Texada kayaking needs your support

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by candikayak, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. candikayak

    candikayak Paddler

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    Texada Island
    Hi fellow kayakers.... I live and paddle on Texada Island. (as well as many other places) I am writing to ask for your support as kayakers. We have a situation here on Texada Island where a proponent has applied to put a shellfish farm in one of our recreation/park/UREP (Use, Recreation and Enjoyment of the Public) areas. The area is a beautiful bay called Northeast Bay. There is a year round gorgeous creek, Russ Creek, which empties into the bay. There are several excellent tent sites at the beach. There are hiking trails that go up each side of the creek. At least a dozen GORGEOUS waterfalls on the creek. The area is a wonderful destination for kayak camping. And did i mention year round creek? I dont know about you but fresh water year round while camping is amazing.
    I know i have heard a lot of negative comments from kayakers about having to paddle past numerous aqua farms.....the visibility issue (all the obstacles sticking out of the water) as well as not being able to reach the shore when the seas get extremely rough. This farm is proposed to extend a significant ways out into Malaspina Strait, therefore forcing paddlers to navigate further out during rough seas .
    If any of you have had these negative experiences and wish to share them with us it would be greatly appreciated. I feel as kayakers and nature lovers it is imperative we stand together to show our objections to the loss of the natural beauty of our coastlines.
    Please email me at powerbikerbug@hotmail.com
    Thank you for your support.
    Candi Little
     
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  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Thanks for this Candi:
    this is the location that she is referring to -
    TexadaIsE-RussCk.jpg

    shoreline photo:
    RussCk-landing.jpg

    I'll notify BC Marine Trails as there is a primary marine site in that location. I'm not sure an application can be terminated, but if there's time certainly conditions can be requested to be applied to it. . . for instance all tenures should be at least multi-use so that all parties are not precluded from using these public areas.

    My first thoughts would be at least a 200m navigation zone around all shorelines, no equipment storage on foreshore or adjacent UREP, no desecration of existing multi-use campsite locations etc. - anyway, first thoughts.

    Yourself and anyone else interested should write in and express your thoughts with respect to this situation where there is an obvious water access and adjacency conflict.

    [Edited to add - I have not been successful on finding any info on the FrontcounterBC website using any of the application identifiers that I initially found, but have sent an email to them requesting further info. . . I'll update]
    info so far:
    TenureApplication.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  3. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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  4. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Some further info:
    As the date of the application was so long ago - Dec18, 2017 - the commentary period for the application is over. However the application has not been granted yet and according to FrontCounter BC, if someone sends an email to
    westcoast.landreferrals@gov.bc.ca
    with reference to this application, comments can still be made that may be considered: and I'll certainly do that and I encourage anyone who may also be interested to make a comment to them.

    In reference to the substance of the application, I've added some notes to one of their application diagrams to show the impact on this site. Keep in mind that a UREP is essentially a park for the public's recreation and that the whole shoreline intertidal zone is affected as well as out into deep water:
    ApplicationPlan1noted.jpg

    here's the beach section diagram noted on drawing above:
    ApplicationPlan1bb.jpg

    here's the affected beach from the other side:
    RussCk-landing-dnu.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  5. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Here's a 3d view of the impact on that UREP. [which is essentially like an undeveloped park = for the Use and Recreation and Enjoyment of the Public = UREP]

    RussCk-view5det2b.jpg
     
  6. candikayak

    candikayak Paddler

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    Location:
    Texada Island
    There will be a public information meeting on Texada Island . It will be held at the Community Hall in Gillies Bay , Saturday March 23, 2019 from 2 - 4. The applicant will be in attendance giving a 20 minute presentation, followed by a concerned residents group of 20 minutes and then open to the public for questions and answers for the remainder of the 2 hours. We extend a welcome to anyone who would like to attend and show their support. Thank you.
     
  7. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Attached Files:

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  8. Tangler

    Tangler Paddler

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    Great letter Mick. Thanks for that.
     
  9. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    As a bit of biting 'humour', I got a cartoonist involved:

    NortheastMommysm2.jpg
     
  10. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Maybe I should point out why this particular site is especially annoying to use in the context of chains of paddling sites along the coastlines:

    Because of the high development and continuous private lands along the coastlines of North and South Sunshine coasts, this whole region has been considered with good reason by many paddlers to be a
    wasteland in terms of finding somewhere to camp overnight and leisurely paddle up or down this section of the BC coastline.

    We at the BC Marine Trails and all the paddling public here who have made trip reports along that region have contributed to an enterprise to find any tiny little scrap of land that we can use to ameliorate or even accentuate possible small boat enjoyment and use of this interesting area. We noted years ago and have already tested portaging through Sechelt from the Ocean to Sechelt Inlet and back - its paved, easy, dead flat and only 1.4 km [half the distance as some of the Bowron Lakes portages. This means conceptually that there are NUMEROUS circle routes around the Sunshine Coast, Sechelt Inlet, Jervis Inlet, around Texada, around Jedediah, around Lasqueti, around all the new Howe Sound sites that we and other have established and are maintaining and improving - all linking in a myriad ways to present some unique paddling possibilities that because they are circles - have any start/stop point that you could want. So ANY bed/breakfast is potentially a node.

