EDITORIAL: Co-ordinated plan need for tsunami cleanup

Coastal authorities in B.C. have long been putting together tsunami and earthquake preparedness plans.

Coastal authorities in B.C. have long been putting together tsunami and earthquake preparedness plans.

The need is growing greater for the three levels of government to have a definite plan in place to deal with potentially environmentally dangerous debris from last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan washing up on B.C. coastlines.

Items ripped apart by powerful waves, much of them covered with sea life that could threaten native species, have for months been arriving on the western shorelines of Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. Residents and others concerned about threats to the pristine nature of coastal areas have been doing their best to remove the material.

No one knows, given the unpredictable nature of ocean currents, just how much flotsam will reach B.C. shores. But enough has arrived already to inform provincial and federal authorities of the extent of the problem.

The washing ashore of a 20-metre concrete and steel dock in Oregon on June 6 was a further sign that the worst is likely yet to come.

The province is in a “fact-gathering stage” on the issue, said Environment Minister Terry Lake, who recently toured Haida Gwaii. His comments that any cleanup plan must be a joint effort between local, provincial and federal governments and First Nations make sense, but indicate the province is not willing to take the lead on tackling this problem.

This week’s shockingly low cleanup grant of $50,000 from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for each of the five states affected, shows how low this issue is on that government’s priority list.

We hope our federal government, already showing a similar lack of respect for the environment through budget cuts, does not take a similar tack by downplaying this serious issue.

— Victoria News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

G.P. Vanier in Courtenay has six members of the community who have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate. Black Press file photo
SD71 identifies eight positive cases of COVID-19 and instructs 108 people to self-isolate

The letter noted that all who have tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites

Geoff Garbutt takes over as City of Courtenay CAO on April 14. Photo supplied
Courtenay council selects new city CAO

A new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will be joining the City of… Continue reading

Two vehicles collided Wednesday morning north of Courtenay on the Old Island Highway. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Two-car MVA north of Courtenay

Accident took place after 7 a.m. on the Old Island Highway

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

North Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Charmaine Enns says the recent spike… Continue reading

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The Town of Comox will formally examine speeding within the town. Black Press file photo
Comox to examine speeding within town

Following discussions at various council meetings, Comox council will formally examine speeding… Continue reading

A male customer without a face mask is seen inside a Burnaby Canadian Tire amidst an altercation with store security and staff members. (Video/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Man arrested after allegedly punching Burnaby Canadian Tire staff over mask rule

Mounties received reports Monday of a customer having punched more than one employee

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

A conceptual drawing of the preferred conveyance route for the Comox Valley Sewer Service.
Preferred conveyance route chosen for Comox Valley Sewer Service

The Comox Valley Sewage Commission approved a plan Tuesday to upgrade the… Continue reading

Most Read