The 2015 salmon spawn has been a very sad season for the Streamkeepers of Stoney Creek Environment Committee, Burnaby, BC.

There was a washout in Burnaby Mountain Conservation Forest due to heavy rains at the very beginning of November 2015 that has impacted the creek. What was at first expected to be a banner year for the Salmon (Coho and Chum) spawning season has now brought sequela that could last for years.

The latest emails to the SCEC volunteers has indicated that after the washout that sent silt down the creek that fish continued to be seen.  The concern is that the silt will smother the eggs.

All the hard work of returning salmon is gone to waste.  Habitat for the eggs and the future of the salmon is effected.

While I want to avoid pointing fingers I want to point out the importance of action we take to avoid such disasters in the future.

I believe that community and decision-makers must make sustainable development choices.

For this reason I want to point to the world events that indicate what path is unsustainable.

Today we have discovered that the manslaughter cases * against managers of the BP rig where 11 workers were killed in the explosion have been dropped. It was the culture of this oil company overlooking safety in favour of company profits that indicates to me how we should handle development on the West Coast.  With Care!

Oil and gas is a big part of our daily lives.  It is hard for us to imagine a world without the convenience of cars fueled on the finite fossil resources.

The single occupancy car has defined how we live and how our cities and communities are built.

The thing that is not making big news today is that climate change is a huge factor of our continued existence on planet earth.  It is having an impact locally.  You may continue your lives feet from this washout at the location of the pipeline on Burnaby Mountain and not even realize it has happened… Except that your car has to slow down for the traffic work on Gaglardi Way!

If we weigh some of the community solutions we may be surprised.

I think transit needs to be part of the discussion.

I love the expression of this subway conversation in a photo from a trip in 2007 to Copenhagen, Denmark. P1090159

The president of the SFU Trust, Gordon Harris @UniverCity_SFU (twitter) is once again talking about the Gondola service to UniverCity and SFU, Burnaby.   To be fair there are some great logistics that need to be ironed out.  This project in itself is built through communities (the housing at the foot of Burnaby Mountain on the South side)  and through the conservation forest; in the vicinity of crucial spawning habitat.

And it is expensive.

Who says we need more pipelines?  Currently Kinder Morgan is proposing twinning their pipeline from Alberta, Canada for shipping Bitumen out of Burnaby ports.  Consider the alternatives.

Can you imagine transit that solves community need?  Can you imagine a fun bus ride and people talking, riding to locations atop Burnaby Mountain to see the view… and at once they didn’t have to burn extra fuel of a single occupancy car or truck to get there.

Alternative fuels, bikes, pedestrian communities… We have a whole slough of amazing opportunities that will make a bright future – together.

Thank you to the great volunteers of Stoney Creek Environment Committee who continue their work watching the creeks and counting spawners each season. Without their work the salmon could just disappear and we’d never know.  We wouldn’t know what we missed.

Happy Conversations!



North Americans and Transit

Manslaughter Charges Dropped Against 2 BP Supervisors over 11 Rig worker deaths

Endangered Species – Nooksack Dace impacted by washout

Washout at Oil Pipeline