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Hamilton's first pollution patrol boat (Canada)
Thursday, November 15, 2001

Hamilton's first pollution patrol boat

Eric McGuinness, Environment Reporter

The Hamilton Spectator

November 15, 2001

Hamilton Harbour will have its own pollution patrol boat next summer, thanks to a new organization that hopes to help citizens protect the local environment. And Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will be here Dec. 5 to officially launch the vessel and to raise money for Environment Hamilton to run it as part of the Lake Ontario Keeper program which began this year with one boat based in Kingston, Ont.

Lakekeeper Mark Mattson, a criminal lawyer and executive director of the Environmental Bureau of Investigation, says Kennedy will also speak at a gala fundraising dinner in Toronto where he will be welcomed by former prime minister John Turner.

Kennedy is president of the International Waterkeeper Alliance, an umbrella group of more than 70 organizations set up to protect rivers, bays and lakes in the U.S., Canada and Belize.

Mattson worked with Hamilton environmentalist Lynda Lukasik to prosecute the City of Hamilton for allowing toxic chemicals to seep into Red Hill Creek from the old Rennie Street dump.

Lukasik collected $150,000 of a fine levied under the federal Fisheries Act last year, used $28,000 to pay legal bills and provided $15,000 to buy the first Lake Ontario keeper boat, Angus Bruce.

The Hamilton boat is a 22-foot, open, fibreglass cutter donated to the keeper program by Ian Gray of Port Credit.

Putting it on the water next summer is one of the first priorities of Environment Hamilton, a non-profit organization founded by Lukasik.

She intends to use the balance of the fine money -- more than $100,000 invested in deposit certificates -- to help Hamiltonians address local environmental concerns.

Lake Ontario Keeper program: www.LakeOntario Keeper.org

Environmental Bureau of Investigation: www.e-b-i.net/ebi/index.html

The Waterkeeper Alliance: www.keeper.org

Hudson Riverkeeper Fund: www.riverkeeper.org/story/story.html

 

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