Levick tells CD989 he expects a majority of the project to be completed by the end of December. The three Eco-Passages are being installed to allow turtles, snakes, frogs and other wildlife to avoid the dangers of the roadway. Something Levick is looking forward too.
“It’s great to have construction finally underway but I’ll have to wait until next spring to see that first turtle come out of the other end of an ecopassage, Then I’ll be a really happy camper”
The cost to install the three ecopassages is estimated at $443-thousand dollars, however, the group funded $385-thousand themselves.
Long Point has the 4th highest road death rate for turtles in North America.
Posted on October 4, 2012.
By Daniel R. Pearce, Simcoe Reformer
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The underground eco-passages that will provide a safe route for endangered species of turtles and snakes to pass underneath the Long Point causeway will cost town hall $60,000.
The community group heading up the project has said for the past six years it could fundraise all the money needed — roughly $900,000.
But the approval process for the concrete culverts that will run between the marsh and the inner bay cost more than expected, councillors were told Tuesday night before they agreed to help fund the project.
The catch is that some funds raised by members of the Long Point Causeway Improvement Project have to be used by March 2013 while the county can’t give the OK for construction until all the money is in place.
If town hall doesn’t chip in now, the passageways won’t go ahead, the meeting heard.
Simcoe Coun. Peter Black said town hall should be willing to cover the shortfall.
“If they (LPCIP) had not done it, there would have been a lot of pressure on council to do it,” Black said. “The problem was man-made in the beginning. It’s something that should have been corrected a long time ago.”
A narrow strip of land built decades ago to connect the mainland with the summer resort of Long Point, the causeway is considered to be a death trap for endangered species of snakes and turtles migrating back and forth across the road every year.
The LPCIP has been trying to fix the problem by putting up fencing and warning motorists to watch for wildlife crossing the road. That work has cut mortality rates by 50-60%, but the group would like to proceed with three underground passageways, said Rick Levick, co-ordinator of LPCIP.
It will provide safe migration routes for wildlife as well as re-circulate water between the marsh and the bay like it did decades ago, Levick said.
A second citizens group from Long Point that has opposed LPCIP’s proposal all along asked council not to agree to provide the $60,000.“Norfolk council should not use taxpayers money for wildlife when there are human needs,” said Stu Ross of the Friends Of the Causeway Association, who noted that Norfolk’s roads “are deteriorating faster than we can repair them.” How the shortfall in funds came about “appears to be a mystery,” Ross added.
In an interview, Levick said “costs just kind of got away from us.”
Construction on the underground passageways will likely start in mid-November, he said.
LPCIP will monitor how the passageways are used and may install cameras to record the migration of wildlife.
If they prove successful, the group has said it will try to add more culverts along the causeway in future years.
Posted on October 3, 2012.
02 Oct 2012
by Aaron Gautreau
Construction will begin in mid-November on three eco-passages under the Long Point Causeway, allowing smaller animals to avoid the dangers of the roadway. That, in part, is thanks to Norfolk Council who approved 60-thousand dollars from their budget to help with the Long Point Causeway Improvement Project shortfall in funds.
LPCIP currently has spent upwards of 200-thousand dollars in required studies from the province, something they or Council didn’t foresee.
Co-ordinator for LPCIP, Rick Levick says he’s grateful.
“The costs of getting the all of the approvals just kept climbing. As I watched the budget, I felt like a turtle that’s half way across the Causeway — I can’t go back, I can’t stay here so I’ve just got to keep going forward.”
Levick calls the project “a whole new science” saying there’s only a few examples of this happening in Canada, let alone the world.
The cost of the project is estimated at 443-thousand dollars, however, the group funded 385-thousand dollars themselves.
Posted on October 1, 2012.
August 21, 2012
by Crystal Robertson, Adopt-A-Pond Staff, Toronto Zoo
Biologists in the cottage community of Long Point, Ontario are excited for a long term solution to high numbers of wildlife road mortality. The peninsula of Long Point is attached to the mainland by a narrow causeway. Designed in 1927 this stretch of roadway originally bisected the Big Creek Marsh with a series of bridges between existing sandbars. As time went on the bridges were removed and a solid roadbed was put in its place, leaving only one bridge for the outlet of Big Creek. As part of the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve, this wetland complex is home to a diverse array of wildlife including many Species at Risk turtles and snakes. These animals travel from the Big Creek Marsh over the road into Long Point Bay and back throughout the year. So many turtles are run over at Long Point that the causeway is ranked the 5th deadliest road in the world for turtles!
After years of fundraising and environmental studies by the Long Point Causeway Improvement Project and its partners, the County of Norfolk finally has the go ahead from the Ministry of the Environment to install three ecopassages under the roadway. These will help to facilitate wildlife movement and reconnect the hydrological systems of the marsh and Long Point Bay. Fencing has been used over the past few years to help keep wildlife off of the road, but limited animal movement. This fencing will now be used to funnel animals towards the ecopassages so that they can travel safely under the road.
Two of the ecopassages will be square concrete culverts, similar to those found on roadways elsewhere in Ontario. The third will have a steel grate top, allowing sunlight, heat and airflow into the ecopassage and offering an alternative for animals who would otherwise avoid the darker tunnels. Over the next few years the ecopassages will be monitored to see which type the animals prefer to use, and which animals are using them. Long term plans for the causeway include adding additional ecopassages in more areas along the roadway. The Long Point Causeway Improvement Project has raised close to $900,000 so far and hopes to continue to improve the lives of wildlife in the Big Creek Marsh and Long Point Bay.
Want to learn more about what our friends at Long Point are doing for wildlife? Visit http://longpointcauseway.com/