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Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan :: Healthy Bay, Healthy Community

Beneficial Use Impairment #11

BUI #11 - Degradation of aesthetics

Status - Undergoing further analysis  

In the Stage 1 report, that outlined the environmental problems facing the Bay of Quinte, this BUI was indentified as impaired due to excess algae. The criteria established for this BUI was related to reducing excess algae, which would improve water clarity.

Water clarity is measured using a Secchi disk, which is a circular metal plate with alternating black and white quadrants used to estimate the depth of visibility in a water column. A greater depth of Secchi disk visibility implies increased aesthetics quality due to higher visibility into the water column. 

The Bay of Quinte is currently meeting the required criteria.

Criteria and Supporting Evidence

1. Measure a seasonal mean secchi disk of 1.3 metres with an anticipated summer secchi disk of 1.0 metres. Achieved

Status Report - Degradation of Aesthetics

However, it was noted that the Bay of Quinte RAP restoration target and measure did not align with the IJC’s original intent for the Aesthetics BUI which was to identify the following impacts that adversely affect the “aesthetics” as a beneficial use in the AOC:

  • Unnatural/man-made impacts; and
  • Near-shore impacts

In 2018, the BUI criteria was revised to address the original intent of the BUI.

New Target:

Nearshore surface waters of the Bay of Quinte are free of any substance due to human activity that produces a persistent objectionable deposit, unnatural colour or turbidity or unnatural odour (for instance, oil slick or surface scum).

Monitoring staff collect data for man-made issues related to: water colour, clarity, odour and debris.

 The Bay is currently scored at 9.5 or Excellent. A second year of monitoring is underway.

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