A not-for-profit organization is pushing for a comprehensive management plan to govern future growth and protection of Howe Sound.
Howe Sound is only just recovering from decades of abuse, Ruth Simons said on Dec. 18. A pod of white-sided dolphins has taken up residency in its waters, herring are spawning off Squamish's shores and commercial prawning is back, the executive director of the Future of Howe Sound Society told Squamish council.
“Despite the millions of dollars spent on the remediation of Britannia, there is no overall management plan for the Howe Sound region,” Simons said.
The waterway is governed by a multitude of municipal boundaries and communities within the corridor are expected to grow, she noted. There are major proposals, such as Burnco's gravel mine at McNab Creek, which threaten the sound's recovery, Simons said.
In 2002, the district, along with 12 other governing bodies, signed the Howe Sound Community Forum Principles For Cooperation Agreement, which encourages communities to “work together for the greater good because territorial lines on a map mean nothing in terms of sustainability.”
However, the forum has not been active, something the society hopes to change, Simons said.
Coun. Patricia Heintzman acknowledged that the agreement has been dormant. The creation of a Howe Sound management plan sounds great, but the district will need to understand the financial implications before signing on, she said. Backed by council, she referred the request to the municipality's budget process.
Council took up an invitation to participate in the Future of Howe Sound Forum on April 13 in West Vancouver.
For more information about the society and its initiatives visit www.futureofhowesound.org.