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Letter: Host of estuary issues not being addressed

River dredging and restoration of the estuary channels

Host of estuary issues not being addressed

Flooding Class One agricultural land to save the salmon is the present hot issue of the day in the Valley and far beyond.

I have been asking many questions and have discovered that none of them have been answered by those that believe destroying farmland and critical wildlife habitat will magically result in a thriving environment for salmon and shellfish.

Cowichan Bay is contaminated with effluent from sewage that is being discharged continually from a treatment facility that is outdated. The aggressive infilling of new high density housing will further burden the aging facility with no plans in sight to address this environmental disaster.

Who will be harvesting and consuming shellfish from the restored area? How will the health of those consuming these foods be affected?

Once the Koksilah River water mixes with the effluent from the Cowichan River and the contaminated water from Cowichan Bay itself, a whole host of new contaminates will pollute the “marsh”. Leachate from the old Kokisilah dump as well as contaminants from soil and septics along the many creeks and the river itself will be deposited. I have searched the Restoration Plan thoroughly and see no address to the multiple other critical Koksilah River problems.

River dredging and restoration of the estuary channels, removal of log jams and addressing culverts that don’t allow fish access to the spawning creeks are all concerns that are not addressed.

The invasive bullfrogs that are present in ever increasing numbers all along the river, its pools and tributary creeks guarantee that most young struggling salmon hatchlings will be consumed due to the voracious appetite of the increasing bullfrog population.

I did not locate the scientific study that determined that this was not a concern.

Having a public display and photo ops of those that care about the river by picking up the garbage should also include the publishing of water samples to show that once the garbage is removed all is well.

Ruth Waddell

Cowichan Valley