LETTERS: Victoria Harbour and Gorge Waterway face a crisis

Re: Esquimalt explores creating portage beach for choppy Gorge waters. Just say no.

We are at a crisis in our Victoria Harbour and Gorge Waterway, fisheries return to the Colquitz and Craigflower creeks are at an all-time low, herring returns have diminished. Birds and wildlife are at a severe decline. Water quality has diminished, warmer waters sooner, higher turbidity. And the solution is to add more people in to the watershed, paddlers, boarders, rowers boats.

The circle route has been in place for generations, is one of the best paddles when tides permit, but those tides are only present in the daylight during winter months. During the summer, when this access point that is being sold as economic development, the tides are too low, the eelgrass which is in decline gets mangled, pulled and disturbed. People disturb the birds and foul.

There is no plan to manage the Gorge Watershed, with loss of habitat in the nearshore, and over 80 docks built with no science or permits.

Give your head a shake people, this is a national treasure and should be treated as such – a sanctuary in an urban city. Yet we treat the Gorge Watershed like a piece of crap to exploit and abuse.

Before Esquimalt goes any further an environmental impact study needs to be done for the entire watershed. We as a community spent millions of dollars and time restoring the Gorge Watershed and the decline is very noticeable.

Fix your underground infrastructure Esquimalt, stop bleeding sewage and containments into our marine environment. Spend the $17 million fixing your issues not causing more.

John R. Roe

Veins of Life Watershed Society

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