Sunday, September 9, 2012

Not logical or low-impact but maybe long-lasting: arttificlal reef project looms

This past weekend was a bittersweet one for us as we face some major and unwanted changes in Halkett Bay. As we watched the seals in the bay I wondered what was in store for them in the days ahead, For some time we have been fighting against the sinking of a warship which is being touted as an ecological and economic boost to the area. However the more I read about artificial reefs the more convinced I am that, in this case at least, this is a bad idea. Recently the US government has put a stop to using ships of this era to create artificial reefs. In one case, fish in the area of a dumped ship saw an over 1000 percent increase in PCB levels. Proponents of this reef say that it will remediate a site which has been damaged by years of log booms, and while this area has been a booming ground, that's not the side if the bay they're planning to sink the ship on. I think what makes me angriest about all of this is that it is being done under the guise of 'enhancing' the natural habitat while little to no study has gone in to making sure this is actually the case. I know I have talked to several divers who assure me that artificial reefs are teeming with life but just like seagulls or bears at a dump, that doesn't reassure me that we've created a healthy eco-system.
The explosion from the sinking will likely kill nearby seals in the area and recent changes in environmental regulations pushed through in the latest budget mean that a thorough environmental assessment won't be required either. So how big an impact this 'eco-tourism' project will actually have may not be known for years to come. 
I've created a blog about some of the information I've gathered, you can find it here There is also the website.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Shingle Best Weekend of 2012

How many puns can people make using the words shingle and shake? About as many as the hundreds of nails that were used to put up the shingle siding on the power tower!

In addition to the many bad puns our long weekend also featured




and nature bingo!

ready to take the plunge

getting crafty!

We also had lots of neighbours and visitors coming to check out our progress. I am getting quite practised at our '7l cabin tour.' If I had to summarize the things I emphasized most about our building journey they were:
  • Start with things you love. In our case, it was the land first, then the windows which we built the house around.
  • Find some common ground that will shape your decisions.
  • Create a good base camp
  • Enjoy the process!
Big thanks to Mike, John, Maddy and Blake and our land partner Bill who brought the beautiful cedar shakes from Vancouver island,

a blog about 1 cabin and 7 ideas

local / logical / lots of uses / long lasting / low impact / low cost /loveable

Big thanks to everyone!

Help Gambier Island

Gambier Island is facing numerous environmental threats at the moment when we are seeing a rebirth of wildlife. Wolves, whales, owls and more, all around us we see evidence of an eco-system on the rebound. But that resurgence is threatened by plans to allow clear-cutting, develop LNG plants, sink warships.