UN warns of fewer bees and other pollinators Many species of wild bees, butterflies and other critters that pollinate plants are shrinking toward extinction, and the world needs to do something about it before our food supply suffers, a new United Nations scientific mega-report warns. The 20,000 or so species of pollinators are key to hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of crops each year — from fruits and vegetables to coffee and chocolate. Yet 2 out of 5 species of invertebrate pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, are on the path toward extinction, said the first-of-its-kind report. Pollinators with backbones, such as hummingbirds and bats, are only slightly better off, with 1 in 6 species facing extinction. Read more by clicking on title
Save Hamilton Marsh Hamilton Marsh is the largest wetland on Central Vancouver Island five minutes from Qualicum Beach accessible from Hilliers Rd. South, prolific waterfowl brood marsh, high dragonfly population, home to several red and blue listed species. Ownership: In the mid 1940’s H.R. MacMillan bought a large block of land in the Qualicum area, including Hamilton Marsh. The land has passed through the hands of many owners including: Weyerhaeuser, Brascan, and currently Island Timberlands. (Look up E&N Land Grant ). Approximately four offers have been made to purchase and preserve the land from the various owners. In 2008 Island Timberlands rejected a joint effort by Ducks Unlimited and the Regional District of Nanaimo to purchase the wetland, with a buffer, and it was hoped there would be a progressive purchase option for the rest of the 360 forested hectares. Please view the Hamilton Marsh video: Hamilton Marsh The Whole 360 - YouTube
Ermineskin lands A great thanks to Christopher Stephens, who is 26 years old, convinced the City of Parksville to purchase the Ermineskin lands, a 97-acre (35.9-hectare) freshwater wetlands, near Springwood Park. The $1.3 million purchase from the Ermineskin Cree Nation gives the city a new park, but protects this wetland for the birds and other wildlife. He developed a love of birding and nature and began lobbying council as a teen to preserve and protect this wetland.
Pipelines not the pathway to Paris solutions Pipelines and fracked gas are not the pathway to Paris solutions; they are the path to increased wildfires, water shortages and other disasters. Read more by clicking on title.
Marine Oil Spills Oil tanker accidents are an inevitable outcome of tanker traffic worldwide. The continued expansion of oil tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet, British Columbia poses the extreme risk of an accidental spill, releasing millions of gallons of crude oil into the environment and devastating marine life, natural habitats, shorelines, beaches, and fisheries. The present super tankers carry eight times as much as the Exxon Valdez. The Trans Mountain expansion would move 890,000 barrels per day through Jasper National Park, across the Vedder Fan aquifer, and could see a super tanker loaded every day at the Burrard Inlet marine terminal on the Pacific Ocean. Tanker passing through the First and Second Narrows passages presents more risks with increased traffic. Marine oil spills affect the economic aspects of fisheries, sport fisheries, tourism as well as lives of citizens. The loss from a spill could be in the billions. This would be far more than any benefits to British Columbia.
Transport of oil on land has its risks, even in pipelines. Since the 1960s, the longest period of time the Trans Mountain Pipeline has gone without a spill is approximately four years. One spill leaked 10,000 barrels of crude. Since tank farms, world wide, have large risk of a catastrophic fire, governments have limited tank farms near highly populated urban areas. The Kinder Morgan expansion also involves enlarging the tank farm right underneath Simon Fraser University. If a fire occurred, there is no safe escape route for the university. The only road access to and from the university is right above the tank farm. Please see the video: Dangers of Kinder Morgan tank farm in Burnaby.
Specific Concerns Related to Diluted Bitumen Unlike crude oil, diluted bitumen, often referred to as dilbit, sinks in salt water when battered by waves and mixed with sediment. Bitumen, when diluted with condensed gas and/or volatile solvents such as naphtha, separates when released into the marine environment. The volatile gases – toluene and the carcinogen benzene– are released into the air causing headaches, nausea, dizziness, coughing, and fatigue among the local population. One may fairly assume that all other animals that breathe the air would experience similar symptoms. After the Michigan oil spill, the toxic fumes remained for weeks, and could be smelled up to 50 kilometres away. Two years after the spill, up to 30 miles of the Kalamazoo River still remained closed to fishing, swimming, or even wading in. Seven years later cleanup continues. After an oil spill, the decline of affected marine ecosystem would begin with the loss of plankton, algae, biofilm, sea plants, and other primary biomass food sources for all other animals. The toxic fumes from a dilbit spill in Burrard Inlet or the Salish Sea (Georgia Strait) would require an evacuation of areas in BC’s Lower Mainland and surrounding islands. Clean-up crews would have to battle these fumes, as well as bitumen sinking below their skimmers. As the heavy bitumen sinks and moves with wind and tides, it covers the marine bottom-life, mixes with the sediments, impacts shellfish, and kills ocean plants, fish, and marine mammals.
Illegal dumping of garbage in rural areas One can report any illegal dumping of garbage in rural areas to the Zero Waste Compliance Officer, Maude Mackey - 250-390-6576 or toll free 1-877-607-4111 or report illegal dumping call the Ministry of Environment's hotline at 1-877-952-7277. The time it takes for common items to decompose when dumped in the environment. - Glass bottle: 1 million years - Fishing line: 600 years - Aluminum can: 80-200 years - Disposable Diapers: 450 years - Styrofoam cups: 50 years - Rubber boot sole: 50-80 years - Tin cans: 50 years - Plastic bag: 10-20 years - Cigarette butt: 1-5 years - Plywood: 1-3 years SOURCE: U.S. National Parks Service