Editor’s note: This letter was sent to Squamish’s mayor and council, and forwarded to The Chief for publication.
I had to use sandpaper to remove a seven-centimetre-wide stain on my vessel’s water line recently. The pressure wash took off the bottom paint but would not lift this stain. It was a foul mix of dirty water, human excrement, cooking grease, lubricants and many other kinds of waste. It is wrong to assume that whatever we flush is suitably treated.
The permanent berth for my vessel is at Sea to Sky Marina on the Mamquam Blind Channel. This has been our berth for the past four years and only this year have we had a foul waterline. The only visible change to this area has been the large increase in the number of vessels not at marinas.
Sailors can clean their waterlines but the harm to the environment, sea creatures and wildlife is long lasting. In April of this year, there was much concern about the likely negative impact of dredging the channel at the Stawamus Creek outlet. This fecal pollution is definitely more harmful even to the human population.
There is an economic need to keep the water of the Blind Channel clean. The approved condo developments and SODC need a pristine waterfront. Mamquam Blind Channel is slowly becoming a dumping ground for derelict and poorly maintained vessels. This can be stopped by declaring this area a “no discharge zone” and enforcing the nationwide rule for holding tanks.