Letters to the Editor

Seaweed dangers

I am one of the many very vocal residents of Deep Bay/Bowser mentioned in the interview with one of the seaweed removers (‘Misconceptions tackled,’ The NEWS, March 6).

The sight, sound, smell and vibration of the dual-tracked, tank-like vehicle driving down the heretofore pristine beaches of Bowser was a very emotional issue for many of the residents. You can be assured we will continue to speak out against this rape of our beaches until it is stopped.

If every property owner along the five-km stretch of beach, in the area these people are driving upon, filed an appeal with the assessment authority of B.C. as I did for a reduction in taxes now that one boundary of property line has gone from high-tax pleasurable view to industrial use five months of the year, the total land value reduction could be as much as $30 million. The Regional District of Nanaimo would feel the main hit of that.

This seaweed is just as intrusive as are all the oysters and scallops that have been introduced into Baynes Sound. The extraction of Carrageenan is the main reason, and if searched on the Internet an amazing amount of information comes up about how very harmful this product if it’s consumed.

The marine wildlife biologist Ramona de Graff encountered these people on the beach a couple of years ago when this all first started and she took the time to explain to them that underneath the sand the seaweed is laying upon are the eggs of the sand lance and other fish, all of whom grow up to be food for salmon.

This seaweed is at the bottom of the food chain and is consumed along with the green sea lettuce by the migrating endangered Brant geese, who feed in our waters during their long journeys.

This seaweed needs to be left in place along the Bowser shores. When it is piled three feet high the winter storm waves come exploding upon the shore and the thick mat of seaweed takes the blow first, thus dissipating the force of the waves and lessens the amount of erosion taking place against our fragile Bowser cliff-top waterfront properties.

The seaweed harvest along the east coast of Canada decimated the growth of the plant and is no longer a viable industry there. The seaweed in Bowser needs to stay right where it is.

Len Walker

Bowser

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