By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:56:20 EDT PM
LONG POINT – Anyone interested in a guided tour of the Long Point Causeway project can find a good one on YouTube.
The Brantford production company Lock3Media came to Long Point last November to shoot a video of the work done so far. The aim of the project is to reduce the incidence of reptile mortality on the 3.6-kilometre stretch of road.
The nine-minute video features Oshawa actress and environmentalist Mary Krohnert in conversation with Long Point cottager Rick Levick, co-ordinator of the Long Point Causeway Improvement Project. The segment briefly examines the issues that gave rise to the project and delivers an up-close look at the eco-passages that have been installed so far.
“I thought the video was first rate,” Levick said Wednesday. “Really, really high quality. As for my performance, my wife and daughter thought I could use a wardrobe assistant. ‘Where did you get that hat?’”
The Long Point demo is part of an ambitious plan to document all 16 world biosphere reserves in Canada in one-hour documentaries. Lock3Media has dubbed the project Striking Balance. The production company hopes the demos catch the attention of individuals and corporations who are prepared to fund such an undertaking.
“This is just the beginning to get momentum behind it,” says Yvonne Drebert, a producer with Lock3Media. “If we can get people involved, away we go. This is the kickoff.”
The nine-minute pilot played to favourable reviews at Norfolk council Tuesday night. Brian Craig of Langton, president of the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation, introduced the video to council.
“The many diverse projects undertaken in Canadian biosphere reserves aptly demonstrate that a balance between people and nature is attainable and necessary,” Craig said. “Healthy economies depend upon a healthy environment. The Striking Balance initiative shares success stories and will inform and inspire viewers that – together – as global citizens, we can balance the environment and economy for the benefit of present and future generations.”
The Long Point Causeway was built in the 1920s to create a land link between Port Rowan and the Long Point cottage community. Prior to the road’s construction, Long Point was only accessible by boat.
Levick’s committee is installing eco-passages to give snakes, turtles, frogs and small mammals a safe alternative to crossing the causeway, which divides Long Point Bay from the Big Creek Marsh. With as many as 20,000 vehicles traveling down the causeway on a busy summer day, roadkill has become a serious concern in this ecologically-sensitive part of Norfolk County.
The causeway project also seeks to re-establish the historic link between the marsh and the bay. A bridge at one time served this purpose but it was collapsed and infilled several decades ago.
As a result, the Big Creek Marsh has been silting in. As well, fish that have historically travelled between the marsh and the bay have been denied their traditional access.
A link to Lock3Media’s nine-minute demo has been posted at the Simcoe Reformer website at www.simcoereformer.ca.
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