September 19, 2014
For immediate release
New environmental controls address long-standing erosion and sediment concerns
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
View details and
“It is great to see employees of the department working together with the West River Watershed Group on this important project,” said the minister. “The environmental controls will help stop the flow of sediment near the West River and help protect this natural area.”
The work will help prevent sediment flowing into the West River from the old Crosby Road. The clay road was once an important road through the area and was the main route to Charlottetown. Over years of grading, the roadbed sunk below the surrounding terrain, creating a ravine that slopes down towards the river.
Water from the surrounding land and road, as well as natural springs, flows down the ravine carrying fine clays with it and creating red water during intense rains. Clay sediment from the ravine has flowed into the West River, creating environmental concerns.
A large sediment pond traps and slows the flow of water and sediment at the top of the old road. Department engineers and crew members from the watershed group worked together to construct nine natural check dams, using logs and brush, across the old road leading to the river. These dams will help further stem the flow and trap sediment running down the road towards the river. Trees, ferns and wild flowers will be planted along the old road in the segments between the dams to further trap and slow any sediment.
Stabilizing the area was a recommendation of the Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Committee, which was endorsed by the department.
“This is a low-tech, low-cost solution to a chronic problem which we hope will ultimately eliminate red-water events at this site,” says watershed coordinator Megan Harris. “We will monitor the capture of sediment here over the next year and, if we are successful, this simple method has the potential for wider application where there is trenching and erosion from clay roads and fields at other sites across the Island.”