“If Howe Sound were in any other part of the world it would be a National Park.” Dr. Murray Newman (Vancouver Aquarium)
Yesterday I blogged about the proposed gravel pit on Gambier Island by Alberta’s Burnco Concrete Company and a few people contacted me. One reader sent me a link to this article: McNab Gravel Mine Project Launched, and I also received an email regarding why this project is of huge concern to the people both living on and holidaying on Gambier Island.
Burnco Rock Products Ltd. is applying to build a gravel pit mine at McNab Creek that will have an enormous impact upon Gambier Island and all of Howe Sound. This aggregate extraction is massive in scope at over 300 million tonnes with current estimates suggesting an extraction of 1 to 1.6 million tonnes per annum spiking to 4 Million for duration of 20 to 30 years. This aggregate would be barged to their ready mix concrete plants in south Burnaby and Port Kells.
It is located directly across from the McNab Creek residents and across from Gambier Island and Anvil Island and appears to have a pit 2.5 kms by 1 km and 15 m deep.
The project also includes a processing plant to crush gravel stock pile areas as well a large marine loading facility.
Specific issues with this project include:
* Impact on pristine wilderness
* Impact on water quality
* Pollution and contamination from disturbing previously capped soils
* Damage to McNab estuary
* Impact on fish including resident spawning salmon stocks, runs of chum, pink, coho and chinook salmon, plus resident and sea-run cutthroat trout and steelhead
* Impact on other wildlife including bald eagles, shrimp, shellfish, seals, sea otters, and recently porpoises and whales as well as a diverse array of other habitat including endangered species in Howe Sound such as the Peregrine Falcon, Spotted Owl and others.
* Noise from an operation proposed to run 300 days a year, 24 hours a day
* Visual impacts
* Barge traffic in a recreational boating area
* Impact on tourism
* Impact on commercial fishing, prawning and crabbing
* Impact on businesses based on recreational boating
Impact on recreational users and other residents/owners in Howe Sound
Concerned citizens can be heard by contacting the Integrated Land Management Branch – who will be reviewing Burnco’s application for a foreshore license. Email/write Lesley Fettes at ILMB whose email address is Lesley.Fettes@gov.bc.ca