Your July 8 story about the charges laid under the Fisheries Act against a West Vancouver property owner (Waterfront Owner Charged by DFO, North Shore News) has prompted me to write to you.
It has long been on my mind that the degradation of foreshore habitat in the West Vancouver area has not been addressed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
I have paddled along the shoreline of West Vancouver, from Ambleside to Horseshoe Bay, and seen the utter disregard for habitat in the intertidal zone on private properties. There are innumerable concrete structures intruding onto the shore, including homes, decks, docks, driveways and boat launches. There are massive breakwaters built to enclose artificial lagoons for the protection of boats or swimming rafts.
There are ramps for jet ski entry built right into the intertidal zone. There are whole neighbourhoods within feet of the water, buttressed by concrete and steel retaining walls, that have completely eliminated the natural shoreline.
These manmade intrusions are not simply hideous, but are destroying kilometres of marine habitat.
Eel grass beds, kelp beds, surf zones have all been replaced by concrete.
It is high time the DFO took action to protect this valuable habitat.
It seems that some need more than a nudge to consider their environmental footprint.
Dr. Elizabeth Fendley Vancouver