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Pelham News

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Thursday, JuNe 18, 2015

Published by PelhamNEWS, Postmedia Corp.

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228 East Main St., Welland, ON L3B 5P5 Tel: 905-732-2414 ext.246 Fax: 905-732-3660 e-mail: welland.tribune@sunmedia.ca John Tobon, advertising director Peter Conradi, managing editor

Why are the Great Lakes great?

Brian Baty For Postmedia Network afew weeks ago, there was a public meeting in Niagara-on-the-lake to update the public on the efforts to restore health to the Niagara river under the binational effort known as the Niagara river raP (remedial action Plan). The presentations began with the title of this week?s article and the enormity of the impact of the Great lakes Basin is a starting point to appreciate before looking at the specifics of the Niagara river. The Great lakes are the largest freshwater system on earth, supplying 22% of global freshwater. more than 35 million people rely on the Great lakes for drinking water. The Great lakes support one of the largest regional economies, including a $7 billion fishery and $16 billion tourism industry. If the Great lakes region was a country, it would be ranked fourth largest economy in the world ? $4,627 billion dollars gross product. more than 170 species of fish and 3,500 species of plants and animals live in the Great lakes Basin. If you could tag a drop of water at the top of lake superior, it would take 204 years to make its way to the atlantic Ocean. Needless to say, we are surrounded on three sides by the waters of two of the Great lakes with the Niagara river connecting the two. The Niagara river has been both a blessing and a curse. The creation of hydro electrical power has been a blessing for both Canada and the usa with the sir adam Beck hydro project on our side of the river and the robert moses hydro project on the american side of the river. This abundance of relatively cheap power led to massive industrial development along the Niagara river, bringing with it significant environmental pollution. The extreme illustration of that occurred on the Cuyahoga river in Ohio on lake Tecun Uman is shown in this undated Dave Freeman photo from the Harry Stott Collection. erie when the river caught fire, spurring the environmental movement in the late 1960s. Closer to home, many may remember the controversy surrounding the remediation of the love Canal. as far back as 1918 a report of the International Joint Commission declared the Niagara river as ?the most degraded place in North america.? ?The pollution below the falls is gross, Niagara river water is totally unfit for human consumption.? while the historical degradation of the Niagara river is known, it is lesser known that authorities on both sides of the border have developed remedial action plans to identify areas of concern (aOC) and this public forum provided highlights from officials on both sides of the border documenting the progress in eliminating sources of pollution and efforts to determine the sources of pollutants. In 1971, the Canada Ontario agreement focused on reducing algae. In 1972, Canada and the usa signed handout/PosTmediA NeTwoRk the Great lakes water Quality agreement and committed to addressing water quality concerns. By the 1970s, there were over 700 chemical plants, oil refineries etc. discharging over 250 million u.s. gallons of wastewater into the Niagara river each day. a 1978 agreement set the goal ?to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great lakes.? In 1987, that plan was revised to identify areas of Concern (aOC) and governments committed to develop and implement remedial action Plans (raPs) for each aOC. Celebrating the co-operation and water quality improvements the presenters at this forum forecast that the Niagara river would be delisted in 2020. Brian Baty is a Niagara Regional Councillor for the Town of Pelham and a member of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) brian.baty@niagararegion.ca

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BaSeBaLL GLove haS SentimentaL vaLue To the Fonthill community, At the end of the day on Thursday, May 21, two baseball gloves went missing from the A.K.Wigg School playground.We believe both gloves were left in the playground near the seniors entrance at the back of the school. One of the gloves is well worn and has great sentimental value to our school secretary, Darlene Nicholas. It was a Mizuno glove light brown in colour and had?Fifi?written on the strap. The other glove was two-tone brown, also made by Mizuno. The gloves can be replaced but the sentimental value can?t. Please check with your children to see if they may have seen them and/or have a look around the house. We?re hoping that someone has picked them up and just hasn?t had the chance to bring them to the lost and found yet. maryaNN raTClIFFe

Shipwrecks ? Carl Meentzen

Skip GiLLham For Postmedia Network while a small ship of only 89.07 metres in overall length by 13.05 metres at the beam, the west German freighter Carl Meentzen put in 15 years of trading before becoming the victim of a bizarre series of accidents. The vessel had been built at Bremerhaven, Germany, and completed in april 1956. It could carry 3,450 tonnes of cargo in its two cargo holds and made a brief appearance on the Great lakes in 1962. The ship was sold and renamed Perija for Venezuelan owners in 1969 and resold in 1970 becoming Niki under the flag of Greece. a collision and explosion in the english Channel on Jan. 11, 1971, sank the tanker Texaco Caribbean with the loss of eight lives. The next day the Brandenburg struck the sunken tanker and it, too, went down with another 21 lives being lost. later, on Feb. 27, 1971, Niki, on a voyage from France to egypt with steel rails, hit one of these two wrecks and joined the duo on the bottom of the channel. sadly, all 22 sailors aboard the Niki were lost, making a total of 51 sailors who perished.

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