Dear council … about that sludge …

Tofino harbour sludge, 19 NTov. 2009Thanks to local gadabout and civic tornado Jackie Windh and her public-spirited Tofino Residents blog for the heads-up on this gross-looking and undoubtedly insalubrious slick that washed about in Tofino harbour last Thursday — apparently the result of some epic, industrial-style cleaning at a posh waterfront establishment that i will be delighted to name here when it is confirmed. (Click pic to go to her post, with more pics and video.)

Jackie urges concerned residents to ask council to get DFO looking into this, and i concur. If we can’t take even this much responsibility for our immediate surroundings, how can we think ourselves worthy of living in Clayoquot Sound?

Here’s my letter to council:

Dear Tofino Mayor and Council,

I am writing to ask that you vigorously look into the source, effects and punitive measures for the shocking discharge of sludge and trash that was dumped into Tofino harbour on Nov. 19.

If we are to take even a modicum of responsibility for our immediate surroundings, this incident cannot be dismissed or let slide. As Tofino’s elected guardians, I see it as your responsibility to invoke some action on this front. Because it happened on the ocean, it seems to me that DFO is the body responsible for looking into it. Please urge them to undertake an investigation.

If we do not — as individuals, as governing bodies, and as a town — bring censure or repercussion to this grossest form of industrial discharge, then anybody can get away with anything and we might as well write off the whole of Clayoquot Sound.

I suspect — I hope — the whole debacle was just a foolish mistake on someone’s part, rather than a deliberate act of irresponsibility. But even accidents have consequences, and it would be well for those responsible to know people are watching, and people care.

I look forward to hearing more about the cause of this egregious abuse.

Sincerely,

greg blanchette

UPDATE (26 Nov.): It appears i flew off the handle a little, and that the sludge is of natural origin: worm casings. Who’da thunk? That doesn’t explain all the beer cans, but the best biological minds in Tofino are pretty sure. Details at this blog post.

~greg (flying off the handle since … well … birth)

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