Photo : Kerr Wood Leidal
The future of Kalavista Lagoon in Coldstream may rest on turtles.
Coldstream Council has been trying to determine whether to dredge the lagoon or return it to a wetlands.
Mayor Jim Garlick says consultants point out that turtles in the area are considered an endangered species.
“If we dredge it out, what we were told is we have to go through a process where we would have to scan the bottom of the lagoon to determine if turtles were there and the capture the turtles and remove them before any dredging took place.”
Council tonight will be advised to support further studies to determine what the turtle population looks like.
“If they weren’t there, at certain times and there is a possibility that the extent of where they hang out in the lagoon is not that great then we might be able towards dredging, and there might be a middle road here too because the consultants said what they would recommend is moving slowly forward.”
Which means doing the work of wetland restoration over a number of years.
The turtles is not the only issue.
Mayor Jim Garlick says council is also remindedthat when the neighbourhood was developed in 1947, channels were dug from Coldstream Creek
to help with drainage.
“What they’re saying is to keep that in mind when we move forward with the lagoon. Don’t just abandon those channels and forget about them, and then there’s problems later on with water runoff in that area and high water table.”
Council has heard that flushing in the area has not gone on for years and ditches in the neighbourhood are shallower than they used to be, meaning maintenance of the channels must not be ignored.