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HRM to look at options to deal with invasive species in Little Albro Lake

The blue water surface of the lake has disappeared under a flowering plant called yellow floating heart, which has destroyed the native vegetation
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(stock photo)

Halifax Regional Council has asked for a staff report to look into the best way to deal with an invasive species in a Dartmouth lake.

The blue water surface of Little Albro Lake has disappeared under a flowering plant called yellow floating heart, which has destroyed the native vegetation.

"It grows so thick you can't swim, you can't boat. It creates a really great breeding ground for mosquitoes because it's nice stagnant water created by the big mass," explained the councillor for the area Sam Austin. "It's a real menace and it's taken over the lake."

Residents in the area have been dealing with the issue for over a decade and so far the problem has been contained, but Austin fears that could quickly change.

He told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show, the plant's seeds can cling to wildlife, which could cause yellow floating heart to easily spread to other nearby lakes, like Big Albro Lake, Lake Micmac and Lake Banook.

"The implications for recreation and for the environment are quite considerable ... I worry it's a question of when, not if, if we don't do something about it."

In an interview with HalifaxToday.ca earlier this year, Saint Mary's University biology professor Dr. Jeremy Lundholm said it took less than three years for yellow floating heart to blanket Little Albro Lake.

"It had been brought in by one of the landowners around the lake who was creating an aquatic garden behind their house or in the lake," explained Lundholm.

He added, despite being classified as an invasive species, it can be legally purchased at garden centres and online.

Austin said technically lakes are a provincial responsibility, but it's time for municipal staff to have a conversation with provincial staff to come up with a plan to deal with the issue.




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