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Project puts BC’s most famous salmon run in jeopardy
BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(April 17, 2008) – A proposed land-rezoning and a massive marina development on the shoreline of Shuswap Lake, less that 400 meters from the mouth of the world-famous Adams River, threatens BC’s most renowned Sockeye salmon run. Conservation groups and local First Nations are uniting in their opposition and many plan to express their concerns at an upcoming public meeting called by the Columbia-Shuswap regional district on Monday, April 21.”A development of this scale could be very damaging to the Adams River and its fish stocks,” says Mark Angelo, Rivers Chair of the Outdoor Recreation Council (ORC) and head of BCIT’s Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation program. “This proposed development, in this particular location, is not consistent with preserving the waterway and its fishery.”
The area of the lake that would be affected by the proposed project is the same location where millions of adult Sockeye mass just before heading into the Adams River to spawn. Just as importantly, this same area is used by millions of young sockeye juveniles who rear in the lake before going to sea. Anticipated impacts of the project include heavy boat traffic, increased development, modified shoreline habitats, excessive noise, and fuel spills. Attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year, the Adams River is renowned not only for its sheer beauty, but for the millions of sockeye that return to the river to spawn each year.
“If such a project went ahead, it would enable a major development and significant boat traffic in and around the mouth of the river which would be very damaging,” says Angelo, founder of BC Rivers Day and an Order of Canada recipient for his river conservation work. “Every effort should be made to protect the river’s natural and cultural values and, given the particular significance of the Adams, we must take a more cautious and risk-adverse approach to managing it.”
“From an environmental perspective, there are few places as important, or more critical, than the entrance to the Adams River,” adds Angelo. “The river’s mouth should be protected and is not the right location for this kind of development.”
Titled the West Beach Marina Development, the proposed project is scheduled to shoulder Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park and would include a 160-slip marina and a vast 218-unit commercial and residential development.
There are a number of extensive shoreline-development proposals being put forward for both Shuswap Lake and nearby Mara Lake. “Consequently,” says Angelo, “there’s a need for improved planning prior to development to ensure key areas with important natural values, such as the mouth of the Adams, are adequately protected.”
ORC represents many of the recreation and conservation groups in BC with a membership of 100,000 people. Among other groups opposed to the marina development are the BC Wildlife Federation, Little Shuswap First Nation, and the Shuswap Environmental Action Society. The regional district’s public meeting will be held on Monday, April 21 at 7pm in the Scotch Creek Fire Hall.
For more information, please contact
Outdoor Recreation Council of BC
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