By Jack Wilson
A culvert on St. Francis Street, near the Lennoxville Army Navy Air Force unit is quickly draining water from an adjacent wetland. Plants have shrivelled up and water is funneling out of the area.
The City of Sherbrooke’s website charts the area as a wetland, documented by Ducks Unlimited Canada and the provincial environment ministry.
In an emailed response to The Record’s inquiry, Sherbrooke spokesperson Cathy Beauséjour said the culvert isn’t new. Beavers had blocked the culvert, she said, meaning that “water risked passing underneath the road.” Beauséjour said the culvert was needed to lower the wetland’s water level. “No non-compliance was found,” she said.
The City trapped the wildlife in accordance with conservation rules, Beauséjour said. Sherbrooke will dismantle the beaver dam on the lot. The dead plants are an annual occurrence, she said, and will grow back this year.
According to Ducks Unlimited Canada, wetlands offer protection from flooding, drought and climate change. They provide clean water and habitats for wildlife. With as many as 70 per cent of Canadian wetlands already gone, drainage can present a significant threat to conservation and climate efforts.