Friday, July 15, 2016 (Halifax, NS) – Mechanical harvesting work to address the excessive weed growth in Lake Banook and Lake Micmac in Dartmouth will begin next week and is expected to continue until mid-August.
A small harvesting vessel will begin harvesting on Monday, July 18. Harvesting will occur in targeted areas on weekdays only, avoiding any scheduled paddling events. Plants are collected immediately after being cut. As a result, the work is expected to have negligible, if any, effects on lake users.
This marks the second year for weed harvesting throughout Lake Banook and Lake Micmac. Over a 10-day period in late August 2015, operators harvested 82,500 pounds of weeds.
Residents and local paddling clubs first reported weeds in the two lakes in the summer of 2009 and again in 2010. Lake users were concerned the weeds were interfering with recreational activities, including swimming, motorized boating, and paddling. The lakes also play host to regional, national and international sporting events.
Further to an investment of $96,792 in a successful 2015 pilot project, the municipality has secured monitoring and weed harvesting services for 2016-2018. Following an RFP process, three-year contracts were awarded to Stantec Consulting Limited for monitoring services (totalling $183,900), and Natural Ocean Products for harvesting services (totalling $390,000). Information gained by monitoring weed growth will direct the focus of harvesting activities in order to optimize the reduction of weeds and of their impact on recreational and competitive boating.
All harvesting operations will have to meet provincial and federal regulatory requirements to protect the environment. The harvested weeds will be collected daily and delivered to a composting facility for proper disposal.
For more information about the aquatic weed harvesting project on Lake Banook and Lake Micmac visit: www.halifax.ca/cleanwater