Friends of Niagara Peninsula Citizens Coalition Comes Together To ‘Preserve & Improve’ Region’s Natural Heritage

Biodiversity Offsetting Was Just The Beginning. Dysfunction At Regional Government Level Must Be Addressed

From Liz Benneian, a Niagara citizen and founder of Ontario Zero Waste Coalition

Posted June 13th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Those receiving this message have met Ed Smith, a remarkable resident of Port Dalhousie (in Niagara, Ontario), who rallied the community over the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s plan to destroy existing wetlands while supposedly recreating others.biodiversity sign

As citizens came together to oppose that plan, they realized that as bad as the plan was, there was dysfunction within the organization and at the Regional level that needed to be addressed. To that end citizen organizations and area residents have come together from across the Region to form Friends of the Niagara Peninsula (see more about FONP us at bottom of this post).

For the first time, students, landowners, environmentalists and community groups from all corners of Niagara are bringing their unique skills, talents, perspectives, creativity and experience to change the way decisions are made in our Region.

We ask you to please connect with us on Facebook by putting Friends of Niagara Peninsula in your Facebook search engine. We will use Facebook, and our email list, to keep you updated on important local meetings and other events where you can make your voice heard ,as well as let you know about any any developments on biodiversity offsetting, inappropriate developments or other similar issues. We will also share information about events you may want to initiate as we build a citizens’ coalition that is diverse enough and strong enough to challenge the current system.

Below please find three upcoming opportunities to have your say on Regional planning, expanding the Greenbelt and a proposed incinerator. Please see the poster on the citizen-led  incinerator meeting below. For more info connect with No Burn Niagara on Facebook.


Growing the Greenbelt Consultation Meeting – Tuesday,  June 14 5 to 8 p.m., FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines

RSVP by going here:

Information from Friends of the Greenbelt:

On May 10, the province announced its proposed changes to the Greenbelt. These included several positive moves: growing the Greenbelt into 28 urban river valleys and wetlands; more support for farming and local food; and a commitment to grow our towns and cities smartly.

But we think the changes could and should be more ambitious. The government has an unparalleled opportunity to create a bigger, stronger Greenbelt that will provide long-term benefits and support for the Greater Golden Horseshoe region as it grows and intensifies.

In particular, we are among a diverse coalition of groups calling for better protection of water supplies and other hydrological areas outside the Greenbelt that are under threat from urban sprawl.

The province is holding a series of open houses over the next 6 weeks to consult the public on the proposed changes. This is a chance to see the proposals, ask questions directly to government representatives, and submit your feedback on the changes. Will you join us at the St. Catharines open house to voice your support for a quick and decisive action to grow the Greenbelt to protect key drinking water sources? Greenbelt Foundation staff will be there with copies of our new primer, ‘Growing the Green, Protecting the Blue’, so come find us – we’ll be wearing ‘I Love GB’ buttons!

Niagara 2041  Have Your Say On Planning For Niagara’s Future

Niagara Region is hosting public information centres around three important topics: development planning including what land is available for development; water and wastewater master plan servicing and a transportation master plan.

Three Dates, Three Locations:

June 15, Town of Fort Erie, Leisureplex Banquet Hall, 3 Municipal Drive, 4 to 8 p.m.

June 16, Township of West Lincoln, Council Chambers, 318 Canborough St., 4 to 8 p.m.

June 22, City of Welland, Civic Square Front foyer, 60 Main St., 4 to 8 p.m.

This is your chance to have your say on growing our cities up, not out, to protect valuable foodlands and natural areas; to redevelop brown fields and single-story sprawl along arterial roads that will make our existing cities more attractive, lively and with neighbourhoods where residents can live, work and play.

Your chance to say we need to redevelop already serviced areas rather than take on the enormous financial burden of bringing water and wastewater etc. to new areas.

That foodlands matter and in an era of erratic weather and ever growing costs for imported food, farming and eating local is more important than ever. And also to tell them how important it is to protect our few remaining natural areas and to expand them and protect them through the creation of a Natural Heritage System that protects existing environmentally significant areas, buffers them with additional lands to ensure their protection and then links them together throughout the Region to create a functioning ecosystem to ensure the long-term protection of the Region’s biodiversity. For full details on the meeting see the attachment How Do We Grow.

Niagara is discussing plans to build an incinerator in the Thorold community of Allanburg: Is Our Community About To Get Burned?

Free Public Forum, Thursday, June 16,

7 p.m. at the Allanburg Community Centre, 1560 Falls St., Allanburg, Ontario

Speaker: Liz Benneian, founder, Ontario Zero Waste Coalition

Meeting Hosted by: No Burn Niagara

For more information contact Alysha at:; 289-228-8800

Find us on Facebook at No Burn Niagara


Who We Are

Friends of Niagara Peninsula is a non-partisan coalition of regional organizations and individuals dedicated to preserving and improving Niagara Region’s ecological systems and its biodiversity along with the green infrastructure benefits they provide.

Our Mission

Friends of Niagara Peninsula works to protect and ensure the long-term sustainability of Niagara’s ecosystems and local, sustainable food production.

What We Believe

Friends of Niagara Peninsula believes quality of life in the Niagara Region, the health of its people and its economic future are indelibly linked to the health of our uniquely rich and biodiverse environment.

What We Do

We advocate at the Municipal, Provincial and Federal levels of government, and with any agency, to influence environmental policy and protection, and to further our aims.

  1. We support economically, socially and environmentally vibrant, communities in Niagara.
  2. We support initiatives to preserve and enhance our natural heritage.
  3. We support initiatives to prevent any loss of the few natural spaces or ecosystems remaining in the Region.
  4. We support science-based, and evidence-based, decision-making.
  5. We support long-range planning that takes the impacts of Global Warming into account.
  6. We support the concept of fairness in applying policies and laws.
  7. We support agricultural policies that ensure Canada’s food security.

Our Vision

We envision Niagara Peninsula as a political, economic and social entity that works together to create a region that offers its citizens Ontario’s highest quality of life with a protected Natural

Heritage System, that provides Green Infrastructure Services, and with protected foodlands that supports a thriving local, sustainable agricultural sector.

NOW IT IS YOUR TURN. Niagara At Large encourages you to share your views on this post. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.

Visit Niagara At Large at for more news and commentary for and from the greater bi-national Niagara region.

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



One response to “Friends of Niagara Peninsula Citizens Coalition Comes Together To ‘Preserve & Improve’ Region’s Natural Heritage

  1. Gail Benjafield

    Not on any Social Media, but will forward to those that are. G. B in St. C.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s