LICO planning drainage project tour
May 24, 2013 – LICO is planning a summer tour to view the major drainage works project being conducted in the Holland Marsh, north of Toronto, Ont, on Monday, July 15.
The tour will be done by bus, which will pick up the participants at 10 a.m. at the commuter parking lot, southwest corner of Hwy 400 and 9, and travel through the Holland Marsh lands with commentary by Frank Yonkman, drainage superintendent for Town of Bradford, West Gwillimbury. Lunch will be provided. The bus will return to the parking lot by 3 p.m. The cost of the tour is $40.
The Holland Marsh is a 23,000 acre polder that was drained and cleared for farming over 100 years ago. Since that time it has been a major source of vegetables for the Toronto market. The last major upgrade of the drainage works followed the major flooding caused by Hurricane Hazel (1954). Over time the canals have silted in and today are unlikely to be able to contain a 25 year event storm. Furthermore, there is a concern over road safety where a number of traffic deaths have been due to the close proximity of the roads to the canals.
The Holland Marsh Drainage System Canal Improvement Project is the largest drainage project in Ontario being done under the Drainage Act. The 28 kilometres of existing canal will either be fully relocated or widened and deepened. Construction began in 2010 and is likely to be completed this year, three years ahead of schedule.
The new canal system will have many environmental features: littoral shelves, varying gravel substrates, root masses and tree trunk placement all to improve fish and turtle habitat and tree and grass plantings where the canals have been moved. Once the project is complete there will be a measurable improvement to the habitat.
To attend this event, e-mail Franklin Kains, LICO Conference Co-ordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 519-742-4591.