World Oceans Day: Local Action Needed

The waters around our island are experiencing another push for industrialization. Freighters started anchoring at our island. Similar to a factory or refinery they are bringing industrial pollution - chronic engine and generator noise, lights, air and water pollution. More anchorages are expected and will affect more beaches and neighbourhoods. There is no protection in place for the shores and waters around Salt Spring Island. We need the completion of some framework like a National Marine Conservation Area, which has been in planning for years and years without results.

Freighters are now regularly anchoring at two sites right at Ganges Harbour, Chocolate Beach, Price Beach, Beddis Beach, and the north end of Ruckle Park.

These are not peacefully resting ships. They are a type of industrial expansion more like floating factories or refineries. Engines or massive generators are roaring 24/7. Noise, bright lights, and other pollution are worse than feared.

More anchorages for freighters and tankers are likely to be established around Salt Spring Island.

Noise, lights, and diesel fumes may become unbearable for many residents. Negative effects on human health are predicted even several kilometers away. Vessels are so close that nothing would stop a fuel or oil spill from reaching our shores. Slicks would be trapped in places like Ganges Harbour.

The rural and recreational character of our island is at risk. We may no longer remain a getaway destination.

This is not compatible with the mandate 'Protect and Preserve'. We are not a floating industrial port. We need to protect the water between the islands from large scale industrial expansion.

Transport Canada has not revealed any progress in changing port practices to stop this high use of anchorages in our area. The pilot project is expiring in August 2019. It is unclear if they will extend the current situation or make it permanent.

Time is running out.

Please consider sending a letter to government and politicians before June 30th, asking them to act and help by solving port problems and by completing an effective framework to protect our surrounding waters.

See the website for more information and on how to act: https://protect-the-islands-sea.org

By Protect The Islands Sea

We are a grassroots group of Salt Spring residents who have become increasingly concerned and alarmed about the industrialization of the waters between our islands. We care about our island and the surrounding waters. We wish to keep this place special, and an oasis close to urban centres. If you would like to become involved, feel free to get in touch. p.s. We are not set up to do Facebook and are currently unable to respond to public comments or questions to articles. Please contact us directly, or through our website, for questions and feedback.

June 6, 2019 9:27 AM