Hemlock Wooly Adelgid now in the Halifax area 11Aug2023

UPDATE Aug 16, 2023:
Forest ecologist, Donna Crossland, explains the significance of the discovery of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid – or HWA – in Bedford, NS (Audio)
CBC Maritime Noon

Subject: HWA Working Group – HWA Detection in Nova Scotia
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2023
From: Neville, Ron (CFIA/ACIA)
Hi there,

We wanted to pass along the following HWA update from Sherry Lynn Kelly, the CFIA Director of Operations for Nova Scotia.
Good Afternoon,

In early August, the CFIA received a report of a suspected Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) infestation on a home owner’s property in Bedford, Nova Scotia. The resulting laboratory analysis of samples taken by CFIA during follow-up has confirmed the presences HWA. The is the first confirmed detection of HWA in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The affected property has been placed under regulatory control and additional surveys in the surrounding area will take place in the coming weeks to better characterize the population. Continue reading

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New Date for Public input regarding Bedford West subareas 12 & 1 (within Sandy Lake watershed): Wed Aug 16, 2023

From HRM Planner Dalih Salih:

“The new date for the public open house will be on Wednesday, August 16th, at the BMO Centre (61 Gary Martin Drive) where we will have 2 sessions. The afternoon session will take place between 2pm and 5pm, and the evening session will be between 7pm and 9pm. The website for the case (www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/bedford-west) has been updated with the new date, and area residents will receive a mailout notification of the updated date by next week. Also, the new date for the meeting will be advertised through social media.

“Please note that myself and HRM Planners will be collecting feedback through 1-on-1 conversations during the drop-in sessions, and a formal presentation will not provided as we would like to have a dialogue with attendees. The sessions will provide the same information, so feel free to attend a session at the time of your choosing. Registration is not required. Another method of collecting feedback will be through receiving written feedback that can be sent directly to me by Friday, August 18th.”

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“Here’s what Halifax wants you to know about blue green algae” 28Jul2023

That’s the title of an article in the Halifax Examiner by Zane Woodford, July 28, 2023.

The article describes what to look out for, how to distinguish BGA (Blue-green algae) from pollen or even an oil spill. “The difference is that the blue green algae is under water too, whereas pollen and oil sit on the surface.” It’s a very informative article, telling us, for example, the differences between algal blooms and benthic mats of BGA that can coat the bottom – it’s the latter that have been associated with death of dogs. Continue reading

Posted in Recreation, Sandy Lake, Water Quality, watershed | Leave a comment

Regarding Case 23307 – Bedford West subareas 12 & 1 Special Planning Area 25Jul2023

Top: View of Northern edge of a large wetland in Bedford West subarea 12; it lies on a headwater stream for Sandy Lake.  Bottom:  Google map of the area Click on image for larger version

Initial Comments  in reference to the request for public feedback on Case 23307 – Bedford West subareas 12 & 1 Special Planning Area. I have spent some time in this area as a retired Biology Prof/naturalist looking at the landscape and wetlands, and making some measurements of salt content of the surface waters in relation to a broader assessment of the state of Sandy Lake and Environs begun in 2017 and ongoing as reported at www.versicolor.ca/sandylakebedford. My observations are made in support of the broad objectives of the Sandy Lake-Sackville River Regional Park Coalition, and of the Sandy Lake Conservation Association but are conducted and reported entirely independently of those organizations.
David Patriquin

I  submitted these comments to Dalih Salih, Senior Planner, HRM, cc to Kevin Neatt  (V.P., Clayton Developments), NW Community Council, Sandy Lake Conservation Association, Sackville Rivers Association. View
Covering Letter

For Brevity, I refer to Bedford West subareas 12 & 1 as  “BW12&1”

Some important features of  BW12&1 and just downstream:  Continue reading

Posted in climate Warming, Conservation, Regional Plan, Sandy Lake, Water Quality, watershed | Leave a comment

Public input sought Wed July 26 regarding Bedford West subareas 12 & 1 (within Sandy Lake watershed) 24Jul2023

UPDATE: “ – Public Open House is Postponed. Please note that due to the ongoing storm recovery, the Public Open House will be rescheduled to another day in the near future. We will update this page once a date is confirmed.”

