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.