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WE'VE REALLY WON! - Texada kayaking needs your support


Mar 20, 2007
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
Thanks for this Candi:
this is the location that she is referring to -

shoreline photo:

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:
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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
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:

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

here's the affected beach from the other side:
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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]

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.
Maybe I should point out why this particular site is especially annoying to lose 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.
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:

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.
The 'revised' application is now available for all to see what is really going to happen. As surmised all the talk by the proponent in the public meeting that was required by government for him to outline his proposal is now seen to be massively deceptive: there are indeed a multitude [228] of large buoys littering the surface of the bay. In addition 1/3 of them are required to have vertical radar reflectors applied. And there is still no mention of UREP conflict, ability for continual public use of the aquaculture feature or ability for free movement of water vessels in, around and over the intervention. Anyway, here's the reapplication with the ability for commentary by anyone who wishes.


I'll be sending a similar letter to the previous as it's just a merry-go-round with an equivalent proposal with the main concern being put in the wrong location. Apparently it would be the first government land with park-like status that would have a commercial aquaculture busines stuck right in the middle of it - sheesh.

Just to keep in mind: this whole Sunshine Coast region is not great for kayakers travelling all around the region and these primary campsites at NorthEast Bay [or Russ Creek] are therefore all the more precious to all of us including a massive proportion of the local residents - who welcome our opposition as well. With a little bit of writing and organization work in the next few days or short weeks, there is a real and powerful possibility that we'll all be successful and keep this site for all our future use. Plus keeping this site might indeed compound into the idea that other sites would be beneficial to allow to happen in the region as well.

Oh yeah, we're not there yet but humour keeps spirits high.

the irrationality of this continued process will have to sink in to the decision makers eventually.
Texada Thanks everyone that comments on this application.
Follow the link that Mick gives:


Enter a Crown Land Number or Disposition Transaction ID: 1414717
Press enter. A blue balloon will appear at the site on the map.

Press enter on the blue balloon and details will appear, press on view details and a link to comments or you can open up the application to view.

Thank you for your comments. As the Minister of Forests, Doug Donaldson stated in Powell River when we met up with him (we crashed an NDP fundraiser) his quote in the PR Peak (newspaper)

" We're intent on putting the public back in the management of a publicly held resource."

We shall see.
The Planning Committe of the local Powell River regional district is meeting next week in which a whole group of Texada Island residents will each individually make 5 minute presentations in opposition to this proposal - in the hopes that this Regional District will also come out in opposition and write a letter to that effect. As this committee is not involved in the overall details of the opposition I also sent in the following short letter outlining our and BC Marine Trails concerns:
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I just sent in a negative comment. I hope others will take the time to do so also, it doesn't take long. There's 19 days left to comment according to the popup on the application map.

I find it interesting that in the applciation they said yes to the question of whether it fits in with local land use planning. Is the UREP a Fed designation?

Thanks Mick for working on this and for alerting use about this.
No, a UREP [public land for the Use and Recreational Enjoyment of the Public] is a provincial designation. The local OCP and its residents are completely against this proposal in this location.
The proponent has presented a lot of mis-statements on the application but especially in the public presentation. I hope those mis-statements will backfire. The local action committee [TAN = Texada Action Network] is fully aware and making presentations of such as well as the wider issue of this being a planning failure.
From what I understand, the meeting with the Regional District went quite well. Those involved have become a little more optimistic.
However there is still time left [14days] to comment on the application itself.

Oh yes, apparently the continual usage by paddlers of this site in the past [also as it was a designated primary BC Marine Trail Site] was of no small significance for them in their considerations.
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Here is the comment I sent in.


  • 1414717Revision-BCMTNAcomment.pdf
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I have been sent an email that has the following information:
  1. - the proponent has stated on facebook that they are not proceeding with the proposal at NorthEast Bay.
  2. - government has subsequently stated that the proposal has NOT been withdrawn.
  3. - however in the same email, government stated that they had been in conversation with the proponent about 're-positioning' the proposal to another site but that that would require a different submission that 'goes throught the full process . . . again' .
so . . . some optimism. Maybe. Fingers crossed. But the proposal still officially stands.
And . . . . . WE'VE WON! here's the message sent out to the resident's group [the main players in all this- Terry Hollo, Candi Little[who posted here and in other threads] and others], the BCMTNA, council of yacht clubs and others:

The applicant, Northeast Bay Shellfish, has withdrawn their application for shellfish aquaculture under our file 1414717, at Northeast Bay, Texada Island. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada have been informed, as has the regional district and Tla’amin. I understand that they do not intend on applying for another application area off of Texada Island.

The Ministry’s Applications, Comments and Reasons for Decision webpage will be updated next week.

Our file is now closed.

Feel free to forward this email to others as you see fit.

Best Regards,

Lesley Fettes

Section Head, Aquaculture

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

phone: (250) 897-7541

So I want to thank all of you for your support and good words and Alex for some good pertinent advice and just the heck everyone.
Yay! Yay! Yay!
When I was up doing the recent Jervis Inlet groundproofing, we made a quick jaunt over to Northeast Bay . . . and it's just a great site and location: well worth all the time we've spent on it. Little Russ Creek is just a sweetheart.

The wider implications are potentially huge: we now have immense credibility with respect to having a marine site on a soon to be SCRD regional park - or at least some land that has some regional status that is parklike. This could now be a stepping stone to make the argument that in very desperate and important locations such as the central part of the lower sunshine coast that we have credibility in being a good guy in all this. Who knows?

But we did it, we did it, we all did it!

The Grand Beach!


One of the flat spots for tents or just hanging out.


Another flat area


And the Grand Beach from the South.