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A screenshot of city council’s agenda shows wetlands in the Southlands area of St. John’s. -COMPUTER SCREENSHOT

Canada - St. John’s council votes to protect city’s wetlands

St. John’s completed and adopted a a city-wide wetland study, identifying over 10,000 wetland components within the city, and then voted unanimously to protect all wetlands within watersheds, as well as within the Goulds environmentally valuable area, floodplains and areas remote to development.

For the first time since 1993, St. John’s has a city-wide wetland study, identifying over 10,000 wetland components within the city. That includes 1,790 bogs, 4,803 fens, 4,819 swamps, 1,341 marshes and 1,004 areas of open water within wetlands.

Mayor Danny Breen said it’s “very significant” to have the study completed because the city’s boundaries have changed drastically since 1993.“We’re developing in areas that years ago weren’t even considered,” he said.

Breen said it’s important the city has the most updated information when making such development decisions, some of which have been quite contentious, such as around development in the Synod wetlands. He said these are decisions that will need to be made, so it’s important to have correct information — “not to be talking about things that are conjecture, at times.”

The study was completed by C-CORE last year, and was done by remote sensing using satellite mapping.

The study was adopted by city council at its regular meeting on Monday, at which time councillors also voted unanimously to protect all wetlands within watersheds, as well as within the Goulds environmentally valuable area, floodplains and areas remote to development.

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