COLD LAKE - It was a close call but on May 19, the City of Cold Lake announced the Cold Lake Marina was officially open for the season.
Just a couple of days prior, the City had provided notice to boaters that environmental protection measures required by permits to dredge the Cold Lake Marina could delay the facility’s opening.
The City's intention when it began the process of dredging of the marina was to have the marina open by May long weekend.
“We strive to open the Cold Lake Marina by the May long weekend each year, but with the dredging having just been completed, we need to keep certain measures in place to ensure that silt and material disturbed by the dredging process is kept from flowing freely into the lake,” said Kevin Nagoya, CAO for the City of Cold Lake, through a statement released on May 17. “The environmental protection measures are an important part of this project. While we all want our boating season to start as soon as possible, we also need to ensure that the dredging operation does not negatively affect the health of the lake.”
Because material from the bottom of the lake was disturbed through the dredging process, suspending the material in water, silt screens that prevent the material from flowing freely into the main lake had been installed, according to information from the City. The screens had to stay in place until the material settled - the screens also prevented access to the marina until the right water quality was achieved in the marina basin.
The dredging is an important maintenance operation to keep the marina running for several more years, said Nagoya.
“It looks like the dredging was a success with several hundreds of tonnes of silt and material removed and, of course, silt in the water was to be expected with any dredging operation with all the underwater ground disturbance,” Nagoya explained.