    All we have to do is beg/find/persuade/promise some sites which we are doing and getting some success, and so when a relatively [especially in relation to nothing at all!!] useful and convenient 0vernight stop that is DESIGNATED for public use and recreation get threatened to be over-run with full-frontal industrial exclusive intervention for both water and continual and exclusive for beachfront - many of us get very annoyed and try to at least make our concerns noted.
    The site is already used by multiple users and it's a disturbing shame that a single-use can come in on what is essentially a park and significantly screw it up for all the others.
     
  11. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Probably more than 120 pple attended the community meeting on Texada: an amazing turnout. No polling, but I'd say 90+ percent not in favour of this proceeding on the beach and all the bay oceanscape of their local park. Two goverment rep's assistants there to take the mood.
    The proponent had heard of the large negative reaction to the proposal so made a huge change and some impossible promises that caught me a little off guard until during when I was speaking and then unfortunately much later afterward:
    - he decided to 'revise' his application by putting the whole 1/2 km x 1/2 km x 15m aquaculture assembly 15 meters below the surface of the water. No buoys on the surface - nothing! All boats - motor, kayak, sail, whatever are free to pass over the system with no impinging on their movement. And as a sop to the kayak enthusiasts [like, of course us ], an eco-kayaking business will be set up on top to facilitate the use of the area by kayakers etc.

    Brilliant move by the proponent to some degree - introduce something new that has not been able to be scrutinized at all [or has been tried on a commercial scale anywhere - not mentioned] - but sure illuminates what an abominable unregulated application process we have for these industries: the original application seems to include any type of change that can be contemplated and all the process needs is a 'line item change'. Beyond belief. . .
    However, because of the large change there just might be a re-opening of the comment ability and maybe one more meeting. . . . At which there likely will be a 'new' modification, I assume.
    Anyway a great meeting with amazing turnout: standing room only, most everyone there was concerned. People said what I had to say made great sense [ie: a park is the wrong place] and that it was just a planning issue [my main thrust].

    **

    However the system being proposed now seems to be a fair bit of BS: quite a few surface buoys ARE needed to 'support the 'submerged' system and of course the whole thing will have to marked by perimeter navigation buoys. Because this is a relatively new approach in N America, present research shows a whole host of approaches using literal surface support buoys at a many varying separations. Because it is new I do not believe that transport Canada has been involved in the setting of safety zones on or around these sytems because many high floation buoys are located 50' below the surface and if one lets go and you're swimming beside your SUP or rolling your kayak that = meat sandwich impact. I hope you're wearing your helmet and your pfd is thick.
    As well, because many of these systems require something similar to neutral buoyancy, AND the anchor lines have to be set at 45deg downward angles, there is a huge amount of dyamic drift in storm conditions - hey Malaspina Strait ain't a calm place is it? But dynamic drift of a tension system in wave action means that downstream drift often happens right up to the surface. Anyway whatever the plan, there are certainly buoy issues that were told didn't exist by the proponent who has never done this before.
    Here's a shot of a 2012 paper, but there are variations on the theme. This is in shallow water but shows the issues: possible storm action surface effect, horizontal displacement under tide/current forces and still buoys along every line - just that the bouys now get biiig:
    submersible.jpg
    Oh yeah, one of the papers mentions that this approach requires highly experienced operators with modern capable equipment [proponent is a novice at this] and that to be commercially viable about 120 lines would be require. So looking at the section drawing above, that would mean 'only' about 500 buoys in that pristine bay - I'd say any variation that theme is not quite what is appropriate here.

    **

    Anyway back to the meeting: I surmised while speaking that the 'eco kayak' business is probably going to be on rafts because it would be impossible to have a neutrally buoyant system and that the rafts were actually part of the structural requirements to hold it all at a single gradiant as everything got heavier and heavier as the shellfish grew. And I also noted that navigation buoys and markers and radar reflectors would be require so that the surface would have some evidence that something was below. But those comments were like dancing backwards on uncertain ground.
    So good support, amazing turnout and obvious interest, the proponent had lots of time [it was a chamber of commerce type meeting] and I think the basic bad planning issue of this was heard to a decent degree.

    Now we'll wait and see what happens more, but I think this is just the beginning of what the group of opposed residents and we others will be able to bring to this. This meeting was set up at extremely short notice and everyone became ready and determined to make their points known, and to have such an expression of concern by the turnout - impressive.

    Like pointed out before, this is already used as a site by us kayakers as well as others and by all rights it should stay as it is, so putting in a little bit of intensive effort will all be worth it if it all comes to pass.

    And another totally unlooked for possibility came to light: it may be possible to get other amazing campsite possibilities in some unbelievably picturesque parts of that island. Completely unexpected.
    Anyway, met some good solid people who care about the beauty of their/our coastlines and will put themselves out in order that rational decisions might be made. Nothing necessarily against aquaculture, but just poor planning decisions that might put an industry in the middle of a park so that use by a lot of users gets destroyed by one.
     
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