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Liquid that connects life
Many people take abundant clean drinking water for granted and on Saturday, March 24 about two dozen people gathered to praise water and honour the work various groups do to keep it clean and safe.
World Water Day was marked with an event organized jointly by the Oceanside Coalition for Strong Communities and Parksville/Qualicum KAIROS.
World Water Day was designated by the United Nations in 1992 to raise awareness about the importance of preserving global water resources.
A small group turned out for a celebration of water at the Parksville Community Park waterfront walkway gazebo.
People took turns talking about our water and called it a sacred gift that connects all life.
During a water ritual, poems were read and a song was sung in praise of water.
David James of Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers pointed to the important work the group has done in the community.
He said their mission is to protect and restore fish habitat and since they formed 15 years ago they have achieved great success and pointed to the new life in Grandon Creek as an example. The water stewards have been working to reduce erosion of the riparian zones along the creek and James said their work has paid off.
“The Creek now has salmon … we saw four full grown salmon and I am guessing there are hundreds coming out of the stream now,” James said.
James noted they have been educating the public about invasive plants and promoting a healthy watershed is proving to be good for fish and people too.
Barry Avis, who wants to represent the Parksville-Qualicum constituency for the B.C. NDP, told the gathering that water is a human right and the province needs to do more to protect our watersheds.
“We don’t have proper riparian policies in place. The government should have stronger policies for aquifer protection,” he told the gathering.
Parksville city councillor Sue Powell told the group that the work the water stewards do is important to the community.