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Thread: Boat Docks and Launches

  1. #1
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    Default Boat Docks and Launches

    Came across this while looking at the other River Valley Alliance projects.

    http://www.edmonton.ca/city_governme...and-docks.aspx

    This initiative will build on the river as a natural connection between municipalities by increasing options for water access, allowing travel along the river and supporting the regional park concept.
    Seven docks and three boat launches are being considered in the following locations:

    • Whitemud Park (dock and hand launch)
    • Laurier/Buena Vista Park (dock)
    • William Hawrelak Park (dock)
    • Emily Murphy Park (dock and hand launch)
    • Rossdale (dock)
    • Dawson Park (dock)
    • Capilano Park/50th Street (dock and refurbishment of existing vehicle launch )
    There are links to designs for each of the docks.

    Project Timeline

    • Concept design— spring 2015
    • Preliminary design completion—summer 2015
    • Construction start— anticipated fall 2015
    • Construction completion— 2016
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    That
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    Definitely noticing a lot more boats, jet skis, kayaks etc on the river so far this summer. It's good to see.

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    Great idea. They don't have to win any design awards. Just simple, durable recreational docks and launches.

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    While it is nice to see more river use, I am concerned about water contamination. These launches need to be staffed and monitored for proper boat etiquette. All it takes is one spill to cost us hundreds of thousands in water treatment.

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    ^almost no launch or dock is monitored per se... common sense.
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    I was going to say, how is the river any different than hundreds of other lakes, rivers and bodies of water in Alberta? None of those are monitoring every boat launched.

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    It isn't, and other bodies of water with heavily used launches have massive contamination problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    It isn't, and other bodies of water with heavily used launches have massive contamination problems.
    So then why only worry about the North Saskatchewan? Or are you advocating a massive new monitoring regime for all of the province's bodies of water? I haven't heard of any "massive contamination problems" in Alberta's well used recreation lakes, other than the Wabamun derailment. Excepting algae blooms, of course, but that has little or nothing to do with personal water craft.

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    ^^ The vehicle launch is at 50th street, below the water treatment intakes, and shallow water will still keep anything but jetboats from going up river past downtown.

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    ^^ Yes, massive monitoring regime. Alberta is just in the process of getting one going, actually. It is called the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting Agency, and it was created because we are getting into deep trouble with regard to the quality of our water supplies, air quality, and land contamination.

    It always amazes me how few people realize the precarious state of water supplies here. The sad part is that Alberta is actually in a better situation than most, and our situation is STILL terrifying.

    The really important thing about monitoring watersheds is protecting the health of our groundwater supplies. Currently, we get around 98% of our water from surface water supplies here. However, in the next 25 years that is going to change drastically due to changes in snowpack melt dates and precipitation.

    Currently, we have crap all for effective monitoring, evaluation, and protection of groundwater supplies. We need to get our act together to prepare for the future.

    ^ Watersheds don't magically become clean because stuff flows downstream.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 24-06-2015 at 03:24 PM.

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    ^ Not saying that pollution downstream isn't a problem, but if you really want to make a difference in the total amount of pollution coming from watercraft, you need to look at restricting the use of old 2-stroke outboards. 25% of the 50:1 gas-oil mix going into those things goes straight out the exhaust. Preventing the odd minor spill won't make much difference while these engines are still being used.

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    Scary. Uses like that are what terrify me about opening up more source water environments to recreational use. Especially ones that are the core of a massive watershed. Non-point pollution is scary stuff because you can't easily track when or where it happened, or find those responsible.

    Hence, back to the discussion at hand, I would really like to see some form of monitoring of these boat launches. Perhaps the city could get money kicked back from province if they inspect boats for aquatic invasive species at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone.

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    ^we also then need to inspect dogs before they jump in the river as well. Also birds, they carry disease sometimes. We can line the river with clean water inspectors to make sure it is completely pure for additional pollution during its travel through Edmonton (screw the fact that a ton of farming run off has already moved into it long before it reached edmonton, various boats and similar outside our jurisdiction, not to mention all the industry downstream, but heck, can make it no dirtier for those few kms)... You can take it a step further and put the inspectors at Walmart to lecture people when they buy inflatble boats they intend to enter the river with...
    Last edited by moahunter; 24-06-2015 at 04:01 PM.

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    Do dreissenid mussels grow on dogs? Don't think so. Don't think they leak heavy metals into our water supply either.

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    Places that have restricted older 2-stroke outboards have done so primarily for air quality, not water quality reasons. Light hydrocarbons that enter the water generally evaporate quickly and are not the major cause of aquatic pollution. Spilled gasoline will behave similarly.

    Old 2-stroke engines notwithstanding, I'm not sure the boats on Wabamun are generating a significant amount of pollution relative to the powerplants.

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    Petroleum products definitely do not just "evaporate away" without harm. Hydrocarbons in gasoline tend to evaporate, but gasoline spills are extremely hazardous in water supplies. They kill aquatic wildlife and contaminate drinking water supplies.

    I'll agree that other things are worse (ie uncontrolled stormwater runoff) here, but that doesn't mean this isn't a problem as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Petroleum products definitely do not just "evaporate away" without harm. Hydrocarbons in gasoline tend to evaporate, but gasoline spills are extremely hazardous in water supplies. They kill aquatic wildlife and contaminate drinking water supplies.

