If we work together on the estuary we can come to win-win
I am saddened that our beautiful Cowichan River Estuary is at the centre of community disconnect when, if we all worked carefully together, it could very easily be a win-win situation for all.
Fifty-one years ago my young family and I came to this Cowichan Valley, settling by choice and by chance on the very edge of the estuary. Learning situations at both doors, the bay and Mt. Tzouhalem. And even then, a growing and learning wider community in town. Lucky us.
I’m certain that the best solution to our current angst is to create a win-win situation beginning with a current proper Environmental Impact Assessment of what it really is we are dealing with.
In any event, let’s be proactive and cautiously preventative. Let’s help the manufacturing businesses move out of danger of being overcome by high tides and vigorous winds, to where accidental spills can more easily be contained and removed, by using very much higher ground or the industrial zone. I realize that there is one very water dependent marine manufacturer in the mix, but surely their clever minds will quickly develop safe ways to accommodate both the environment and the rising tides.
The estuary’s natural beauty is benefiting our increasing tourist trade and will continue to benefit from our attention, the further restoration will also aid the return of more salmon to spawn, while we who are fortunate enough to live in this Valley can continue to value its beauty, its versatility, its ever changing ambience and quality of life. All will contribute to our Valley’s economy.
I am not a scientist, I have not those credentials, but I do hugely value the estuary’s natural life as the seasons change, the increasing numbers of kayakers paddle by, seasonal birds visit, the sea creatures play as the tide comes and goes, the occasional salmon comes by in the fall searching for the river’s mouth. In my kitchen I know how impossible it is to retrieve an unwelcome addition to a churning mixture on the stove or in a bowl. Multiply that in the estuary with a high tide and a wild wind. Why risk it?
I value quality of life, I’ve worked all my life to enhance it, first with my family, then professional careers in both nursing and teaching, mostly with young people, latterly working with programs to help those with challenges. In retirement I’ve volunteered with elder college, theatre committees and mostly hospice (greatly appreciating our whole community’s valuable contributions there). Helping people to live well their whole lives. I feel the same way about our estuary; its optimum quality of life is very important to ours.