Lagoon action wanted

Some Kalavista neighbours fear bureaucracy could end up drying up the local lagoon.

Some Kalavista neighbours fear bureaucracy could end up drying up the local lagoon.

The Kalavista Lagoon has been battling deterioration over the years and despite aeration, additional measures were being sought to keep the natural habitat healthy.

Local residents believed that a new water licence was being sought to pump water from Kalamalka Lake into the lagoon.

But they recently learned that Greater Vernon Water will not approve such activity due to concerns about the impact on drinking water since the north end of the lake is an intake location.

“There’s been several years of work that’s gone into the lagoon,” said Kalavista Drive resident Rob McKay. “It was quite shocking to see that nothing’s being done.”

Along with being home to an endangered species of turtle, McKay says the lagoon also houses a number of recreational activities such as paddleboating, kayaking and paddleboarding.

“To lose it would be significant and detrimental.”

Without fresh water being pumped into the lagoon, McKay says it’s only a matter of time before the lagoon becomes stagnant.

“We have to turn it around,” said McKay, who has even offered to donate the pump. “This is a ticking time bomb.”

Nearby resident Norm Hladun agrees.

“The area’s going to become a nightmare. Nobody’s going to visit and take pictures of a stinking swamp.”

There is a small canal leading into the lagoon, but sand build-up has nearly blocked it off.

Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick said there are plans to fix the build-up, pending approval from the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans.

“It is getting dredged,” said Garlick.

Following the concerns raised by neighbours, Coldstream is referring the issue back to Greater Vernon Water for discussion.

The lagoon also neighbours the Kalavista boat launch, which McKay and Hladun agree would suffer with the loss of the lagoon.