Subject: Letter re Base Line Study
Author: Bert Paul
Date: 3/8/00 9:50 AM
Ferry C.U.R.E. Society
P.O. Box Z-9
1645 Whitesails Drive
Bowen Island, B.C., VON IGO
Telephone: (604) 947-9130
March 8, 2000
Messrs. Ross Carter and Peter Frinton
Bowen Island Trust Council
P.O. Box 279
Bowen Island, B.C., VONIGO
Dear Trustees: Re: Request to Investigate Environmental Impact of Pacificat Ferries
As you are aware, Ferry C.U.R.E. is a registered B.C. society which is a community based coalition of users to re-establish equity in ferry rates and practices. I am writing further to our recent communications relating to environmental concerns on the impact of the Pacificat Ferries.
The purpose of this letter is threefold:
Firstly, to advise that the report on the assessment of intertidal biota subject to wave impacts from B.C Ferries Corporation ("Corporation") Pacificat Ferries has now been completed.
Secondly, to advise that additional information has been received from Mr. and Mrs. Beaty providing further support of the need for an investigation into the environmental review performed by the Corporation on the Pacificat Ferries operation.
Thirdly, to request that the Islands Trust actively fund and take action on the recommendations of the report.
As well, the Corporation is presently completing a review of the wake and wash of the Pacificat Ferries at a cost of $282,000. The project's purpose is to establish passage plans for the fast ferry service between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo that will meet the Corporation's operating schedule and result in acceptable levels of safety to person and property. Another purpose of the project is to explore other actions to mitigate the possible effects arising from the Pacificats' wake wash.
Accordingly this letter is to advise:
It should be noted that Dr. Bill Austin, the study's author, says his team of researchers has already noted damaging effects that could well be attributed to the Pacificat Ferries. The report states "The absence or near-absence of most mobile species (such as periwinkles and limpets), and the poor condition of a wave-exposure indicator species(sugar kelp) on the south facing Fairweather and Arbutus Bay rock shores strongly suggested some unnatural impact. The waves generated by Pacificat Ferries are a prime candidate as a causative agent."
I have enclosed as Exhibit 1 a letter dated February 2000 to Mr. Bob Lingwood, President of B.C Ferries, which outlines the serious environmental impact of the Pacificat Ferries on Bowen Island waterfront. In addition to the serious near drowning of two small children last year by the wake of the Pacificat, numerous environmental concerns have now been raised. For example, it has now been established that Salal roots are now exposed for the first time all over the beach.
Also, the sand on the beach near high tide has almost all been washed into deeper waters, exposing boulders that they have never seen before on their beach. On the land, they are seeing slump lines which are the first sign of landslide conditions, and so they are fearful of losing much of their grassy lawn in front of their cottage. The obvious negative impact on intertidal animals and seaweed is a matter of great concern.
We would request your follow up on this specific incidence as it provides further support for an investigation into the environmental review performed by the Corporation of the Pacificat ferry operation.
The following are the recommendations of this report:
In summary, Ferry C.U.R.E looks forward to your consideration of our request that the Islands Trust, in collaboration with other stakeholders and interested parties, actively fund and take action on the recommendations of the report.
As well, we would request that you follow up on the specific incident at the Beaty property as it provides further support for an investigation into the environmental review performed by the Corporation of the Pacificat ferry operation.
We would also like to thank the Islands Trust for providing a grant of $500 towards the total cost of the baseline study of $1,750.
The Islands Trust has a "duty of care" to act diligently in fulfilling its mandate to protect and conserve the Islands and waters within the Islands Trust jurisdiction. I am confident that as trustees you will continue to perform your duties diligently.
Thank you for your co-operation in responding to this request. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions relating to the matters raised.
Elbert K. Paul, C.A.
Director, Ferry C.U.R.E.