Doug Hooper: Open letter to Bowen Islanders and concerned citizens

Re: Docks at Cape Roger Curtis

April 30, 2013

The desecration of Cape Roger Curtis continued apace this past weekend. The high winds in the Strait of Georgia, while neither uncommon nor extreme, were sufficient to dislodge the temporary concrete forms and cast wood debris along the shoreline. It was not at all surprising that the northwest winds and four foot waves would present a challenge to constructing (or using) a dock facility at Bowen’s land’s end. (see photos here)

It is very surprising, however, given the scale and raw impact of the marina-sized docks that they have been granted approval by Bowen Council and senior governments. Now that the works have begun, you can see that the first wharf at the Cape will cover an expanse of over 100 meters, before it evens finds the low tide waterline. From there, the breakwaters, ramp and docks will obstruct and destroy the natural aesthetic looking out to the Strait and Vancouver Island (not to mention impacts on the wintering bird habitat). The footings and wharf structure will bisect Bowen’s only accessible tidal pool shoreline, cutting thoughtlessly through deep mussel beds and sensitive marine habitat. While these are public lands, belonging to all British Columbians, these docks will permanently impair traditional public use and enjoyment of the foreshore.

It is time to take action to preserve the recreational access and foreshore environment at Cape Roger Curtis. Promises made by Bowen Council that it would protect our beaches and sensitive marine habitats have yielded no results. Bowen Council has failed to properly zone and control unfettered destruction Western union money transfer of this precious shoreline. The governments of British Columbia and Canada have failed to properly assess the impacts in allowing these docks to proceed. How did DFO uphold one rigourous study and approval process for the municipal Tunstall Bay boat ramp, then turn a blind eye to the far greater impacts of the docks at the Cape? The Islands Trust Council has failed to uphold its fundamental object – these lands and waters are precisely what they are charged to ‘preserve and protect.’ Our governments have the power to reverse these failures, stop the work and prevent the dock insanity from destroying the Cape Roger Curtis shoreline.

It comes to this – we need to speak out and call on the next government of British Columbia to save Cape Roger Curtis. Bowen Islanders should demand that Bowen Council oppose and stop dock construction at the Cape, and enforce the existing land covenants. Ask your elected representatives to act now – use the contact links below.

Let’s leave a different legacy at the Cape – keep it natural.

Doug Hooper
Bowen Island, BC

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