Cowichan heritage garbage dump: no way to treat river

North Cowichan – Summer’s a great time to remind ourselves that our own Cowichan River is, (say it with pride!) a B.C. Heritage River! Its scenery, wildlife, and recreation opportunities are world-class.


Too bad we annually turn the river into a garbage dump.


Whitewater boaters paddle the "Cow" all year round. And why not? It’s as close to pristine as we can expect, given its proximity to a large population center. Canoeists and kayakers respect the corridor, cleaning up litter as we go, and boating in a safe and sober manner.


Then, for two summer months, we watch in disgust, as picnickers and tubers drink their way down the river, leaving behind an unbelievable array of garbage.


One evening last summer, six of us paddled from Skutz Falls to the Marie Canyon rec site – the famed "Canyon Run."


Along the way, we filled my canoe with litter, including bottles, cans, wrappers, bags, flip-flops, and derelict floaty-toys.


In fact, we left garbage behind, as the canoe was overflowing.


Come on, folks – is this how Islanders treat a Heritage River?


Hey, if you can bring in full cans, how hard would it be to take out your empties? Leave the glass bottles at home. And avoid those flimsy plastic floaty-toys – bring real inner-tubes, which won’t puncture at a sharp glance.


Because if you don’t, some bureaucrat will waste our tax money putting up more of those offensive yellow gates, making it even harder for us to access our river.


So let’s work together to keep the Cow clean – your river and my river.


Rick Bryan North Cowichan

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