SCUGOG: Council has unanimously decided to support, in principle, a project that would see a large portion of Lake Scugog dredged, to improve the lake environment.
At a meeting on Monday, Nov. 28th, Rob Messervey, CAO of Kawartha Conservation, gave Councillors an update on the Lake Scugog Enhancement Project, including a proposal of how the project will be carried out. Mr. Messervey said the objectives of the enhancement project are to deal with an overabundance of invasive aquatic plants and sediment, “that has accumulated over decades”, to improve water quality, to enhance biodiversity in the lake, as well as to improve the lake’s recreational opportunities.
The plan will see a 17 acre area of the lake; from the Port Perry Marina to Vos Independent, and an area of the Port Perry boat launch, dredged to a depth of 1.8 metres.
The dredgate will then be moved, and will be used to create an engineered wetland. A berm, with a walking trail, will be built from an area in Palmer Park, near the north baseball diamond, to Vos Independent to contain the wetland. The wetland is expected to help deal with storm-water treatment, absorbing any unwanted contaminants coming into the lake.
In addition, the wetland is expected to have components such as habitats for different animal species and educational signage.
“We’re not only creating a constructed wetland, for major benefits to [entrap] sediments and [improve] water quality, but also to entice critters to the area. We’re creating a habitat for reptiles and amphibians…” Mr. Messervey said. “We have a turtle habitat as well. We think with the use of the berm as a trail extension, there’s going to be a lot of use, we think, of this trail.”
The project is estimated to have a total cost of $2 million. The Healthy Lake Scugog steering committee is hoping to get one third of the funding from government grants, another third from non-government organizations, and the last third from donations. With the approval in principle of the project, the Healthy Lake Scugog steering committee has now been authorized to begin a fundraising campaign for the project. The Scugog Lake Stewards will take on the fundraising responsibility.
“I think it’s fantastic and an excellent initiative for the health of Lake Scugog,” Mayor Tom Rowett said.
However, for the project to move forward, staff from the Healthy Lake Scugog committee, Kawartha Conservation and Township staff still need: to investigate whether an environmental assessment is necessary for project approval or to remove sediments as part of maintenance; to complete inventory and assessment work, to determine the estimated costs of construction and to refine the cost based on a detailed design; and to determine whether the Township will be responsible for any part of the design and construction costs. The three parties also have to look at what the cost would be for long-term maintenance.
Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2018. For more information on the project, visit lakescugogenhancement.ca. For information on how to donate, visit scugoglakestewards.com.
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