John Norman at the O’Dea’s Pond site in Bonavista.
©Jonathan Parsons photo
BONAVISTA, N.L. — Environmental work on O’Dea’s Pond is starting soon after years of work by the Bonavista Environmental Committee and the Stewardship Association of Municipalities (SAM).
John Norman, local SAM representative, says thanks to federal and municipal funding, and SAM’s contributions, the work can go ahead.
“So the plan is, we’re recreating wetlands,” Norman told The Packet.
He says, originally, there was a lot of natural wetland habitat that was dredged out for boat storage in O’Dea’s Pond.
According to Norman, a lot of the natural wetland area was lost when the canal and periphery of the pond was backfilled many years ago.
Now they’re looking to restore that environment and hopefully create a habitat for birds and plants in the area.
In order to rehabilitate the area, they’ll be doing small excavations, three and four-feet wide and about two-feet deep, in certain areas underneath the boardwalk which circumnavigates the pond.
The work will hopefully create wetland puddles and the local group will plant more native plant species in the area as well.
“Another piece of it will be some interpretation (on plants and birds) in and around the boardwalk,” said Norman.
For those who use the boardwalk as a walking trail, Norman says the work will correspond with needed repairs to the structure — killing two birds with one stone.
What is SAM?
The Stewardship Association of Municipalities is an organization committed to conservation, enhancement and stewardship of natural habitats and enhancing biodiversity in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Fully incorporated in 1999, SAM has 36 members, securing about 38,000 acres of wildlife habitat since the first municipal agreements in 1993.
The O’Deas Pond wetland restoration project is being funded by Environment Canada’s National Wetland Conservation Fund with support from the Stewardship Association of Municipalities Inc., the Wildlife Division, NL Dept ECC, the Town of Bonavista and its Environment Committee and the Bonavista Horticultural Society.
The work will be spread out over three years, 2016 being the first.
The total project value is about $60,000 in year one, $47,000 in year two and $47,000 in year three.
Project Site Background:
O'Dea's Pond in Bonavista and its surrounding wetland was used for over 30 years as a sewage holding area as it flowed via a short dugout channel from the wetland to the sea.
In the late 1990s, sewage treatment in the community evolved and sewage no longer flowed into the wetland and a significant environmental cleanup was undertaken.
However, the cleanup did not include actions to restore the site to its original wetland vegetation and ecosystem function.
The intent of this project is to cleanup the site from still existing refuse, to dredge infilled portions lowering water levels along former wetland edges and to plant native marsh vegetation in several areas seeking to restore the wetland ecological function.
Info courtesy of SAM