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May. 28, 2022 | Saturday
Local News
Chautauqua residents want Ryerson beach water tested
A dog swims back with a frisbee in its mouth at Ryerson Park beach in Chautauqua. (Richard Harley/Niagara Now)

Chautauqua residents want the beach water at Ryerson Park tested regularly by the Region of Niagara.

The beach at the west end of Niagara Boulevard attracts swimmers, kayakers and dog owners letting their pooches cool off most days each summer. In the wake of E. coli problems in other areas in town, some residents see water-quality testing as crucial.

At the annual meeting of the Chautauqua Residents Association on Monday, president John Gleddie said the region has said testing is too expensive to do regularly, despite implementing testing for a short period in 2018.

The issue also sparked some discussion about the town’s sewer problems and the potential of E. coli in the lake water. High fecal levels have been found in Two Mile Creek, which meets the lake not far from the Ryerson Park beach.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero — who made an appearance at the meeting to address questions from residents of the neighbourhood — said she plans to bring a motion to town council to ask the region for proper monitoring of the beach. 

Niagara-on-the-Lake regional councillor Gary Zalepa was also on hand and said he would find out how much it actually costs for a water-quality test.

Other issues discussed at the meeting included: a bush at the end of Shakespeare Avenue, which members said has been obstructing views of the lakeside for a decade; the potential of once again having access to an area of the old Mississauga beach shoreline that is currently not easily accessible to the public; tourist traffic on residential roads; an improperly placed turning sign; fig buttercups consuming backyards; a growing concern with invading cormorants damaging natural habitats; and discussions about the neighbourhood tree plan.

The tree plan is progressing, with about 150 Chautauqua seedlings being nurtured at Niagara College, set to return to the neighbourhood in three to four years.

With regards to beach access, association members said they recall a legal agreement with the owner of the lakefront property on Shakespeare Avenue that would allow public access to the beach if the National Defence lands were opened to the public.

Full disclosure: The author is a board member of the Chautauqua Residents’ Association.