    I'll agree that other things are worse (ie uncontrolled stormwater runoff) here, but that doesn't mean this isn't a problem as well.
    Put it in perspective:

    Storm sewers in cities wash off contaminants from thousands of driveways, and commercial/industrial parking lots.

    People using the river are much more likely to be environmentally aware and concerned about avoiding direct spills into the river than the vast majority of people spilling things on their driveways, spraying herbicides, etc on their lawns...

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    Seven docks proposed for river valley to improve water access
    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...e-water-access

    A project to install docks and boat launches along the North Saskatchewan River aims to improve public access to the water.

    “The docks are intended … to give people a chance to see the river up close and touch the river,” said Larry Wall, executive director of the River Valley Alliance. He said the project will complement existing boat launches in Fort Saskatchewan and Devon to create a continuous water pathway.

    The $2-million project is funded through the River Valley Alliance and Building Canada Fund. It’s part of a larger push to develop the river valley — in 2013, the city received almost $73 million in funding from the provincial and federal governments.

    Seven docks and three launch sites are included in the environmental assessment report that will be presented to the city’s urban planning committee Nov. 2. If approved, the project will go to city council for review.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Sweet
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    I like the idea of the proposed docks but if we're going to do this up right and actually service something like this than there should be a shuttle bus going OPPOSITE river flow servicing some of the sites so that people can get BACK to their original tow vehicles which would be parked at Whitemud Park. or Laurier Park.
    Why not provide that service that does away with the headache 2 vehicle shuffle of first driving to the exit point, leaving vehicle there, than driving to launch site, then having to drive back etc. A shuttle eliminates all this and allows individuals that are not using two vehicles to do this excursion.
    Laurier should have a boat rental. Hopefully not outrageous prices but they have room there. Maybe even near where a Canoe club facility is. (Is it still there?)

    Next, at some downriver stop why not have a monitored station that sells the shuttle passes, provides storage until you pick up your craft, and sells merchandise as well. Theres money to be had that would potentially service the operations expense. No reason NOT to provide some type of shuttle/temp boat storage.

    Finally, as I've often stated duckboats. Perfect as most of the launch sites are tourist related facilities. Or some river cruise operator that can actually navigate the river. I've long talked to Fort Edmonton staff about even resurrecting a longboat type motorized craft that would be signature perfect.

    My ideas create more use, it eliminates barriers to use. Lets not do this half way.
    Last edited by Replacement; 31-10-2016 at 06:28 PM.
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    Nice idea. Maybe even resurrect the old water taxi idea from the Expo file?
    Onward and upward

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    I like the idea of the proposed docks but if we're going to do this up right and actually service something like this than there should be a shuttle bus going OPPOSITE river flow servicing some of the sites so that people can get BACK to their original tow vehicles which would be parked at Whitemud Park. or Laurier Park.
    Why not provide that service that does away with the headache 2 vehicle shuffle of first driving to the exit point, leaving vehicle there, than driving to launch site, then having to drive back etc. A shuttle eliminates all this and allows individuals that are not using two vehicles to do this excursion.
    Laurier should have a boat rental. Hopefully not outrageous prices but they have room there. Maybe even near where a Canoe club facility is. (Is it still there?)

    Next, at some downriver stop why not have a monitored station that sells the shuttle passes, provides storage until you pick up your craft, and sells merchandise as well. Theres money to be had that would potentially service the operations expense. No reason NOT to provide some type of shuttle/temp boat storage.

    Finally, as I've often stated duckboats. Perfect as most of the launch sites are tourist related facilities. Or some river cruise operator that can actually navigate the river. I've long talked to Fort Edmonton staff about even resurrecting a longboat type motorized craft that would be signature perfect.

    My ideas create more use, it eliminates barriers to use. Lets not do this half way.
    Something's wrong. We agree on something.

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  24. #24

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    Its worked well in other jurisdictions. May as well do it here. As well a lot of resources is already in place. For instance a ton of Canoes, trailers, infrastructure located at Hermitage park. 99% of Edmontonians probably don't even know that Canoe facility exists or that its plunked out there virtually hidden.

    Meanwhile we have no canoe rental operation on the river that I am aware of.

    Water Taxi's are a bit more pricey and operators would state the climate does not allow for this as much and yet Winnipeg has several variations of operators on their rivers. With worse climate and with arguably worse river conditions. (Water levels often too high)
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement
    Meanwhile we have no canoe rental operation on the river that I am aware of.


    Well, there's Canoeheads:
    http://www.canoeheads.com/

    That's primarily for Devon -> Laurier park, though. Overall I agree with you. I'd definitely go for a paddle from say Terwillegar (or Laurier) to Rundle/Goldbar a few times a summer if the logistics were handled by some sort of rental/shuttle service. I've only ever been as far as Laurier Park on the actual river in Edmonton, because that's been convenient with Canoeheads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Its worked well in other jurisdictions. May as well do it here. As well a lot of resources is already in place. For instance a ton of Canoes, trailers, infrastructure located at Hermitage park. 99% of Edmontonians probably don't even know that Canoe facility exists or that its plunked out there virtually hidden.

    Meanwhile we have no canoe rental operation on the river that I am aware of.

    Water Taxi's are a bit more pricey and operators would state the climate does not allow for this as much and yet Winnipeg has several variations of operators on their rivers. With worse climate and with arguably worse river conditions. (Water levels often too high)
    There is Canoeheads, however they're more renting for trips than casual.

    http://www.canoeheads.com

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