The Power of Nature: Invasive Species
July 2, 2015
Like most Saskatchewanians, we take pride in our commitment to preserving our province’s natural beauty and protecting its wildlife. But when you’re responsible for building the infrastructure needed to deliver affordable and reliable power to a rapidly growing province, that’s not always so easy! Here are a couple recent examples:
Unexpected Guests ‘Crash’ Boundary Dam
The Carbon Capture and Storage project at Boundary Dam has captured plenty of attention around the world, but during the building of the facility, it had over 800 special guests that had to be removed from the premises.
While construction of a new access road was underway, an army of 800 Northern Leopard Frogs (that’s actually the technical name for a group of frogs!) were found on the site. And these weren’t just any little amphibious visitor. Northern Leopard Frogs are on the federal list of species at risk.
With permission from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, we stopped construction on the road and relocated the frogs to a safer spot. You won’t necessarily find “animal rescuer” in most SaskPower job descriptions, but for some of our employees, it’s all in a day’s work!
Keeping our Waters Clear
They might look innocent enough but don’t be fooled—zebra and quagga mussels are an invasive species that pose great risks to Saskatchewan’s pristine ecosystems.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) like the zebra mussel are non-native to North America and have been moving west by attaching to boats, trailers and other water-borne equipment. They are not in Saskatchewan yet, but they were found in Manitoba last year. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment to proactively stop the spreading of these little creatures that can disrupt natural food chains and damage power generating equipment. We’ve taken steps to educate our employees to help stop the spread of AIS in our water bodies.
How can you help? This summer while out at the lake, make sure you clean, drain and dry your boat every time you move it. Doing so will help keep our lakes and rivers clean and safe so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. A couple other things to keep in mind:
- Remove all visible plants, animals and mud from your boat/equipment.
- Drain all on-board water and leave plugs out during transport and storage.
- Dry your watercraft and all related gear completely.
To report any suspected AIS, contact the nearest Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment office or call the tip line at 1(800)667-7561.