Stop The Soper Creek Trails Phase 2 & 3

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Clarington Municipal Council recently approved plans to move ahead with the construction of an asphalt path through the flood plain along Soper Creek.

As residents of Clarington we are opposed to this development through an environmentally sensitive area.  This plan was developed and sent to Municipal Council prior to obtaining a permit for development from the local conservation authority (Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority – CLOCA) and without public input from our community.

Nature trails through our significant ecological areas are a great source of education, recreation, and fitness HOWEVER they need to be maintained by a Conservation Authority to make sure the impacts on the natural habitats, and the animals that live in them, are protected.

This asphalt path along Soper Creek would not be managed for wildlife, will not have lights, and poses several significant risks from construction as well as increased human activity in the natural floodplain area:

1.      Potential impacts on the salmon spawning that occurs in Soper Creek from: an increased temperature of run-off into the creek from the asphalt and reduced groundwater flowing in to the creek and diversion of natural run-off reducing the creek flow volume;

 2.      Habitat fragmentation for deer, coyotes, beaver and other ecologically significant animal species;

 3.      The introduction of exotic species such as purple loosestrife that can be ecologically devastating to a waterway as well as causing increased competition for native species;

 4.      Increased risk of grass fires, that pose risks to both natural habitats as well as local residents whose properties are immediately adjacent; 

 5.      Impacts from human and pet activity including increased garbage / pet waste causing pollution and the potential to attract non-native “pest” species into the area such as skunks, racoons, pigeons, etc.

 6.      Significant risks of soil erosion, soil compaction and flooding that would make the trail unsafe or un-useable.

 The budget for this project is likely to exceed $900,000.00 from the Municipal budget that could be spent on numerous other projects throughout the community including the replacement of dead trees along the boulevards.  Please sign this petition and pass it along to other Clarington residents for their support.