Municipal officials aim to fill vacancies on a committee that oversees the Squamish Estuary before undertaking a long-overdue review of the plan that governs its management.
This year, the District of Squamish is set to examine the Squamish Estuary Management Plan. The document was developed in 1999 in an effort to balance industrial, commercial and environmental values at the head of Howe Sound. The plan is scheduled to be reviewed every five years, but the last time the blueprint was touched was during an interim review nine years ago.
The committee has a number of empty seats the district hopes to fill, Kimberley Armour, the plan coordinator, told council at a meeting on Jan. 7. Some of the bigger gaps include the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, she noted, adding the vacancy was created as a result of changes to the Fisheries Act last year.
The Squamish Estuary Management Plan is a fundamental part of the community's environment, Coun. Patricia Heintzman said. It covers approximately 935 hectares of land between the Squamish River and Mamquam Blind Channel.
The committee will address key items such as the provincial plan to remediate the West-Barr Contracting Ltd. log sort. The facility is scheduled to move from the estuary to Site B, on the eastern side of the Mamquam Blind Channel, this year.
The committee will also delve into the murky water of increased responsibilities throughout the area. Federal, provincial and local governments have jurisdictions in the area that sometimes overlap, an engineering report to council noted. Municipal officials have requested the province grant conservation officers the authority to enforce regulations in the estuary.
The committee’s first meeting is planned on Wednesday (Jan. 15). For more information visit www.squamish.ca.