Measuring the true value of healthy water and fish

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      Celia Brauer is a cofounder and staff member of the False Creek Watershed Society. This article was written with support and input from the Georgia Strait Alliance. If your group wishes to do storm drain marking in your area, call 311 in Vancouver and they will direct you to the correct city department.

      Comments

      4 Comments

      PJ

      Mar 16, 2013 at 1:31pm

      It is illegal to dump chemicals or other waste into public water ways,so why are these people not held accountable.
      Dear David Brower(USA).
      Have a look at VICTORIA the green city,Still DUMPING ALL ITS UNTREATED SEWAGE and WASTE water into our ocean a few miles out.Now why is there no one complaining to the joke called BCs Gov. Harper offered millions of dollars to build a plant but the citizens of Vic. did not want to pay the rest and yet tey claim they are green.

      Peter

      Mar 17, 2013 at 7:53am

      So give the fish and waterways the right to vote,like most possible voters only a third or less ever do,then they comlain about the outcome.
      As for polluting the water ways.Lets start with green Victoria that DUMPS All its RAW sewage ,and waste water into the ocean,as the citizens dont want to pay for a cleaning plant.Then you can deal with the other illegal dumpers,raise the fines,jail etc.

      Carolyn Knight

      Mar 17, 2013 at 5:57pm

      I know what watershed I live in:Bowker Creek watershed. It was once a coho stream, now stormwater drainage with (an impacted)public greenway amenity.
      And in other SVI watershed news, the miraculous Colquitz Creek, a Saanich coho stream used for stormwater run off, experiences frequent oil spills (from abandoned oil tanks, or tanks and lines in poor repair). In late 2012, BC Hydro claimed that the fouling, toxic PCB-laden line fluid leaking into Colquitz Creek during the spawning season, was in fact no culprit to the returning salmon. I can tell you that walking this spill site with a registered biologist, and local stream stewards, the fouling odour from the Hydro spill was noxious enough that we all experienced raging headaches.The Colquitz salmon stopped their journey upstream and detoured and headed to nearby Craigflower Creek (both streams feed into Portage Inlet, leading to Gorge Waterway, out through Victoria Inner Harbour, into Juan de Fuca Straight). So, along with the awaited sewage treatment system, there in NO fully integrated stormwater treatment system built to process stormwater in the Capital Regional District. There is, however, the Bowker Creek Blueprint - a 100 year plan to restore the watershed, which is endorsed by the 3 municipal governments through which the creek flows - Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay. This blueprint could help. Today, the Times Colonist caught up with the BC Hydro debacle; Hydro's response is to remove riparian vegetation (including Garry Oak tree, Fir tree, shrubs) a few metres from a juvenile coho nesting site, and pour metres & metres of shotcrete to pin rebar into the creek bank. No departmental staff oppose this *fix* (argument being Hydro must stabilize the stream bank). Until local governments adopt other strategies to protect built infrastructure - despite magnificent returns of fish to Still Creek, and the opportunistic plan that the Bowker Creek Blueprint can provide in LID - we will continue on this uneducated path to the destruction of habitat and clean water. Here is the link to Times Colonist article RE Hydro pumping concrete onto riparian area: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/spray-concrete-shores-up-colquit...

      Calls to municipal departments can help, but it's going to take an integrated strategy to ensure we don't foul creeks that flow into the marine eco-system.

      Carolyn Knight

      Mar 18, 2013 at 10:17am

      The CRD (Capital Regional District) is in the process of building a landbased sewage treatment plant, on a spectacular piece of waterfront land,at the entranceway to the capital city's Inner Harbour, in Esquimalt. This plant WILL be built. The concerns of some people are that although it is a necessary system to build, we wanted to see an innovative plant to extract energy and offer other offset benefits; a de-centralized system that created lower impacts to land and marine environments; that did not pipe the concentrated kack kilometres away (costing big bucks to build all the underground infrastructure required), that STILL does not treat polluted stormwater carrying roadway runoff, a serious issue for marine environments. SO, it's not that "Victoria" is refusing to build a sewage treatment plant - most Victorians want plant the built - some of us question HOW < WHERE> and WHAT the plant will treat.
      Along with marine animals and fish being effected by anti-depressants, hair dye, anti-bacterial soaps and cleaning products entering the sewage system, what about the plethora of roadway chemicals also entering the oceans? How about smaller, "offgrid" systems that filter and treat pollutants?
      Artist Patricia Johanson has already devised strategies for civic sewage and stormwater. "...Johanson's designs for a wetlands walk that would also connect with the city's popular Shollenberger Park (first created as a site for dredging spoils) galvanized the Petaluma community to get behind a more sustainable design for the new sewer plant and led to the ongoing creation of the adjoining wetlands park." To read the article http://patriciajohanson.com/archive/metroactive-01-2006.html

      How about we use eco-system based design for large public infrastructure? How come we "settle" for old school design when MANY innovators worldwide have achieved the goals AND provided inspiration to solve problems?
      I rant therefore I am.