03/04/2020 – The Tekakwitha Island and Bay Restoration (formerly called Recreation Bay Restoration) project is moving forward, and construction will start in 2020. Earlier in the year KEPO began the open bidding process to select a contractor to carry out the construction works and reviewed three bids. Local contractor Rice Mohawk Landscaping was successful with a bid of $3,283,474. RML working with MJ Excavation has assembled a team of subcontractors to handle the large scale and diverse needs for this project. KEPO is also working with a restoration consultant, GEO Morphix Ltd.,who will be providing project oversight support.
The project began when community members began to grow concerned for the low water flow in the bay and the growth of aquatic plants. This made paddling and other activities in the bay nearly impossible as it was so difficult to navigate. KEPO has been studying these issue for several years and in 2018 a comprehensive study was completed on the Bay which identified areas where improvements could be made. Now, with funding secured and a contractor selected construction on the project can move forward and begin to address these concerns.
Works will include:
· Dredging a 40m wide by 433m long channel in the shoal area of the bay. By dredging a channel instead of the whole bay, we can improve water flow in the bay while reducing costs and impacts to wildlife. Aquatic plants in the bay will also be removed and will need to be periodically harvested to ensure the bay is clear. Plant material will be mixed with the dredged sediment and reused for earthworks on the island or composted at the Transfer Depot.
· Two new natural zones will be created on the island; a marsh and linear pond, and a turtle nesting ground. These zones will naturalize the rocky shoreline of the island, improving access for wildlife. Building these zones will also bring a diversity of habitats by changing the topography and the addition of a wetland. This will improve the habitat for the species already on the island and will attract more wildlife to the area.
· A range of smaller improvements will be made for the wildlife and people who use Recreation Bay. Access points to the water, fire pit areas, benches, and a beach will allow community members to enjoy Recreation Bay while reducing our impacts on the environment. The removal of invasive species and replacement with native vegetation, storm sewer naturalization, and a variety of habitat improvements are aimed at reducing human impacts and promoting wildlife.
KEPO will be on-site throughout the construction process and we will be providing regular updates as the project moves forward. We are working with the COVID-19 Taskforce to determine when work can safely begin without additional risk to the community or the workers. For more information on the Recreation Bay Restoration Project please visit the or to provide feedback contact us at Patrick.Ragaz@mck.ca