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The Earthroots Campaign to Protect the Oak Ridges Moraine
Government's Oak Ridges Moraine Protection Act - a good first step says Earthroots

6-month freeze on 'new' development applications on Moraine a win for the environment and the public.

(Toronto- May 17, 2001) Earthroots is cautiously optimistic that Minister Chris Hogdson's new Oak Ridges Moraine Protection Act will lead to a comprehensive protection plan for the Oak Ridges Moraine. The announcement comes at a time when the Oak Ridges Moraine is facing heavy development pressures.

"For over 2 years, Earthroots has been calling for a temporary freeze on all new development applications and changes to official plans. We finally got that today, " said Josh Matlow, Earthroots campaigner. "The next six months will truly decide the future of the Moraine."

Currently the Moraine is under threat from expanding residential and commercial development projects and growing urban sprawl. Water quality can be negatively affected by paving over the natural features of the Moraine. Considering that the quality of water is decreasing quickly in Ontario, immediate protection for this important source of drinking water is needed.

"Earthroots expects that any development proposals submitted after the announcement this morning will also be frozen," said Matlow. "Earthroots will be watching closely to make sure this announcement is a truly a first showing of a newly environmentally-friendly government."

The Oak Ridges Moraine is home to threatened wildlife such as the red-shouldered hawk, the five-lined skink (Ontario's only lizard) and the provincially-significant trillium. It is also the source of drinking water for over 250,000 Ontarians who live on the Moraine. Millions more get their water indirectly from the rivers and streams that flow north and south out of the Moraine.

Recent polling by OraclePoll Research has shown that 76% of residents of the 905 area and 81% of residents of the City of Toronto think Premier Harris should personally intervene to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine.

For more information contact: Josh Matlow, Earthroots at (416) 599-0152 - cell (416) 809-5674

Earthroots is a non-profit, grassroots environmental organization dedicated to protecting wilderness, wildlife and watersheds through research, education and action. Earthroots has over 12,000 supporters across Canada.