Sandy Lake is a small lake with a more fragile ecosystem than most. For example, the lake takes 4 to 6 months to “flush” itself (depending on the research study referenced) so it is vulnerable to pollutant build-up. Dr. Patriquin’s research on water quality of the lake notes a signal (from the O2) of excess organic inputs from urbanization.
Approximately 900 acres of forest to the west and northwest of Sandy Lake are slated for housing development. This is the primary watershed area. It is from this side that most of the surface water enters the system. There is already dirty water entering there. Damaging organics and salts need to be reversed rather than added to. Since the 1970s, aquatic studies point to deterioration in oxygenation and increased salt loading of Sandy Lake related to urbanization and some clearcutting. Significant further settlement within the Sandy Lake watershed would make the lake inhospitable to the migratory fish, reduce wildlife diversity, as well as increase flooding downstream in the Sackville River flood plain.
For more detail on this watershed go to: Historical Summary of Sandy Lake Watershed.
The Sandy Lake Conservation Association (SLCA) has serious concerns and questions about the Sandy Lake Watershed Study – Final Report (AECOM 2014) that we believe must be addressed before the document is accepted by HRM and before any form of development can be allowed in the Sandy Lake (Bedford) watershed.
A summary of our response to the watershed study can be found below. The entire response with attachments can be found by clicking here.
See “In a Nutshell, why we need to protect the lands on the west side of Sandy Lake.” In a Nutshell
Natural beach on the west shore of Sandy Lake
Organic matter clogging stream entrance at west of Sandy Lake three years after the 300 acre clear cut