Public Safety is a priority for Parks Canada and the sustainability of earth dams is an integral part of flood mitigation in surrounding communities. As such, this work is being done as a part of a multi-year project to rehabilitate and strengthen earth dams in the Talbot area. The Talbot earth dams are located along the navigation channel between the Talbot Dam and Lock 41, near Gamebridge, Ontario.

Earth dams are vital for flood mitigation and therefore the safety of visitors, residents, and property. In order to rehabilitate and strengthen these dams, washouts will be repaired, dam height will be increased where necessary, and vegetation will be removed.

Phase one of this project began in November 2016, with the  removal of trees and shrubs from along the Talbot earth dams. This work will satisfy the Canadian Dam Association Guidelines for Dam Safety, with the goal of compliancy with international best practices. The roots of vegetation, like trees and shrubs, loosen the soil in an earth dam creating seepage paths that can lead to internal erosion and vulnerabilities in the embankment. Decaying or rotting roots also create such vulnerabilities in earth dams. Furthermore, trees pose a risk for dam failure should they be uprooted in a storm or succumb to disease. Vegetation also inhibits the ability to inspect the dams to identify problems and to complete works to further strengthen these dams where it has been deemed necessary.

Parks Canada has been recognized on the world stage as a leader in conservation. Care has been taken to consider and implement measures that will mitigate potential negative environmental impact on waterways, nesting areas, and other habitats. Resources have also been made available for planting trees at more suitable locations, as well as planting beneficial plants like milkweed and tall grasses at the dam sites.

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May 16, 2017 - Community Update: Talbot Area