News & Events

Drift card study to determine risk to Rideau River from Energy East pipeline, launches on World Environment Day, June 5th. Can you help?

Environmental Defence, with local support from Sustainable North Grenville and Ecology Ottawa, will conduct drift card studies of the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers to determine the potential impact of spills from the proposed Energy East pipeline.

At 10:30AM on June 5th, drift cards will be released into the Rideau River near the Baxter Conservation Area where the Energy East pipeline is proposed to cross. These drift cards have identification numbers and instructions so that when people find them, they can go to a website to enter their location as well as see where other cards were found.

Data from the project will be used to produce a report on the likely spill trajectory: how far and how quickly an oil spill will spread, and the locations where oil may accumulate. The local project is part of a larger one that includes similar drops of wooden drift cards in Quebec, New Brunswick, and northwestern Ontario near the Manitoba border.

You can help this project:

  • Be present for the drift card release. People will gather at 9:30AM in the Baxter Conservation Area to launch small craft for the release. If you don’t have small water craft, your presence on shore will reinforce for present local media just how important this issue is.
  • On the weekend of 17/18 June, SNG will coordinate a search of the river for unreported drift cards. If you have a canoe, kayak or small boat, you can help by searching a section of the river and reporting your findings. The search will be concluded with a social gathering at the Taylor Conservation Area which will be the launch/recovery site. Environmental Defence personnel will be present and you can discuss the project and other Energy East issues and enjoy some refreshments.

If you have interest in either or both of these events, please provide your feedback by e-mail to Chris Weissflog ( For the search event, please indicate your preference of date and how you could potentially help out. The event will be further developed based on your feedback.

Please join us for these events and enjoy the company of others who cherish the Rideau River for the great ecological value that it is.

Thank you for your ongoing support of SNG, and your concern for the Rideau River and our local economy.