Good News!!! Yesterday, this motion was approved by the Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee:
That the Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee recommend that Halifax Regional Council direct the Chief Administrative Officer to adopt and implement a detailed water quality monitoring program based on Framework 1 as outlined by AECOM in their Water Quality Monitoring Policy and Program Development Report, as outlined in the Discussion section of the staff report dated May 6, 2021.
From the Report:
This document, the Themes and Directions Report, is the first deliverable of the Regional Plan Review. The purpose of this document is to explain the scope of the Regional Plan Review to the public, stakeholders and Regional Council, and to seek feedback. This document shares ideas about key planning issues and provides details of the work that will be completed during the review. The feedback we receive will help provide focus and direction for future work during the Review.
There will be opportunities for feedback, TBA.
View document as PDF (117 pages)
View by section under Regional Plan Review Continue reading
Loon on Sandy Lake at dusk
On Monday April 19th, Ed G and I lowered a probe to the deepest part of Sandy Lake and found that the lake had “turned over” and was well oxygenated from top to bottom. View the limnological limnological profile.
That was normal for a “dimictic” lake, but I had some concern that rising salt inputs could at some point inhibit spring turnover. So this was good news, at least for 2021.
It was approaching dusk as I prepared to leave and the call of a loon provided some further good news. Continue reading
Christmas ferns on a mound – the resting place of a very big tree that fell about 150 years ago – in old forest by Sandy Lake, Mar 23, 2021
Click on images for larger versions
A couple of days ago, I had to “get away from it all” so I went to walk and just relax in my favourite hardwoods on the big drumlin on the east side of Sandy Lake.
I had expected that the lake would be ice-free, but it was still mostly covered over (although mushy) viewed from Sandy Lake Beach Park. No one will be bathing in Sandy Lake for a while, I thought.
Within minutes of climbing the drumlin, I was in a different world, free of all of the distractions of our complicated lives in Covid times. There was lots to celebrate about the natural world there. In the damp woods by the lake, hobble bush was getting ready to flower. As I walked through the hemlocks I looked for any signs of hemlock wooly adelgid (the “hemlock vampire”) and could see none, only healthy hemlocks. The ground below the hardwoods was well-lit, with leaf-out still many weeks away; evergreen Christmas ferns lay prostrate on the big mounds in this bit of Old Growth forest. Continue reading
UPDATE Mar 29, 2021: 4 lessons now available: Introduction, Watersheds, Habitat & Egg Observation, Shelter and Alevin Observation
View more at SACKVILLE RIVERS ASSOCIATION EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMVIRTUAL FISH FRIENDS/RIVER RANGERS 2021
I just checked out the first video lesson the SRA (Sackville Rivers Association) has posted in its new online Fish Friend Series series, launched because of limitations on their hands-on programs in Covid times. It is incredibly well done.
The lessons are geared for elementary school children, but I still enjoyed and learned from this first video – especially about First Nations’ Perspectives.
In the first video (LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION)
- Students are introduced to the SRA and the work they do
- Students are introduced to the concepts of “Watershed” and “Habitat”
- Students are introduced to scientific and traditional (Mi’kmaq) approaches to ecological knowledge
Swimmers left the beach at Sandy Lake Beach Park after an unpleasant algal bloom appeared suddenly in the morning of Aug 6, 2019. The bloom dissipated within a few days. It was as an ‘early warning sign’ that the lake is in a precarious state.
Since I began conducting observations on “Sandy Lake & Environs” in June 0f 2017, I have compiled a variety of observations related to Sandy Lake itself and associated streams and wetlands.
The observations included descriptions of wetland communities, some ‘limnological profiles” at deep spots in Sandy Lake, and many measurements of temperature, electrical conductivity ( a measure of the salt content) and pH of lake and stream waters. Derek Sarty, Bruce Sarty and Ed Glover have assisted with many of these observations. Continue reading
Hare and deer tracks together. Who was following who? Click on image for larger version
On a few-degrees-below-zero day in early February, I set out from Sandy Lake Beach Park to go to Marsh Lake. I especially wanted to see the hemlock-lined Upper Peverill’s Brook in winter, where it flows into Marsh Lake.
Sandy Lake was frozen sufficiently that I could walk on it – but I stayed over shallow water just in case. I headed north and took a right turn at the point I figured was closest to Marsh Lake. I headed up the drumlin; the ground was frozen with a few inches of snow on top, perfect for walking (I had cleats on) and for walking with minimal impact on the environment. Such days are my favourites for hiking into areas when you have to cross water and wetlands and the like to get to them. Continue reading