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Experts Weigh in on Lake Ontario Contaminants

Oct 22, 2010


For Immediate Release

(TORONTO - October 22) -  On Wednesday, October 27, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), in conjunction with the Toronto and Region Remedial Action Plan (RAP), presents Lake Ontario Evenings - Contaminants Edition, the fourth speakers event in the series. According to the 2007 Remedial Action Plan Report, Moving Forward, overall levels of contaminants have generally dropped since the 1980s, although the rate of decrease has slowed in the last decade or so. Attendees will hear about Lake Ontario contaminant research, monitoring, and issues facing the lake  from the many organizations involved in addressing them. 

"There is a demonstrated, long-term public concern about contaminants in our local and regional environment" says Stephanie Hawkins, RAP Project Manager at the Toronto and Region Conservation. "Often in the news, we'll hear snippets about this or that chemical being detected somewhere it wasn't expected. For this edition of Lake Ontario Evenings we've assembled a panel not only to speak to the classic contaminants   -  PCB's, DDT, and the like - but also to discuss some of the less publicized compounds and their role in the current, urban context.  The issue of contaminants in the environment will be unfolding for decades, but the good news is that there is some good news!  And understanding how that came about can only help us in moving forward."   

Since 2009, the Lake Ontario Evenings Speakers Series has attracted more than 300 attendees who are interested in understanding the role of citizens on the future health of the lake. The speaker's series is planning to bring forward more issues of concern in upcoming events through to 2011.

WHAT: Lake Ontario Evenings- Contaminants Edition

WHEN: Wednesday, October 27, 2010. Doors open at 6:00 pm, presentations will begin at 6:30 pm

WHERE: The Pilot Tavern, Stealth Lounge, 22 Cumberland St. Toronto, ON.


Toxics in Lake Ontario: On-shore to Nearshore to Offshore. Chris Marvin, Environment Canada; Paul Helm, Ontario Ministry of the Environment

Contaminants in Great Lakes Herring Gulls: Are they going up or down? Where are the hotspots? How do birds from Tommy Thompson Park Compare? Chip Weseloh, Environment Canada

Where are the chemicals coming from?  Miriam Diamond, University of Toronto

Toronto's ChemTRAC Program: Reducing contaminants through community right-to-know. Rich Whate, Toronto Public Health


Remedial Action Plan

Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) are internationally mandated programs that address "hotspots" around the Great Lakes.  The Toronto Area of Concern was identified in 1985 when the city's waters and wildlife habitats were noticeably suffering negative effects from historic industrialization as well as continuing urbanization. The Toronto and Region RAP area covers over 2000 km2 and includes six major watersheds (Etobicoke Creek, Mimico Creek, Humber River, Don River, Highland Creek, Rouge River), 45 kilometres of waterfront, and the Toronto Harbour.  For more information visit the RAP at .

Toronto and Region Conservation

With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity.  For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at



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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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