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ACAP urges tough stance on Galway wetlands

["St. John's City Hall. — file photo"]
["St. John's City Hall. — file photo"]

Northeast Avalon Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) says St. John’s is doing the right thing by revising out-of-date wetlands mapping.   

ACAP is applauding the city for updating the 1993 Significant Waterways and Wetlands report.

Today, city council will vote to amend the St. John’s Development Regulations regarding the wetland area in Galway.

ACAP noted in a release that back in January the city rejected a controversial development proposal at the Anglican Synod Wetlands.

“We strongly support the proposed amendment. The Galway lands in question are at an important headwater for the South Brook/ Waterford River watersheds. In our 2014 report we identified a potential for a severe reduction in important and valuable wetland areas in Galway without designation and protection,” ACAP chairman Nick White said in a news release.

“The wetlands here provide a number of valuable natural services including providing habitat for wildlife, improving water quality, retaining floodwaters and storing carbon. The cost of replacing these services is enormous, as we’ve seen with expensive flood-proofing measures at Leary’s Brook.”

ACAP said in the proposed designation of these wetlands, the city has taken a proactive step in protecting them from unnecessary alteration or in-filling.

Furthermore, said ACAP, the wetlands are vulnerable without municipal intervention and there is no adequate provincial wetland designation or compensation policy.

“We are one of the only provinces in Canada without wetland policies in place. As such, municipalities should take precautions when considering development around any wetlands,” White said.

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