Some Greenbelt facts to consider
As everyone knows the Province has released a map showing “Study Areas” where they are considering expanding the Greenbelt. The Greenbelt has been very effective in stopping sprawl where it exists now. About the only people who are opposed to it are developers, landowners (including a few farmers) who want to sell to developers and some politicians who are either all too cozy with developers or who still believe that continuous growth leads to prosperity or is even possible.
So here are Some Greenbelt related facts to consider:
- In Ontario we lose 175 acres of farmland every day. At this rate we will be out of farmland in 2 generations.
- Only 5% of Canada’s land base is suitable to grow food.
- We have lost 7500 square kilometers to urban uses in recent decades.
- The total economic impact of the existing Greenbelt is over $9.1 Billion per year.
- Local Conservation Authorities predict that local wells will run dry to climate change and changing precipitation patterns.
- 1/3 of Simcoe County residents (~100K) are on private wells.
- 70% of SC residents rely on groundwater for daily water use.
- It can take up to 10,000 years for groundwater to recharge. 97% will take at least 50 years.
- Source Water Protection Plans do not protect private wells and only 1.8% have strong enough language to prohibit activities.
- Beach closures and advisories have increased 250% over the last 10 years.
- Benefits received from wetlands are 13-35% greater than the cost of protection or restoration.
- Intact wetlands can reduce the financial costs of floods by up to 38%.
- Simcoe County contains 68 Provincially Significant wetlands, 35 Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest, 64 species at risk.
- 2/3 of Canada’s native wildlife species are found in forest ecosystems.
The Greenbelt will go a long way to protect us in face of the above issues.