Toronto Field Naturalists Endorse NoJetsTO

Environmental Organization Speaks Out Against Jet Plans in Statement TFN TORONTO - The Toronto Field Naturalists,  an 800 member charitable organization of people who love and want to protect our natural environment, endorse the mission of NoJetsTO, as stated below, because of our concern with the impact of the expansion on wildlife that lives and breeds along the waterfront. NoJetsTO is a coalition of concerned citizens dedicated to preserving Toronto’s mixed-use waterfront and a boutique Island Airport. Representing residents across Toronto, the non-partisan organization NoJetsTO opposes the expansion of the Island Airport through jet aircraft and extended runways. NoJetsTO’s goal is to preserve the current state of the Island Airport by protecting the Tripartite Agreement that governs it. The proposal to expand the Toronto Island airport will lengthen the runway and allow jets.  The proposed expansion may also result in increased flights.  The airport is close to a growing neighbourhood, including a school and community centre.  The City’s Health Department has stated its concern about the effect of current and increased pollution and noise on human health.  City staff are concerned about the potential cost to the City of new road infrastructure, estimated between $180 and $300 million, due to extra road traffic in the neighbourhood.  We share these concerns. As naturalists, our main concern is the impact on the wildlife that lives and breeds along the waterfront.  In 1976, TFN vigorously opposed the original commercialization of the Island airport, arguing that the location was completely unsuitable for such use.  Even without expansion, the airport already impacts the enjoyment of nature due to noise and pollution at waterfront parks.  There is an unknown effect of jets taking off and landing on an extended runway  built out towards  the new 7-acre  park planned  for the east end of Ontario Place.  TRCA has submitted a letter to the City stating their concern that more take-offs and landings so close to the Leslie Street Spit's "increasing populations of large flocking birds" may have negative implications for this Globally Significant Important Bird Area, as designated by Bird Life International.  As there is no Wildlife Plan being presented with the expansion proposal, any possible implications remain completely unknown. We wish you well with your campaign and hope we can keep the waterfront friendly to nature. Margaret McRae President, Toronto Field Naturalists 1519 - 2 Carlton Street, Toronto, ON. M5B 1J3 www.torontofieldnaturalists.org