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What are the potential project impacts on fish and wildlife at Whitby Harbour?

Release date: March 2023
Infographic: What are the potential project impacts on fish and wildlife at Whitby Harbour?
Description: Description: Whitby Harbour remediation project

What are the potential impacts on fish and wildlife?

Whitby Harbour needs to be cleaned up (remediated) to reduce potential risks associated with contaminated sediment. Impacted materials will be removed through hydraulic dredging to reduce the overall levels of contamination within the harbour. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to minimizing potential impacts to fish and wildlife resulting from the Whitby Harbour Remediation Project. As such, we will be implementing protection(mitigation) measures to reduce the potential effects on the environment

While the cleanup has the potential to cause short-term negative impacts on animals that live in the harbour, the overall result will be improved habitat for local fish and wildlife. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is also considering potential opportunities to create and enhance habitat, as well as incorporate climate change considerations into the design.

What are the primary risks to fish and wildlife as a result of the project activities?

Without the proper safeguards in place, the project activities have the potential to:

  •  disrupt sensitive life stages,
  • disturb aquatic and terrestrial habitat,
  • release sediments and other potentially harmful substances into the water, and
  • disrupt the flow of water and fish passage between Pringle Creek and the harbour.

Many mitigation measures will be put in place to protect fish and wildlife against these potential risks, including:

  • controlling sediment dispersal during dredging by isolating the work zone,
  • avoiding the release of extra sediment into the harbour through the use of erosion and sediment control measures,
  • avoiding disturbing sensitive life stages for the fish and wildlife at the site, and
  • monitoring water quality in the harbour before, during and after construction is complete.

We encourage members of the public to submit questions and comments to the Project Team by email, phone, or mail.

Please contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada:

Phone: 1-833-551-2702
Mail : Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
Whitby Harbour Project
520 Exmouth Street, Sarnia, ON, N7T 8B1

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