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Environmental problems on way to being fixed in Bay of Quinte

By Michelle Poirier [1]

BELLEVILLE – There is good news for the Bay of Quinte as two of the 11 environmental issues in the bay are on their way to being removed from the impaired list.

Fish tumours and other deformities [2] and restrictions on dredging activities [3] are the two issues that the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan [4] is looking to get removed from the impaired list. The impaired list refers to a list of the environmental concerns in the Bay of Quinte. And the public will play a part in getting them removed from the list. 

The staff of the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan have posted reports [4] on the two issues and have asked the public to read the reports and complete a redesignation survey [5] by Feb. 8 stating whether or not you agree with removing the issues from the impaired list.

“The fish tumours and other deformities needed more scientific research done on it and we did a very lengthy and detailed study,” said Sarah Midlane-Jones, who is in charge of communications at Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan. “The results of that study showed that fish tumours and other deformities were no longer a concern in the Bay of Quinte. And the dredging environmental challenge, that one, there are now federal and provincial regulations and guidelines in place for all dredging activities … Back in the day when the Remedial Action Plan was developed there weren’t these strict rules and regulations that there are today.”

The Bay of Quinte was designated as an area of concern in 1985 by the International Joint Commission [6], Canada and the United States’ mandate to protect shared waters. The Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan was created as a response to this designation by the government, industry and the local community to help find solutions for these concerns.

The rest of the impaired list includes: restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption, degradation of fish and wildlife populations, degradation of benthos, eutrophication or undesirable algae, restrictions on drinking water or taste and odour problems, beach closures, degradation of aesthetics, degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations and loss of fish and wildlife population, according to the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan

Once the rest of the list goes through the same process as the two issues up for redesignation then the Bay of Quinte can be taken off the Great Lakes Area of Concern List [7], Midlane-Jones said.

The environmental issues in the Bay of Quinte are due to excess nutrients, persistent toxic contamination, bacterial contamination and the loss or destruction of fish and wildlife habitat, according to the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan