A rally is being held outside city hall in Niagara Falls over a proposed billion dollar development by a Chinese based company in the Falls’ wetlands. Niagara Falls councillors are being asked to support a proposal by the region to destroy 13 acres of wetlands and have them re-developed. However, critics say the ecosystems in the Niagara area are fragile and cannot be relocated.
A forest just 5 kilometres from downtown Niagara Falls is the site of a proposed billion dollar redevelopment project. All that stands in the way of it is 13 acres of wetlands. The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is looking to move those wetlands. The site stretches more than 480 acres and is near Thundering Waters golf club. The land will be turned into a residential area that will also include hotels and restaurants.
St. Catharines resident Ed Smith has been defending the wetlands from developers.
“The wet lands here in the Niagara region are slough forested wetlands. They are unique in all of Canada. They are globally significant they foster a degree and a number of biological forms that can’t be found anywhere else.”
Slough forests are wetlands made up of a series of shallow lakes. The province set up a new plan for every acre of wetland destroyed, one acre would be restored elsewhere. The Conservation Authority is asking that three acres of wetlands be restored for every acre.
“We believe you can restore a wetland, a slough forest, within a few years. It’s a matter of five years you’ve got the quality that you had before.” Bruce Timms, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.
The conservation authority says there are over 200 acres of wetlands on the site that will remain untouched. The region says there has to be a balance. The development is led by China-based GR investments CO. Limited. The controversial project will be discussed at regional council later this month.