Original Post

From the announcement at www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/bedford-west:

Read more of the  HRM announcement at www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/bedford-west

Posted in Sandy Lake, Water Quality, watershed | Leave a comment

“Wastewater Pump Station – Sandy Lake, Bedford Until further notice there is no recreational activity in Sandy Lake, Bedford” 23July2023

Continue reading

Posted in Recreation, Sandy Lake, Water Quality, watershed | Leave a comment

Beach at Sandy Lake (Bedford, NS) closed due to high bacteria levels 13Jul2023

Update ug 2, 2023: E. coli results from the Beach Monitoring program at Sandy Lake indicate very low levels of E . coli at 5 locations across Sandy Lake Beach, ranging from ‘Non-detect to 4.0 CFU/100ml. Samples were taken on Monday, July 31st at just before 12noon…As a result, Sandy Lake Beach has been re-opened to swimming.
Update 17Jul2023: HRM Public Service Announcement
“The Halifax Regional Municipality is advising residents that Sandy Lake Beach in Bedford has reopened to swimming.
Sandy Lake Beach is a supervised beach. Municipal staff regularly test the water quality at all supervised municipal beaches, as well as two unsupervised beaches, during the summer months.
Previous test results showed high bacteria levels in the water, but follow-up tests now show the water is once again safe, in accordance with Health Canada guidelines.”

Continue reading

Posted in climate Warming, Water Quality, watershed | Leave a comment

Art Meets Nature and Activism at Sandy Lake – art show opens Thursday July 13th, 2023 !

Sandy Lake at Peverill’s Brook, by Jeremy Vaughan. Click on image for larger version.

A wonderful collective of artists has been creating works based on their experiences at Sandy Lake Regional Park.

Their gorgeous paintings and drawings will form part of a 2-week long art show at Second Gallery (Upstairs at 6301 Quinpool Road, Halifax), called “Sanctuary – Save Sandy Lake.”

The show opening is on Thursday, July 13, from 6 pm to 8 pm and ALL are invited (so is everyone you know). It  runs for 2 weeks.

Read more about the artists’ inspiration and how it relates to the campaign to save critical lands – including important wildlife corridors connecting the mainland and lands of the Chebucto Peninsula – and protect Sandy Lake in the press release about the show. Continue reading

Posted in Biophilia, Conservation, Talks & Walks | Leave a comment

Sat Jul 15, 2023: Hemlock Treatment Demonstrations Day

Eastern Hemlock is a prominent component of the forests around Sandy Lake; some trees are over 200 years old.

Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, aka the Hemlock Vampire, “can cause defoliation, twig dieback and mortality in as few as 4 to 10 years, though it can take up to 20 years”.  It was discovered in SW Nova Scotia in 2017 and has been progressing northeast. There are no reports of it yet in Halifax County, but it’s pretty likely it will make its way here eventually.

Individual Hemlock trees can be protected by treatment with systemic insecticides.  That’s not very practical for protecting  large stands but it is being applied on a few larger stands such as the Old Growth hemlock at Sporting Lake by ecologists with the intention of saving a few mostly intact systems in the event that the pest sweeps the province before better methods  of control  (not involving use of toxic pesticides) are developed. Continue reading

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Halifax seeking “Naturalization Coordinator” 8Jul2023

Having a ‘Naturalization Coordinator’ for HRM is a  welcome initiative, but it should be coupled with a commitment, wherever and whenever possible, to place new developments on sites that are already ecologically degraded. Continue reading

Posted in Conservation, Halifax Green Network, Regional Park proposal, Regional Plan | Leave a comment