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Editorial: Doing a little can help Howe Sound

There are upcoming opportunities for locals who want to see cleaner Howe Sound beaches.
Bianca IzurietaHowe Sound Squamish clean ups
There's a lot we feel powerless about these days, but we can put on gloves and help clean up our waterways, for the sake of Howe Sound.

Over the last few years, sometimes — er, often? — world events have seemed overwhelming.

With the pandemic making us feel physically and emotionally vulnerable and the proof of climate change literally heating us up, inflation kicking our budgets into the red and interest rates as unpredictable as Highway 99 traffic, it is easy to feel anxious.

But maybe anxiety is an oversimplification of this emotion.

Rather, it’s a feeling that we are singularly responsible for making things better or worse with our every choice, combined with a sense that we have no control over anything.

The truth is likely somewhere in between.

And while politicians and corporations like to make us believe that our individual choices are the problem and solution, when it comes to the bigger picture — environmental, health and economic policy — they are the ones with the real power to improve things. Or not.

But we can do small things that make our corner of the world a little better and make ourselves feel a little less crappy.

There is a quote attributed to Vincent Van Gogh that he didn’t actually say, at least not as it is presented (he said similar things in a letter to his brother but not in those words).

Nevertheless, it is powerful and works well in this context: “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”


There are upcoming opportunities for locals who want to see cleaner Howe Sound beaches.

And who doesn’t?

The Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Marine Stewardship Initiative (MSI) is hosting two cleanups.  

The first is at Shishay̓u7ay̓ (Britannia Beach) on Aug. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The second is at the Xwu’nekw Park and Canoe Shelter downtown on Aug. 16th from 12 to 2 p.m.

Technically, that is the Mamquam Blind Channel, but what gets washed into that waterway eventually ends up in Howe Sound.

MSI is also collecting information about marine debris in Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound.

This reported information is being displayed on MSI’s Marine Reference Guide and will be analyzed to help identify areas needing cleanup and to help develop best management practices for decision-makers.

These are small things we can do that may have a big-ish impact.

Find out more at

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