Thursday, December 04, 2008

Proposed Tidal Power Sites near Quadra Island, BC

Ocean River Sports just posted an interesting link on their newsletter. It seems like there's a new gold rush going on these days -- private claims being staked to sites in tidal channels near Quadra Island, for the possible installation of tidal power generators.

Read more
View a video

If you're reading our blog Kayak Yak, you're probably interested in this matter. You might want to drop a note to Patricia Eng, Manager of Crown Lands and Resources at, or Duncan Williams, Executive Director of Regional Operations at, or Land Officer Integrated Land Management Bureau at, or the Honourable Barry Penner, Minister of the Environment at -- I sure wanted to talk with them, and wrote the following:

Dear Ms Eng, Mr Williams, Ms Engels and Mr Penner:
I have learned that there are proposals for tidal-powered electric generators to be installed near Quadra Island in BC waters.

Any such generators must be installed only in the most safe and low-impact ways possible, there and anywhere in Canadian waters. It's not just that the installation and presence of more than a very few generators will ruin a channel for marine mammals, frightening and killing them. It's not just that too many generators in a channel will ruin its use for fishing and boating, or as access to other areas. My concern is that the there can and very probably would be lasting environmental damage and restricted access to wilderness areas and parks because of these proposed generators and their associated shoreline infrastructure, transmission lines, and clearcut forests around the lines.

Please ensure that great care is taken to minimize the numbers and especially the impact of any tidal generators -- and "minimize" in real & effective ways, not as a token pretense. I have poured concrete and worked in construction and in our provincial parks; I have seen that ordinary building materials can have profound and unexpected effects on a variety of locations. I am a kayaker, and have spoken out in favour of the idea of careful installation of a few tidal generators in my home waters near Cadboro Bay and Chatham and Discovery Islands. This week, I am proofreading the galleys of my latest book, Making Good Choices About Nonrenewable Resources for the series Green Matters from Rosen Publishing. This advice is not coming from an idealist ignorant of the issues that must be managed responsibly.

I am seriously alarmed that profiteers may benefit personally from ruining natural resources, instead of our province generating a modest amount of power for local community use without spoiling those natural resources. The use of these channels for fishing and boating has a value that is harder to count in dollars than the private claims staked there for tidal power sites, but it is a real and lasting value. The use of these channels by marine mammals is even harder to count in dollars -- unless perhaps one considers that European ships came to this coastline expressly because of the profit that could be gained from the marine mammals.

Please keep me informed about the proposed tidal power sites and the proposed legislation concerning this issue.
Thank you,
Paula Johanson.

No comments:

Post a Comment