Brenda McLuhan: a number of reasons

I am opposed to these docks for a number of reasons, but I am not opposed to all docks. These particular docks are in an area that has been used by the public since the 1920s (perhaps earlier) for hiking, swimming, kayaking and more. While the lots themselves are private, the foreshore is not. It is public.

Aside from the public enjoyment aspect of the foreshore area, it is important as a feeding area for waterbirds. I have been out at CRC when wave after wave of Golden-eyes flew in, literally thousands! It was a magical sight to see them swimming into shore in an organized manner to feed on the aquatic life that is there. And the fact that the shallows extend out for quite a ways seems to encourage the growth of eelgrass, kelp, clams and mussels along the shoreline.

I cannot help but think that having a dock that is as long as the Wall Centre is high, extending out into the foreshore, will act as a barrier to the many waterfowl that use this area. These private docks are of a scale previously unseen in Howe Sound (except perhaps at a commercial marina) and there are 4 of them! Having such large private facilities located so close to the well-used beach areas will impede our ability to enjoy the wildness of this landscape, and make it seem like we are using someone else’s backyard, when in fact these are public areas.

And aside from all of that, this part of Bowen’s coast is subject to the most extreme winds and weather conditions that we get. It is unprotected and I cannot imagine these docks being able to withstand some of the storms that are a regular occurrence. In fact some of the concrete forms were washed away just recently, before the cement was poured, as if to underscore this point. If the waves happen to sink one of the boats that will be moored there, or dash it against the rocks, there is also the high possibility of damage to the aquatic life that lives here (mussels and clams aren’t exactly mobile).

Finally, owning private land doesn’t mean you should be entitled to use the public land that is adjacent to it.

Many people I know sent in a letter of opposition to these docks, and still the necessary water licenses were granted. Could it be that the reason had to do with the developers meeting with and lobbying the Deputy minister? And why didn’t our Council send a clear message to the ILMB saying they didn’t support the docks, when 5 of our Councillors are now saying they are opposed? Something sure smells fishy to me, and it isn’t the mussels…

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