Homeless have left ton of garbage near river bank
There is a situation I’m sure the city is aware of along the banks of the river directly behind the casino and under the Silver Bridge. The encampments that were there during the summer months have left huge amounts of garbage near the river bank, which when the river level rises, will mostly be washed into and down the river.
I understand there is a bylaw enforcement officer who liaises with Cowichan Tribes, as this is on their land and their responsibility to clean up. I have mentioned this problem to several city employees who I’ve run into on my walks along this area of the dike. I spoke to a bylaw enforcement officer a few weeks ago while he was patrolling at the Saturday market in City Square and he said he would pass this information on to the city council and the specific bylaw officer.
However, to date this incredible mess (which probably includes some hazardous materials, needles, etc.) is still there and is in imminent danger of being swept away down river if it overflows its banks, which it has done in the past after heavy rains and high water levels.
There are also people having campfires under the bridge. At one point there was a huge firepit built out of rocks. It has since been dismantled, but on Thursday when I walked by, there was another bonfire with kindling and wooden pallets sitting on a shopping cart waiting to be burned. I would think a fire under the bridge deck would present a serious traffic hazard with smoke issuing upwards, not to mention damage to the underside of the bridge structure.
I hope the city can address this issue along with Cowichan Tribes to rectify this situation. There are often stories about the Cowichan River being a heritage site, the danger to the salmon population, etc. and this terrible disgrace needs to be cleaned up.