Protection sought for lakes in
Portland Estates |
By Chad Lucas
Some Portland Estates residents are wondering how many more
rain-spurred mudslides it will take before some level of
government takes action to protect the area's two lakes.
Heavy rains Wednesday night washed soil from the nearby
Portland Hills development into Morris Lake and left the lake
looking like it was "90 per cent mud," resident George
"Literally, tonnes of mud . . . made (its) way to Morris
Lake," he said.
This is only the latest case of the Dartmouth subdivision's
two lakes - Morris and nearby Russell Lake - being swamped
with silt, Mr. McKelvie said.
Portland Estates residents have been worried for years that
hasty and extensive development in the area is taking a toll
on the sensitive lakes.
"We're slowly killing our lake system by contamination,"
Mr. McKelvie said Thursday.
"They've just raped the land because of all the
Residents have been trying for years to convince municipal,
provincial and federal environment officials to force
developers to take better precautions, he said.
Bruce Hetherington, the area's municipal councillor, said
the Portland Hills developer had safeguards in place but
failed to make sure they were effective during the storm.
"What they did was right, but they didn't monitor it
throughout the night," he said.
Municipal and provincial environment officers were on the
scene Thursday working with the developer to fix the problem,
"The developer has worked with the municipality to make
sure this doesn't happen again," he said.
Charges may still be laid, as the city takes the incident
seriously, Mr. Hetherington said.
"There's fairly stringent rules," he said. "Morris Lake is
But Mr. McKelvie doesn't think any level of government has
enforced the rules stringently enough.
"Over the last two years, we've had inspectors come . . .
but they just turn their backs," he said.
"The bylaws are there but they're not enforced."
He said the pollution from silt runoff is threatening the
area's fish and wildlife, such as bass, gaspereau, muskrats,
mink and osprey.
"If the people in authority don't enforce the guidelines,
we'll have no watershed system at all," he said.