Signs like this are distributed on beaches to remind seekers of sensitive vegetation and fauna. — Photo courtesy of the Tidal Treasures Facebook page

Signs like this are distributed on beaches to remind seekers of sensitive vegetation and fauna. — Photo courtesy of the Tidal Treasures Facebook page

People ‘disregard rules’ after searching for Tidal Treasures in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Float Fairies no longer hiding floats in Columbia Beach after this month

A few bad apples can ruin it for the rest, says Wendy Sears.

Sears, who does social media and communications for Tidal Treasures, said for the final month of the popular treasure hunt, the float fairies will be hiding the glass floats only at Parksville beach and Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park.

This follows reports of people not respecting the environment and residents at Columbia Beach while hunting area beaches over the Easter long weekend.

“The Columbia Beach people have been pretty supportive (of Tidal Treasures),” Sears said. “They don’t want to see their beach destroyed or the environment because people are out of control.”

Sears said for Easter, Tidal Treasures released a special draw of Easter egg floats. This wasn’t their first special draw, said Sears, referring to special floats for Valentine’s Day, but the egg floats were more widely publicized.

Sears said the Tidal Treasures committee was planning to release special floats for Mothers’ Day, but because of the reaction to the Easter egg floats, that won’t happen.

“To be quite honest, people lost their minds and totally disregarded the rules,” Sears said. “We’re not about that. We don’t hide things so people have to move logs and we don’t place things on private property.”

Tidal Treasures has signs reminding seekers of sensitive vegetation and fauna. The signs also state there are no treasures hidden beyond those points.

A Facebook post on April 21 from Tidal Treasures addresses the behaviour of some people over the Easter long weekend and the feedback received from residents.

“Our goal is to bring on more beaches in the future, but behaviour like this makes it difficult for us,” the post stated. “The majority of our beaches have homes on them so when people show little respect for privacy, property and nature, it doesn’t bode well with that community.”

Most people are respectful when looking for the floats, Sears said. “It wasn’t the maority, it was the minority,” she said.

After a special committee meeting, Sears said, they have decided to give Columbia Beach a break from Tidal Treasures at the end of April. Sears also said they won’t be hiding special floats for holidays anymore.

“If we did that, people would still anticipate it,” said Sears, adding that the glass artists will be focusing on sea-themed floats.

Next year, Sears said, Tidal Treasures will also shorten the treasure hunt, starting in mid-October and running until the end of April.

Glass floats were once used by fishermen in many parts of the world to keep fishing lines afloat. Those floats would occasionally break loose and wash up on shores, becoming a popular collectors’ item. Local glass artists have been creating the floats and Float Fairies have been hiding them on the three local beaches in the tourist off-season.

For more information on Tidal Treasures, visit www.tidaltreasures.org.

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