Sunday, 17 October 2010

Vast toxic tailing ponds in Canada threaten a huge swathe of Canadian wilderness.

Canada's wilderness endangered October 2010. As the mixture of red sludge and alkaline water from the breach of a waste dam at a Hungarian alumina plant reached the Danube, Canadian campaigners have pointed out that tar sands operations inside Canada's Boreal Forest threaten to destroy or fragment vast lakes, rivers, forests and wetlands that provide nesting grounds for millions of birds.

Area the size of Florida under threat
Roughly 14 million hectares of boreal bird habitat, an area more than 7 times the size of Wales, could eventually be developed for tar sand operations, including strip mining, deep drilling operations and toxic tailings ponds.

Vast toxic reservoirs
Nearly a dozen massive tailings ponds, some several kilometres across, line both sides of the Athabasca River. Filled with toxic waste, many ponds are already leaking and creating their own tainted wetlands. Fish, birds and other wildlife face death from swimming or drinking from the ponds.

1600 ducks killed
Two years ago, more than 1,600 ducks died when they landed on a pond filled with toxic waste. As more waterfowl and shorebirds begin migration journeys thousands of kilometres long, they face death from swimming in or drinking from the pond

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