Healthy waters and shorelines are teeming with life as in this picture - as long as they are not exposed to pollutants.
Oil and fuel are not the only dangers that could devastate our islands.
Pumped or poured into the sea, bilge water, sludge, waste containing chemicals, or sewage can accumulate and do serious damage.
Bilge water can also contain invasive aquatic species from other parts of the world, which could wreak havoc in our ecosystems.
In our islands, pollution has nowhere to go.
Two anchorage sites are close to the beautiful bay referred to as 'Ganges Harbour'. Discharges or oil slicks are driven by the prevailing winds and tides straight towards Ganges at the end of the bay. It is simply the lay of the land.
Salt Spring Islanders have already been struggling with keeping this picturesque waterway to Ganges clean. The local sewage system was improved at a cost of several million dollars. But now, the delicate balance of water quality is threatened again.
Chocolate Beach, Beddis Beach and Price Beach belong to the most attractive beaches on Salt Spring Island. Instead of relaxing there, you are now exposed to a constant rumbling roaring generator noise, and you can go swimming in water mixed with discharges from these anchoring freighters.
Several incidents of discharges from anchoring ships have been observed, including an oily shiny slick on the water. The Coast Guard as the responsible authority was alerted. They were not interested.
"Today the ZEYNO arrived and immediately dumped some liquid substance in the water. The liquid mass floated and remained together for at least 1/2 hour, making a huge plume.
The tide was pushing the mass of liquid into Ganges Harbour. Please see the photo.
We used to be able to fish for crab along our shore, but we would never consider doing that now. Our fragile marine environment is under attack by this continuous stream of freighters to our front door. Even the propellers cause problems stirring up the bottom and disturbing the marine life this close to shore."
See Next: Accidents