Please attend a Community Conversation about Tsehum Harbour, Tsehum Lagoon and Roberts Bay. Join us on ZOOM, Thursday, April 15, 4:00 to 5:00 pm. We need your input!

Background

In the mid 1800’s as settlers were arriving on the Saanich Peninsula, the sheltered waters and lush foreshores of Tsehum Harbour and Tsehum Lagoon (then known as Shoal Harbour) were prime habitat for waterfowl and many other wild creatures. Flocks of Brant geese interrupted their migrations to rest here and feed. Commercial hunters harvested them so aggressively that by 1930 the numbers of visiting Brant geese were seriously reduced, so much so that the Government of Canada established a Migratory Bird Sanctuary encompassing Tsehum Harbour and Roberts Bay, as it had done a decade earlier along the foreshore of Victoria.

Establishing  these two migratory bird sanctuaries was effective in  curtailing  over-hunting but has not prevented the degradation of the sanctuary itself due to residential and commercial development on its shores. We also realize that the loosely framed and under-enforced bylaws currently in place in both Sidney and North Saanich have not been effective  either in preventing harm to the Sanctuary.  Ironically, Tsehum Harbour, Tsehum Lagoon and and Roberts Bay, squarely within the Sanctuary, have become three of the most degraded nearshore areas on the Saanich Peninsula due to (partial list):

  • Contaminated runoff from storm sewers, streets and highways, waterfront properties, industrial activities
  • Cumulative effects of over 3000 pleasure craft moored in the harbour (anti-fouling paint, fuel and lubricants, garbage and other effluvia (particularly Styrofoam particles))
  • Loss of shoreline trees (aging plus removals)
  • Degradation of beaches due to seawalls and sea-level rise

The day-to -day stewardship of our local natural endowment (our naturehood) has become the responsibility of local municipal governments staffed by people who we know and who live among us. Thus, as voting citizens, we share with them the responsibility for establishing and directing the necessary stewardship.

The Ask

Friends of Shoal Harbour is inviting you to join a Community Conversation about Tsehum Harbour and Tsehum Lagoon on Thursday, April 15, 4:00 to 5:00 pm.

We hope that this Community Conversation will result in both energy and ideas in support of  initiatives to provide more effective care for of our local NatureHoods

The ZOOM link to this conversation is given below (it will be activated on April 15). Note: this link has been updated on this site at 12:30 pm April 13, 2021

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83064120709?pwd=cWJScVE4UjBZU0Y1OXFoSGZBYktmQT09

Meeting ID: 830 6412 0709
Passcode: 720167

Here is a link to a document outlining (1) specific purposes of this conversation, (2) the desired outcomes (both short and long term) of our initiative (of which The April 15 conversation will be a part), and (3) an assessment of the current situation.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ReTSY5ccDiMz2GjsmZwIsG7Nce_jY1ha/view?usp=sharing

The Day I Saved a Hummingbird (a picture and poem by Veda )

Veda (age 9) lives across the road from your editor. She’s a busy kid, smart and articulate, a natural, I thought to participate in the story and Naturehood Canoe exchange that Friends of Shoal Harbour sponsored a short time ago. Veda signed on. I asked her now and then how the project was going and each time Veda said that she was working on it. Have I not heard that story before? But Veda did deliver and it’s super!

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