Dysart residents can assess shoreline health

By James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Dysart has developed a tool waterfront property owners could use to determine the health of their shoreline.
A shoreline lake health assessment was discussed throughout development of the Site Alteration Bylaw as an educational component. It’s implementation is now included in the revisions of the Septic Maintenance Inspection Program Bylaw.
Karl Korpela, Dysart’s chief building official, said public feedback was solicited by way of a questionnaire. One of the questions asked was how shoreline restoration could be encouraged.
“Which received many great ideas,” he said. “We took a few of those ideas and put them together to create the shoreline health assessment whereby properties will be created based on the current state in comparison with what is permitted in the Site Alteration Bylaw with respect to natural vegetation and erosion control.”
He said the assessment is for educational purposes only and there’s no requirement for property owners to restore their property.
These inspections will be performed in conjunction with the scheduled septic maintenance inspection and provide an opportunity to discuss lake health with the homeowners during the inspection.
The assessment will be done with the property owner and followed with a report card.
The assessment has a strong focus on the shoreline’s three-metre Ribbon of Life.
That’s the shoreline immediately at the water and is the last line of defense for the deep rooted vegetation to uptake excess nutrients.
Korpela said the goal is that homeowners with developed, excessively manicured lots will restore some of the natural vegetation to improve their assessment score.
Mayor Murray Fearrey suggested there be a means to keep track of property owners who expressed an interest in ensuring their shoreline’s health and who the township assists with information for that.
Korpela said that component could be added to the Septic Maintenance Inspection Program reports.
“We can definitely track that and use that information as we see fit in the future,” he said.