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Saving greenbelt began 15 years ago
Response to: Greenbelt grade: Pretty good, but...

by Debbe Crandall
The Toronto Star: Letters
Mar. 2, 2006

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I read with interest the Star article outlining the success of the first year of the greenbelt. There have been many years of conservation success stories in this part of Ontario that preceded the greenbelt legislation passed last year. As executive director of Save the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM), an organization working for more than 15 years to protect habitat on the Oak Ridges Moraine, I know what has been accomplished, and it is impressive.

Many citizen-based and public organizations have been working hard together, over many years, to help protect the Oak Ridges Moraine, one of the greenbelt's most significant areas. Over the past three years alone, almost $25 million in new conservation work has begun on the moraine, with the support of many partners — the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation, other not-for-profit organizations, regional and municipal governments and conservation authorities on the moraine.

There is a reason and urgency for all of this good work. It's about protecting our drinking water sources. The Oak Ridges Moraine, stretching 160 kilometres across southern Ontario from the Niagara Escarpment to the Trent River, contains the headwaters of 65 rivers and streams draining into Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe and Rice Lake. It supplies drinking water directly to more than 250,000 people. If we don't protect the moraine, we are putting the drinking water for millions of people at serious risk.

This effort did not begin a year ago. It began more than 15 years ago, when we started to realize what was really at stake.

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Copyright 2007 Save the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) Coalition