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Bill McMullen | all galleries >> Miscellaneous > "Going Green?"
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Going Green?

"Going Green?"

Petrie Island, Ottawa, Ontario

This photograph has prompted local politicians into action to implement an assessment and clean-up effort of this environmental mess at Petrie Island in Ottawa, Ontario. I took this photo a few weeks ago while following a family of Great Horned Owls nesting less than 25 yards from this sorry sight. This year at Petrie Island, there was far less flooding than usual due very little snowfall in March. The result was that areas which are normally inaccessible were passable and revealed a dirty secret from the past; an illegal dump that was used for over twenty years. Garbage is making its way to the surface and fallen trees are displaying even more which was hidden under their root structures (see the example in the top left-centre of this photo). Petrie Island is a very popular destination as a beach (nearby), nature trails and outdoor education. The area with the garbage is located just off Basswood Trail in a low lying region. The crunch of glass under my feet, rusted metal, industrial waste containers, plastics, bottles, tires, etc...pose a serious safety hazard for anyone who ventures off the trail. The sad thing is that it will soon be concealed by Ostrich Ferns and thick ground cover. Individuals associated with the Island have stated that it is "not an environmental threat and it should be left alone." In an area that has been called a "sensitive wetland area" the garbage seems to contradict this title. The full write-up appeared in the Ottawa Citizen (April 26, 2010) and on the radio this morning.

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golfpic01-May-2010 02:28
I recall a few years ago someone telling me parts of Petrie Island was used as a dump in the past. Let's hope it doesn't return to that.
mtcummings01-May-2010 02:11
Well done William, I remember seeing the junk around earlier this spring. I thought it was stuff that came in with the thaw.
Gary Fairhead28-Apr-2010 03:17
Way to go needs to be cleaned up. Your photograph represents the issue perfectly and lets hope there is now a will to get it cleaned up.
pkocinski27-Apr-2010 12:06
Great job of photojournalism and thanks for making it known to folks. Keep us updated on what happens (hopefully for the good).
Hank Vander Velde27-Apr-2010 11:38
Well done Bill. Good on you to bring this mess the the attention of the authorities and also to the rest of us. What a shame to have left it like this for so many years.
larose forest photos27-Apr-2010 03:36
I saw the article in the Citizen. This is a disgusting mess, but there has been much worse in the past! Believe it or not. Too many people view natural areas as wastelands, fit only for garbage dumping. I see so much of this around and about. It is discouraging. But good for you!!
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