A couple of U.S. diplomats visited Squamish and parts of the surrounding Sea to Sky Corridor on Tuesday, May 23 to learn about some of the evolving environmental sciences and technology in B.C.
Consul General D. Brent Hardt and U.S. Ambassador David L. Cohen first took a trip to Porteau Cove Provincial Park where they learned about microplastic threats to the waterways from Rhiannon Moore with the City of Victoria and Stephanie Wang with Ocean Wise.
“They went out of their way and took time to meet with us to describe some of the environmental threats that are associated with plastic pollutants in oceans and waterways,” Hardt told The Squamish Chief.
“They showed us up in Porteau Cove a citizen science toolkit they've developed that can allow anyone really to measure levels of microplastics and waterways that may be around their homes, and then report it to scientists who are collecting data on the issue,” he continued.
Hardt explained how these shared waterways are important for both the U.S. and Canada.
“These waterways are the lifeblood of the communities here,” he said. “These ecosystems sustain so much life in these waterways between the U.S. and Canada.”
Next on their agenda was visiting Carbon Engineering in Squamish.
The two diplomats visited with staff at Carbon Engineering where they learned more about the company’s direct air capture technology, which is largely being put to action in the U.S.
“We've got to use all the technologies we can access and make the most of each one because it's not going to be one unique solution,” Hardt said. “To see companies like Carbon Engineering doing such great, innovative work was, again, really impressive.”
Having lived in Vancouver since 2020, Hardt said it was great to have Cohen, who was visiting from Ottawa, take a trip up the Sea to Sky Highway and see the “natural beauty” of Squamish.
“The drive up there from Vancouver to Squamish is, I think, one of the most beautiful in the world,” he said.
Hardt said Squamish was well-known to him for the outdoor pursuits it offers. He added his own favourite spot to visit in Squamish is Shannon Falls as well as another certain activity many folks tend to enjoy around here.
“I would be remiss if I didn't mention that of all the beers I've tasted since I've been here that Backcountry Brewery is my favourite. The Widowmaker is my favourite beer that I've had since I've been here,” he said.
“We’re hoping to serve it for our July 4 celebration this year.”
To learn more about the Consul General, visit his online biography.