Environment / Climate
Protection and promotion of the natural environment in South Marysburgh has occupied much of my time and energy since moving to the County in 2014.
According to the County's new Official Plan, our ward has the greatest percentage (about 80%) of recognized environmentally sensitive areas of any ward in the County, including:
The internationally recognized Prince Edward County South Shore Key Biodiversity Area
The Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area
Large blocks of Crown land
Little Bluff Conservation Area
Numerous areas designated as Areas of Natural or Scientific Interest (ANSI) or candidate ANSIs
3 major provincially significant wetlands
The Black River complex
New Official Plan a great accomplishment
Our new Official Plan contains an important new concept which I worked hard for, supported by several local environmental organizations including PECFN and PEPtBO and SSJI.
That concept is the definition of Natural Core Areas or NCAs - and here's why they are important to our environment:
In an NCA, commercial development is not allowed; only limited residential is permitted
On any given lot, the developed footprint is restricted to a maximum of 5,000 sq. ft.
This means that the vast majority of undeveloped land in South Marysburgh is prevented from undesirable large scale industrial or resort development
Beyond South Marysburgh, much of the County is similarly protected. Approximately 33% of the County's land mass is now in Natural Core Areas
Next to come:
In the upcoming Council, our comprehensive zoning bylaw which governs all aspects of land use on every property will be revised and presented for review by the public.
As South Marysburgh's councillor I look forward to participating in this review and seeking constituents' input.
A South Shore Conservation Reserve
Thanks to the efforts of the South Shore Joint Initiative (SSJI) and its partners, the province is well on the way to designating the Ostrander Point Crown land block and the Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area as a new Conservation Reserve under provincial law. Council has consistently supported this action.
Conservation Reserve status for these important sections of the South Shore will ensure that traditional activities can be maintained while protecting the fragile biodiversity found there. We expect the designation process to be completed later this year or early in 2023.
The unique natural environment of South Marysburgh is no place for harmful industrial development.
I fully support measures to combat climate change as evidenced by my previous work. Last term, Council declared a climate emergency and we put an element in Council's strategic priorities to deal with adaptation to climate change.
Extreme flooding and drought events are the most visible effects on the County. As we continue to work on this priority, Council will need to look at measures to protect our vulnerable shoreline from events like the 2017 and 2019 floods. Drought damage can be at least partly averted by intelligent land use planning measures.
Such elements as roof-top solar, small scale wind and geothermal, innovative electricity storage techniques, hydrogen powered vehicles and measures to increase adoption like a government loan program should all be looked into and promoted.