Lindsay Critchley holds the Secchi disk she lowered off her property to check the Portage Inlet’s turbidity. (Swikar Oli/News staff)

View Royal residents, council concerned about runoff in Portage Inlet

View Royal council wants more responsibility from upstream neighbours, development

View Royal council resolved to send letters to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the mayor of Saanich expressing concerns and asking for information and responsibility in regard to mud washing into the Portage Inlet from runoff and development.

Several people came to View Royal’s council meeting Tuesday dissatisfied with what they called the lack of any legal responsibility for the issue and asked council to be proactive.

“We need to talk to all the parties involved and find out what’s going on and see what we can do,” Mayor David Screech told Black Press after the meeting.

READ MORE: Construction company not subject of investigation after run-off into Saanich river

Further studies are needed to see what can be done and what damage has already been done. “Then we can go on from there,” Screech added.

The inlet is home to salmon and cutthroat trout and is close to a federally protected bird sanctuary.

Excess silt has smothered the native oysters on artificial reefs said Yogi Carolsfeld. Carolsfeld, a steward and educator on aquatic life in the inlet and executive director of World Fisheries Trust, installed the artificial reefs. He noted the reefs were doing well for two years but last year he discovered they were being covered by mud.

The inlet naturally has a high sediment load, but lately it’s been “quite a bit more than was normal,” Carolsfeld said.

Lately, he’s discovered both silt and topsoil deposits. The topsoil is flowing in from Hospital Creek, while the silt is coming due to the construction of the Mackenzie Interchange, he said.

A few people in attendance, including Coun. John Rogers, noted the topsoil runoff could be caused by the recent clear-cutting of a forest on a private property upstream in Saanich. The lack of trees paired with two extreme rain events in January contributed to the water’s significant turbidity.

Climate change producing rarer weather events means the need for collective action is all the more pressing, noted Rogers.

Lindsay Critchley lowered a Secchi disk – used to measure the depth of disappearance – off her dock on the Portage Inlet to check the water’s turbidity. In clear water the disk can be seen dozens of feet below water. She told council the disk reached about four inches before disappearing, indicating the mark she made on the line.

Dorothy Chambers, who Rogers credits for bringing the issue to council’s attention, held a meeting by the Colquitz River on January 24. Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, Rogers and Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming’s representatives were all present.

ALSO READ: Contractor sends raw sewage onto Saanich streets

“Thank goodness for Dorothy Chambers, who’s been such a diligent and dedicated watchdog,” Rogers said. “She pulled us all together.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Free cancer care workshops at SHOAL centre this May

Cancer charity InspireHealth offer patient-centred worhshops

Bazan Bay 5K winds down Vancouver Island Race Series

The series raised $2,220 for Victoria Hospitals Foundation

Experts suggest Esquimalt explores hub-and-spoke medical clinic model

Dr. Eileen Pepler says Esquimalt is in a ‘dire’ situation for medical care accessibility

‘Preliminary’ discussions with Saanich identify public works yard as potential velodrome site

Greater Victoria Velodrome Association’s David Atwell says site ‘is of great interest to us’

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria receives $2.8M Anthony Thorn donation

Victoria News article inspires hefty donation for gallery expansion

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Study links preschool screen time to behavioural and attention problems

The research looked at more than 2,400 families

Island man guilty of child porn charges, Crown alleges 250,000 images

Psychiatric assessment requested by Crown, sentencing to be set June 4 in Nanaimo court

Most Read