Brydon Lagoon needs protection
Editor: I have written a letter to Langley City council about Brydon Lagoon:
Dear Mayor and Council:
We are writing regarding the fish kill at Brydon Lagoon. On the long weekend, there were thousands of fish who died, many who had partially or fully disintegrated in the water by the time that LEPS students were able to clean up the Lagoon the following week.
It is very important to have fish in the lagoon for migrating waterfowl who come from fall to spring each year, and for eagles, osprey, herons, etc. who are here year around. Without fish, the birds will have nothing to eat, as evident now as the eagles, herons, and osprey have all left since this took place.
City administrator Francis Cheung has said the City does not stock fish in there, yet if the City does not help with ensuring there are fish, there will be a loss of habitat for the migrating waterfowl and the other birds. The pond management report says “The Ministry of Environment considers this area a major flyway for migratory waterfowl moving between Boundary Bay and the agricultural lands of the Serpentine and Nicomekl River floodplains.”
What are some options to save the lagoon?
The lagoon is extremely shallow. The pond management studies from March 2013 state the shallow areas are 0.06 metre in depth and there is a maximum depth of 1.2 m in the centre. Currently the shallow areas are considerable less than this, at least in the areas that are easily visible from the shore. They may be just eigth inches deep.
We know that the option of dredging the lagoon is very expensive, but this could possibly be the only long-term solution towards saving the lagoon. The provincial government has contributed 50 per cent towards other lakes in the area that have gone with this option (Burnaby Lake, Southmere Village Pond in South Surrey, the plan for Beaver Lake in Stanley Park).
Cheung is quoted as saying the lagoon cannot be dredged due to the contaminants in it. However, a letter from Dhillan Consulting dated Aug. 13, 2012 states “There is little or no evidence that these silty clay and organic soils are contaminated with metals originating in urban runoff, as the overlying soft organics apparently are. If they are not, then the pond could, in principle, be deepened by excavation of these soils, without the necessity for off-site disposal or treatment at an approved facility.”
If this is accurate, it could be a considerable cost savings regarding dredging costs.
We are aware that Len Walters has been working on the broken aerators and fountains. The aerators have only been functioning approximately 25 per cent of the time this summer. They are fixed and only work a few days and stop again. The newest aerator that was recently replaced on the east side is extremely noisy. I’m not certain it would pass the City’s noise bylaw. Walters said when this aerator/fountain was replaced this year, the company was supposed the send the same aerator, but it is definitely not the same.
The lagoon needs proper aerators that are powerful enough for the entire lagoon to keep the water oxygenated. That might mean it needs more than the two that are presently there.
If you want the aerators to be pleasing to look at for pedestrians, the fountain type of aerator that is on the west side of the lagoon provides an aesthetically appealing look (and is not too noisy). The lagoon could have one fountain aerator for visual effect and other smaller aerators that are only for functional purposes. The aerators were never addressed in the pond management study, a major oversight.
Some of the solutions presented in the Dhillan Pond Study seem unreasonable for the future plans for the lagoon. In particular, the suggested “forebays” seem not to be feasible as far as a solution for the amount of park area around the Lagoon. Please don’t consider this as a possible solution.
Many more people are using the lagoon as a place to walk, take photographs, bike (you have to walk your bike directly around the lagoon), sit on the benches, feed waterfowl, and use their binoculars. The city has a spectacular trail system connected to the Nicomekl River pathway and into High Knoll Park in Surrey that we all can enjoy.
We hope you will consider adding to the funding necessary to keep Brydon Lagoon functioning well for our future.
Sandy and Kirby Hanawalt,