If re-elected, the BC NDPs have promised funding to tackle toxicity in Elk and Beaver Lake, popular swimming and rowing spots for Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photos)

If re-elected, the BC NDPs have promised funding to tackle toxicity in Elk and Beaver Lake, popular swimming and rowing spots for Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photos)

ELECTION 2020: NDP promises funding to tackle Elk and Beaver Lake algae blooms

BC NDP claims it would provide $750,000 to reduce toxic outbreaks in two Greater Victoria lakes

A few weeks out from a snap election, the BC NDPs says if it’s re-elected, the party would deliver $750,000 to help reduce toxic outbreaks in Elk and Beaver lakes.

Both lakes have frequent outbreaks of toxic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae bloom, bacteria harmful to humans and lethal for dogs. Those outbreaks make the lakes unusable for swimming and leisure and can have harmful impacts on wildlife habitats.

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“These lakes are a treasure for our communities, our province and our country – we need to keep these waters clean, safe and enjoyable for everyone,” said Lana Popham, NDP Saanich South candidate. “These lakes are loved and shared by so many people for so many reasons.”

In August 2018, the Capital Regional District (CRD) released a report identifying an oxidation technology to help increase oxygen levels in the lake and restrict the likelihood of toxic blooms.

The NDP say they would share the cost of that technology with the CRD.

In a statement, Jamie Disbrow, coordinator of the Beaver Elk Lake Environmental Stewards said the group would welcome the funding.

“Increased oxygen is understood to be one of the key pieces to improving the water quality for the benefit of aquatic species and continued recreational uses,” Disbrow stated. “Our combined resources and energy are needed to support these lakes and the diversity of values they sustain.”

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