Olde fishing hole
Bedeque Bay gets $277,000 from DFO to rebuild Summerside pond
The Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association (BBEMA) has secured a significant grant from the federal government to revitalize a trash-strewn pond and stream on Summerside’s west end.
The funding amounts to about $277,000 and is coming from a Department of Fisheries and Oceans program intended to enhance traditional fishing habitat.
Tracy Brown, executive director of the BBEMA, said Tuesday that the group was happy to receive the good news and will start making preparations to break ground.
The city of Summerside is also participating in the first phase of the project by moving up roadwork above the stream and replacing the culvert allowing water to move from the pond to Bedeque Bay. That work will start soon.
Summerside Mayor Bill Martin called the project “visionary,” Tuesday.
“Anytime you can take a portion of your city that, right now, basically breeds mosquitoes and turn it into a user-friendly, eco-friendly park … that’s pretty exciting,” said Martin.
BBEMA’s contractors are expected to start their work in August and will be tearing out the old, broken dam on the site, draining the pond and allowing engineers to find the original, natural stream bed.
Replacement of the dam, the installation of a new fish ladder and other remediation work on the site will not be completed until 2018.
The pond is off Notre Dame Street, near the intersection with Greenwood Drive. Many years ago it was the community’s source of freshwater ice in the winter and a popular fishing hole in the summer.
However, the pond has deteriorated over the years and is currently full of trash and overgrown with problematic plants.
Once the work is done, Brown said the area will become an attractive freshwater habitat for a variety of species and, longterm, will become a prime angling area as well.
The entire project has a price tag of about $1 million.
Tracy Brown, executive director of the Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association, at the old ice pond on Notre Dame Street in Summerside. The association recently received a significant funding commitment from the federal government to help rehabilitate the property.
Shopping carts in a stream in Summerside’s west end.