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The Coalition to Protect Amherst Island (CPAI) was formed in 2006 in response to a proposal to build a 100-turbine wind energy generating system on Amherst Island, close to the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Subsequently (December, 2009), the coalition was incorporated as the Association to Protect Amherst Island, APAI.

OUR MISSION

The Association is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the health and well-being of residents and to preserve the unique environment and way of life on Amherst Island.  Our goal is to protect Amherst Island, its residents, its agricultural and recreational nature, and its wildlife. We have taken and will continue to take all legitimate courses of action to oppose the development of an industrial-scale wind-turbine installation on Amherst Island.

OUR POSITION

The Association understands the role renewable power can play in Ontario’s power supply mix. APAI is not against wind power as an alternative energy source which can be viable in some situations. However, APAI opposes any industrial-scale wind-turbine installation which, by its size, spacing of turbines and noise, has the potential to cause serious damage to the health of the Island’s residents and the delicately balanced natural environment of our Island.

The purpose of this site is to provide information to all residents of Amherst Island, to nearby mainland residents, to Loyalist Township, and to federal and provincial politicians and ministries, as well as to the general public. APAI is one of many citizens’ groups which have sprung up, not only in Ontario but all over North America and Europe. Their aims are to protest the use of a technology which, in the name of protecting the environment from global warming, can actually damage the environment in other ways. Health, quality of life, and economic concerns among those on whom this industrialization of their local environment has been, or appears soon to be, imposed, are some examples of such damage.

In Ontario, there are at present 41 groups like APAI that have formed an umbrella group, Wind Concerns Ontario (WCO). This is a very active group investigating wind energy issues, keeping the member groups informed, obtaining media coverage of the issues and lobbying politicians and ministries. Of particular note is the health survey instigated by WCO. In turn, WCO is a member of the large European umbrella group, EPAW.

AMHERST ISLAND

Overview

Amherst Island, 66 square kilometers (16,500 acres) in area, 16.5 km long and 7 km at its widest point lies at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. It has a population of about 800 people (including summer residents), and is home to several hundred white-tailed deer. It also lies directly on one of the largest bird migratory paths in the world. Amherst Island is an official Important Bird Area (IBA); the National Wildlife Federation has voted it one of the 100 best bird-watching spots in North America, one of only two such sites in Ontario. Over the course of the year, it is home to an estimated 3 million birds. In the winter it is home to rare snowy owls and in the summer to long-eared and great-horned owls. The Kingston Field Naturalists’ field station is located at the eastern tip of Amherst Island.

HISTORY

The island was known by the French settlers as Isle Tonti, after Henri de Tonti, who accompanied LaSalle during his explorations. The island was later settled by United Empire Loyalists and renamed Amherst Island in 1792 in honour of Jeffrey Amherst, the then commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America.

The early community comprised numerous wealthy Loyalists, some late loyalists, and a proportion of French Canadian fishermen. These settlers of the island frontier had been attracted by its accessibility; water was virtually the only transportation in the Loyalist period. The shoreline of the island was settled by the close of the 1820s. An Irish wave of immigration to the Island followed, with the population peaking at 2,000 in 1842. Amherst Island was an important and convenient stepping stone in trade routes and almost urban in accessibility. Its Estate Policy encouraged temporary residency. Most settlers moved on to the frontiers of Ontario and the American Midwest.

Today, Amherst Island is partly residential and partly agricultural. It is also a very popular destination for naturalists, birdwatchers and cyclists.

For more Information visit the Amherst Island, Ontario web site

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