Reply To: Are You Engaged? Conservation and SKABC

Reed Clarke

Was going to send this out just to those who attended Roxanne’s Conservation Meeting, last week. Instead, decided to put it on the forum to see if others have any thoughts.

At the meeting, I put forward an idea for a Howe Sound project. I was attempting to create an activity that would fulfill three objectives: a good deed (or two), self-interest (relevancy to kayaking), and fun. The specific project I presented was a Saturday/Sunday paddle out of Porteau Cove. Saturday: paddle to Ramillies Camp on Gambier Island. At Ramillies, the group would brush out campsites, if needed,  and put up a food cache. Dinner would be a salmon barbecue and beach campfire. Sunday: paddle to Anvil Island and clean up a particularly messy beach (roughly N49 31.532 W123 17.362). Given the potential for sketchy weather in the Howe Sound, the participants would have to be willing to let the event slide until a good weekend forecast appeared. Nick, and his powerboat, would be needed to provide support.

So, yesterday, I paddled out of Porteau Cove to have a look at conditions in the area. My plan immediately hit a stumbling block. Somebody has cleaned up the beach on Anvil Island. The rotters. What was once an epic litter pile is now relatively clean. There is a large metal thing (no one will move this), the ubiquitous blue float barrel and some styrofoam.

At Ramillies Camp, things started to look up. The shore here is not horrid, but it definitely could use a cleanup to remove styrofoam and a small piece of plywood. There probably wouldn’t be any need for brushing out more spaces. Nick, Mick and others have done an impressive job at this site. A food cache would be a plus. This part of my plan, at least, is holding up.

I was beginning to switch to Howe Sound Cleanup Plan 2.0. This would involve going around to several of the campsites on the Sunday, before picking up the styrofoam and blue barrel at Anvil Island. This would be highly relevant to kayakers and would be a fun paddle.

Unfortunately/fortunately, Plan 2.0 came undone with further paddling to Thornbrough Camp and Islet View Camp. These beaches were clean. This is great news for humanity. Maybe people are slowing down on the beach garbage thing. But, it is bad news for my proposal.

A further paddle to Zorro Camp didn’t clarify much. There was some garbage here (the pattern seems to be that north facing beaches gather garbage). There were a few bits of styrofoam, a metal bottle opener and a plastic pop bottle. Once I had removed a chunk of styro, the opener and the bottle, there really wasn’t much left.

I am now left looking for a messy beach, or beaches, that can be combined with a paddle in the Ramillies/Anvil Island area. Failing this, I am going to have to revive another concept, to cleanup a beach on Nelson Island, which I had rejected because of parking issues at Pender Harbour.

Any ideas or input is certainly welcome.

Oh ya, and just to rub it in, yesterday was a really, really nice day for paddling in the Howe Sound. Insert ‘cheesy smile’.