Nova Scotia

Pilot project to remove invasive plant in Dartmouth lake to begin soon

A pilot project to remove an invasive plant from Little Albro Lake is set to run from May to October.

Yellow floating heart began spreading at Little Albro Lake in 2008

Yellow floating heart carpets almost all of Little Albro Lake. (Elizabeth Chiu/CBC)

The Halifax region has teamed up with a group of researchers at Dalhousie University to tackle an invasive plant species in north-end Dartmouth.

A pilot project involving yellow floating heart in Little Albro Lake will take place between May and October.

Sam Austin, the councillor for the area, said the aggressive plant began spreading in the lake in 2008 and has "basically taken over" at this point.

Austin said he's concerned about the plant getting into other lakes in Dartmouth.

"It would just be a disaster," he said. "We're just lucky that Little Albro drains towards the harbour."

Austin said the plant could spread by attaching itself to pets or wildlife.

Yellow floating heart at Little Albro Lake in Dartmouth, N.S. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

Work is expected to begin Monday on the pilot project. It will involve laying down benthic mats — barriers that prevent the growth of aquatic plants — at the bottom of the lake in two areas near public access points.

"They work by basically blocking out sunlight," said Prof. Rob Jamieson, a researcher with Dalhousie's Water Resource Centre. "We'll be going out every couple of weeks and taking overhead pictures."

Divers will inspect the mats once a month, and the lake's water quality will be monitored throughout the summer. More sampling will be done in the fall once the mats are taken out of the lake to assess how they affected the sediment.

The test sites will be marked with buoys. Municipal officials are asking anyone who uses the lake to avoid the areas.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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