Management of Biosphysical Environment 2017

About this class

This course will examine the concepts and methods used by the state to manage the natural environment. Through an investigation into contemporary environmental issues in Canada (with occasional reference to other areas of the world) we will develop an understanding of the particular rationales for and evolution of state management. Important trends and issues are treated with particular attention to Indigenous rights. As part of the course, we use our developing understanding of course material to write critical blog posts on contemporary  environmental issues.

 

University of Guelph
by jlomb on November 10, 2017
The article presented by Global News, highlights the stressed laid upon the locals of Sarnia from an industrial parkway, known as the Chemical Valley. This collection of news stories displayed the struggles that families face regarding their health and the steps taken toward mitigating this problem. Studies show that Sarnia has one of the highest rates of respiratory cancer cases in all of Canada. The locals blame this outbreak on the 60 oil refining plants that are crammed within 20 square miles.

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University of Guelph
by spalmer on November 10, 2017
Located just two hours away from the city of Toronto, the picturesque town of Prince Edward County has become known for its “rich and famous” history, heritage, culture and tourism. (Jhutti, 2017) Current plans to establish a wind farm in the County has resulted in a controversial debate over the true benefits and costs of wind turbines in towns dependant on their appearance.  

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University of Guelph
by ldewar on November 10, 2017
The Heiltsuk First Nations is continuing to suffer from the effects of an oil spill that occurred last fall along the coast of Bella Bella, B.C. The tugboat ran aground creating extensive damage to the bilge tank, causing an estimated 110,000 litres of diesel and another 2,000 litres of lubricants to be pumped out into the ocean. The aquatic spill has resulted in the contamination of Gale Pass, a sacred Heiltsuk harvesting area that is home to manila clam and other shellfish.

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University of Guelph
by Danita17 on November 10, 2017
The article, “Sea level Maps show Coastal Communities like Vancouver in Race Against Time”, retrieved from the Vancouver sun, highlights the effects of sea level rise in Metro Vancouver. The district is home to 250,000 people; however, it is considered to be the most vulnerable urban area in Canada. As a result of climate change, oceans are averaging to be 3.3 millilitres higher every year. The result of this makes urban regions that are surrounded by water bodies more vulnerable, and will likely sink underwater if global temperatures continue to rise.

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University of Guelph
by cicada on November 10, 2017
Stories of the disastrous consequences of climate change as well as attempts to fight it have been in headlines for years now. Fortunately, there have been recent global trends to combat the menace that is climate change—including improvements for environmentally-friendly products and the gradual abandonment of environment-damaging processes.

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University of Guelph
by mcote01 on November 10, 2017
“Welcome to Lake St. Clair, Where Water Pollution and Beach Closures Remain Unresolved” by Keith Matheny is an article written to inform Detroit citizens about why the beaches of Lake St. Clair are annually closed due to pollutant contamination and high E. coli levels. The counties that exist around the lake have been transformed from permeable farmland to impermeable residential communities over the last several decades. This change in the area’s water infiltration ability has caused an increase in the amount of stormwater runoff that is being diverted into Lake St. Clair.

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University of Guelph
by JaydenWlasichuk on November 10, 2017
By the standards of most people, access to water is a basic human right. Water is necessary for all aspects of human life; from birth to death, water supports us all. However, there are countless Indigenous people in Canada that face each day without adequate access to clean or accessible water for drinking, bathing or cooking. In the Huffington Post article ”Canada First Nations Water Issues Need to be Fixed: UN", the author, Jessica Chin, addresses the recurring issues on First Nations reserves in Canada.

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University of Guelph
by jelllybeans on November 10, 2017
Fisheries Today Today, fishing has been such a large and growing industry where the request for seafood has been a lot higher than past decades. Due to the high demand for fish, the number of fisheries have naturally increased as well. As a result, overfishing the ocean has been a large issue where “more than 85% of the world’s fisheries have been pushed beyond their biological limits and are in need of strict management plans to restore them” (“WWF Canada”). Overfishing as the Issue

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University of Guelph
by sleeming on November 10, 2017
From a young age, the word “whale” brings to mind the familiar large and robust marine mammal that dominates the open ocean. It’s humongous size and strength makes people believe that this creature is virtually indestructible. Unfortunately, this is not the case. 

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University of Guelph
by RobinHood on November 10, 2017
Over 70 percent of tropical reefs worldwide have been subject to coral bleaching over the past several years, but it seems as if that may be coming to an end. Not to say that coral reefs are in the clear and that no more bleaching will occur –a forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggests that the high ocean temperatures that cause bleaching are no longer as widespread as they once were in the Indian Ocean. Though, there still exists heat stress in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans which include the Great Barrier Reef among many others.

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University of Guelph
by deejay on November 10, 2017
On September 28, 2017, the Globe and Mail published an article which was written based on the fact that the sockeye salmon population is greatly decreasing, despite all conservation efforts currently in place. There are many involved in trying to solve the issue of decreasing sockeye population such as the federal government, the department of salmon management in British Columbia, as well as Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

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University of Guelph
by edias on November 10, 2017
London, England is one of many major cities leading the pack in fighting air pollution. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has put “cleaning the air” at the top of his priority list and he has data to back up his decisions. A recent study stated that pollution is the number one environmental cause of disease, giving Khan’s zero-emissions goals some merit.

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University of Guelph
by birdsandpalmtrees on November 10, 2017
The article “Shocking photo shows Caribbean Sea being ‘choked to death by human waste’” discusses marine plastic pollution discovered off the coast of Honduras by a photographer. The purpose of the article is to inform readers about this particular incidence of marine plastic pollution. The evidence used in the article is photography and the photographer’s personal account of what she saw on this photography excursion. The plastic waste is described as consisting mostly of everyday household items – things like forks, spoons, bottles, chip bags, toothbrushes, flip-flops and more.

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University of Guelph
by mackieg on November 10, 2017
Marine sanctuaries along the west coast in California are natural wonders – hosting breeding sites to many marine creatures, as well as providing locals and tourists with many recreational activities. These protected sites have recently become at risk of being reduced or even eliminated thanks to a new executive order put forward by President Trump six months ago. The America First Offshore Energy Executive Order, signed in April, was aimed at expanding offshore oil and gas drilling in the Artic and Atlantic oceans.

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University of Guelph
by llabute on November 10, 2017
California is always on the front of climate change danger.  They are a coastal state that will have to deal with rising sea levels and increased coastal storms, not to mention a water crisis that will be pushed to the limits with increased drought.  Even with such complex issues, at the moment the biggest risk to human health is the air pollution caused by an increase in forest fires.   

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University of Guelph
by rknudsen on November 10, 2017
Communities surrounding Lancaster Sound, located in Northern Canada, have been longing the conservation of the marine area for over three decades. Recently, the Federal Government has agreed to sign an impact/ benefit agreement with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, to conserve the marine lands. Prior to this decision, there was conflict between Shell Canada Ltd., the indigenous communities, as well as environment/wildlife activist groups.

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University of Guelph
by aluff on November 10, 2017
                                                               

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About the author

Associate Professor of Geography, University of Guelph.

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