Opinion

EDITORIAL: Kalavista lagoon requires input

<p>Western painted turtles sun themselves on a log in the Kalavista lagoon in Coldstream. (Carla Hunt photo)</p> -

Western painted turtles sun themselves on a log in the Kalavista lagoon in Coldstream. (Carla Hunt photo)

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There's absolutely no question that something needs to be done with Coldstream's lagoon on Kalavista Drive.

A foul odour is common and high nutrient levels and coliform bacteria were identified in 2008.

So Coldstream council deserves significant praise for investigating the options for possible rehabilitation.

Rising to the top for some council members is developing a wetland, and that isn't surprising as such a feature would not only address water quality but it would create natural habit for turtles and other species while providing nature enthusiasts with an amenity close at hand.

However, we must remember that the lagoon is in the midst of a well established neighbourhood and any changes will impact those living next door.

"We need to know if residents want a wetland or a lagoon," neighbour Flo Ryan told Coldstream council Tuesday.

Now district staff and consultants have been directed to investigate the feasibility of a lagoon further as well as two other options that would create water flow in the lagoon.

But as this process occurs, Coldstream council should be proactive and bring the Kalavista Drive residents together to determine what concerns may exist about a wetland or if they support the lagoon evolving into a more natural area. As part of these discussions, the North Okanagan Naturalists Club and the Allan Brooks Nature Centre could also be asked to provide input.

The other options will largely leave the lagoon as is but a wetland could have a positive and negative influence on the neighbourhood and that requires more study.

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