By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Jan. 25, 2014
Squamish Streamkeepers pulled eight derelict boats out of the Mamquam Blind Channel on Jan. 18.
Chris Tamburi, along with some other boat operators and citizens, also joined in the cleanup operation.
“The goal of removing these relics is to prevent oil and gas leakage from damaging herring eggs spawned in the channel,” said Dr. John Matsen, a member of the streamkeepers society.
The derelict boats are now at the landfill.
The main herring spawns are in February and March and the streamkeepers hope the upper Mamquam Blind Channel will be safe for herring roe by then.
The recent sinking of a tug has left the upper Mamquam Blind Channel coated with diesel but the south Nexan lands and Squamish Terminals were not affected,” Matsen added.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard crew was busy cleaning up the channel following the spill from Elf. On January 20, the Coast Guard advised that although there was still a sheen of oil on the water, it was not recoverable and would dissipate over time.
Focus Wildlife also conducted a comprehensive search to look for distressed wildlife.
On-water wildlife surveys were conducted through the Mamquam Blind Channel, Cattermole Slough, Westbarr Slough, the Squamish River and Howe Sound Inlet.
Both the shoreline and open waterways were assessed for impacted wildlife.
Some birds had a small amount of oil marking, but no behavioral problems were exhibited. Several hundred birds were noted but nothing out of the ordinary to report.
In general, the public should not touch live distressed wildlife, the coast guard suggests.
Reports of distressed or deceased wildlife can be directed to the Canadian Wildlife Service either through phone, 604-364-7429, or by e-mail.
As reported earlier, Woodfibre owner, Western Forest Products (WFP), is suing Steen Larsen to remove a derelict vessel on the company’s water lot.
WFP is seeking $50,000 as damages and suing Larsen to remove SPUDNIK, a vessel they claim has been tied to a buoy on Woodfibre water lot since last November.