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Plan in Place to Dredge Wasaga Sections of Nottawasaga River

Nottawasaga River

Posted on May 19, 2016

By Ian Adams,

Plans to dredge the Nottawasaga River are moving ahead.

On Thursday, Wasaga Beach council’s coordinated committee received an update on the environmental assessment process that would give the municipality the tool it needed should it decide to go ahead with dredging certain parts of the river to keep it navigable.

Public Works director Kevin Lalonde emphasized having the EA in place does not mean the town would be applying immediately for permits.

“It will help clear through the environmental concerns that agencies and the public might have about proceeding with dredging,” he said.

The EA identified three areas between Schoonertown Bridge and the mouth of the river as ‘problem areas’ for sediment buildup, including the mouth, and Snake Island – a submerged island upstream of Nancy Island.

A 30-day public comment period on the draft environmental screening report opens on May 16. If there were no objections received, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry would give the green light to the EA, and the project could proceed pending the approval of permits.

In her report to committee, environmental planner Erika Brown noted dredging is not a permanent fix to silt buildup in the river, and an engineered solution would need to be explored.

Lalonde said the EA would allow the town to proceed with dredging at the mouth of the Nottawasaga and Snake Island, while the third location identified at the Schoonertown Bridge requires an archaeological assessment. He said a site of potential archaeological and cultural significance has been identified, and further exploration is needed in order to determine what’s there.

Committee approved receiving the report for information. The decision will be ratified at the May 24 council meeting.


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