/Letter to the Editor: March 2

Letter to the Editor: March 2

Support for the shoreline bylaw 

To the Editor,

On March 9, Haliburton County council will meet yet again to discuss the shoreline preservation bylaw that has been in the works for several years. The pandemic has made it even more important to protect what’s left of our natural shorelines as a real estate frenzy has taken over our county and pressure on our lakes has dramatically increased.

If adopted, the bylaw would regulate only an area measured 30 metres inland from the high water mark of a defined body of water. Development around lakes has resulted in the removal of trees, shrubs and other protective vegetation, and unnatural hardened shorelines. Native vegetation, with its deep root systems and natural duff layer, acts like a sponge to hold stormwater runoff and associated nutrients. Impervious surfaces result in more stormwater running directly into the lake. Stormwater runoff picks up non point source (NPS) pollutants like soil sediment, nutrients and chemicals that can be detrimental to lake water quality. NPS pollution that enters lakes affects the nutrient balance of the water and creates less vibrant and unhealthy bottom sediments. It can cover fish eggs and habitat as well. Maintenance and restoration of shoreline vegetation and revegetation allows native plants to fill in the shoreline area and will increase biodiversity, wildlife habitat and protect property values.

Opponents to the bylaw include those who gain financially in the short term from the presently unregulated lot landscaping practices which often result in long-term environmental degradation. Our councillors need to hear from people like you who understand the necessity of protecting our lakes from erosion, pollution and biodiversity loss through the nature-based solutions that native vegetation provides. Please either call or write to your local councillor, supporting adoption of the shoreline preservation bylaw, as soon as possible. Haliburton County’s amazing ecosystems will thank you!

John Gibb