Who are the Friends of Shoal Harbour?

The Friends of Shoal Harbour are an organization unfamiliar to many

Articles in consecutive editions of the PNR (Wednesday, July 24 and Friday, July 26) refer to concerns with the Town of Sidney’s approval of new sea wall construction on All Bay Road within Roberts Bay. The July 26 article (Seawall construction goes ahead) refers to Friends of Shoal Harbour, an organization unfamiliar to many.

In 2010, following a recommendation in the 2008 Marine Task Force Final Report, a joint municipally-led Sidney/North Saanich initiative was proposed in order to research an integrated plan for Shoal Harbour. The plan recognized the value of the 1931 Migratory Bird Sanctuary (Shoal Harbour and Roberts Bay) and the public interest in a beautiful foreshore and the needs of a vibrant marine industry.

After initial meetings the Town of Sidney withdrew its support and the municipally-led initiative stalled. Some of the citizen-participants in the original initiative feel that a plan as described above is very much worth pursuing and have come together in a non-profit society incorporated under the B.C. Societies Act with the name Friends of Shoal Harbour Society.

In researching how an integrated plan could be brought forward, Friends of Shoal Harbour Society was assisted by the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Victoria.

Their exhaustive research led to a report describing all the many overlapping jurisdictions, regulations etc. claimed by Federal and Provincial agencies regarding the near shore environment and harbours in particular.

In this grand tangle one thing is clear, without active leadership at the municipal level and support from residents, no effective plan will result.

This conclusion was confirmed by the ruckus over the sea wall construction in Roberts Bay. None of the federal or provincial agencies with oversight on such matters ventured an opinion when informed. Friends of Shoal Harbour feel that had an effective, publicly-supported municipal plan been in place, the owners of the Roberts Bay property would have been guided to a solution that met their needs while better maintaining the environmental and aesthetic value of the site.

As part of the annual celebration of the return of the Bufflehead ducks to their winter quarters on Roberts Bay and Patricia Bay, Friends of Shoal Harbour will be hosting a public symposium on Oct. 19 at the Mary Winspear Centre.

The event will be an opportunity to learn about the organization and contribute ideas as to how we can live respectfully and in balance with our natural surroundings.

Hugh Richards

Chair, Friends of Shoal Harbour Society

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria archery club says goodbye to outdoor range in View Royal

Province-owned View Royal property will house handyDART facility

Hotel workers gather in Victoria, demand right to return to work

Workers also asking the government to make sure employers don’t use pandemic to replace them

RCMP cruiser damaged while responding to second of three Sidney crashes

Multiple crashes cause delays in both directions on Highway 17

MISSING: Victoria woman dubbed high-risk, last seen mid-June

Kristy Bolton is known to frequent the Rock Bay area

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Most Read