Monday April 11, 2011

Community

A Hand For The Leg

Peg Leg spring cleanup Sunday April 17 

Submitted by Mary Woodbury, FRK/Voice file photo

 

oodtone and Fraser Riverkeeper are pleased to announce that they will be back at Pegleg Gravel Bar in Chilliwack for the fourth annual cleanup of this popular recreation area.


Spring cleaning begins April 17th, the Sunday before Earth Day.

This is a fun family event and a great opportunity to do your part for Earth Day. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, there will be coffee, snacks, and a cookout for lunch. We invite fellow Chilliwack and Fraser Valley businesses, and everyone who enjoys the river, to come and join us at Pegleg Bar in Chilliwack.

 

Volunteers are advised to dress for the weather and rough terrain and to bring gloves and a water bottle-drinking water will be available onsite, along with hot coffee, snacks and lunch. All volunteers will be asked to sign a waiver before participating. Please sign up to attend by contacting Fraser Riverkeepers here.

"Our team of volunteers is really making a difference," said Chris Young of Woodtone. "Last year, we removed about 7 tonnes of waste and recyclables from Pegleg Bar. The year before, it was something like 11 tonnes." Bins are donated by BFI Canada, and Andy Rotzetter of Rotz Disposal provides drivers and co- ordinates disposal. The City of Chilliwack helps out by allowing the waste to be tipped at the landfill free of charge and by providing equipment.

"Getting this waste off the Bar before the spring freshet is critical," said Doug Chapman, Fraser Riverkeeper. "Everything that gets washed downstream is likely to end up in the holding and rearing areas critical for salmon migration." Chapman acts as spokesperson, monitor and advocate for the Fraser and its tributaries. He is one of nine Waterkeepers in Canada and hundreds world-wide who work to protect water bodies from pollution and
abuse.

"When we take customers from out of the area out on the river, they are always in awe of its natural beauty", said Chris Young, Co-CEO of Woodtone. "So it's a no brainer to ask our employees to volunteer their time to help keep it that way." In fact, many Woodtone employees live nearby the Fraser and enjoy the many activities it offers in their personal time as well.

Pegleg Bar provides easy access to the Fraser River for recreational fishing and is one of the more popular and productive bars, providing prime gathering spots, "Unfortunately, not everyone who enjoys the area cleans up behind themselves," said Karen Wristen, Executive Director at Fraser Riverkeeper. "The Pegleg Bar Cleanup gives us all a chance to do something positive-for ourselves, the River and the fish."

For more information about this go here.


More about Peg Leg
According to the Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia, the Fraser River tied for 2nd place in BC's Most Endangered Rivers 2008 survey. While sewage discharges, urban development and road- building rank highest among the multiple threats to the river and its fish, the debris and toxins left behind by recreational activities can contribute to the degradation of valuable holding and rearing areas for salmon.

Pegleg Bar itself is a spawning area for chum salmon, which prefer the coarse gravels found in this area of the river. Redds have been identified at several areas around the perimeter of the Bar, and there may have been redds in Minto Channel and elsewhere in the watered areas of the Bar. Sadly, many of these would not have survived current recreational uses, in which motorized vehicles feature heavily.

Garbage left behind in the river can have immediate consequences for wildlife, such as entanglement in or ingestion of plastics, Styrofoam, fishing line, etc. Even small spills of oil and fuel can pollute vast amounts of water and interfere with the hatching of insects vital to the health of the river.

In the larger context, garbage left in the river can be washed out to sea, where it has particularly nasty consequences for wildlife. Some of the long-lasting plastics break down into tiny particles and end up in the stomachs of birds and animals, or are ingested by smaller organisms. Plastics can also absorb some organic pollutants from the water, such as PAHs. These may be immediately toxic to wildlife, but they can also cause hormone disruption with long-term implications for reproductive success. Organic pollutants can bio-accumulate and be passed up the food chain to human consumers of seafood.

Both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans now contain huge, floating masses of debris, carried and concentrated by ocean currents into patches known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the Great Atlantic Garbage Patch.
 

About Fraser Riverkeepers
Fraser Riverkeeper is a registered Canadian charitable organization dedicated to the protection, conservation, and improvement of the water quality and fish habitat of the "Mighty" Fraser River and watershed. Fraser Riverkeeper is a member of Waterkeeper Alliance, an international coalition operating under Robert F. Kennedy Jr., with 200 Waterkeeper groups on six continents fighting for everyone's right to swim, drink, and fish in healthy watersheds. Riverkeeper Doug Chapman patrols the waters of the Fraser River by boat, responding to citizen complaints of pollution and monitoring water quality to defend local waterways and bring polluters to justice.
 

Fraser Riverkeeper strives to win back the Fraser River to ensure "Wild Salmon Forever". For more information, visit www.fraserriverkeeper.ca or e-mail here.
 

About Woodtone
Founded in 1977, Woodtone is a family-run business with roots in BC's Fraser Valley. Woodtone manufactures a full range of high-grade, factory-primed, wood exterior finishing materials that are sustainable and add significant curb appeal to new home construction. It also offers custom coating services in its BC ad WA production facilities. Woodtone's products are distributed throughout Western Canada and the United States. Through its own initiative, The Woodtone Way, Woodtone is committed to supporting its employees, the communities in which it operates, and the environment at large. For more information about Woodtone or this story, visit www.woodtone.com or email here.
 

To see The Voice's story and photo gallery from last year go here.
 

 

Copyright (c) 2011 The Valley Voice