Tag Archives: 2021 Heat Wave

A coastal First Nation’s Guardians are ‘testing the water’ to prepare for climate change

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A coastal First Nation’s Guardian team is gearing up to test the waters to try to limit the impacts of drought in their traditional territories on northeast Vancouver Island.   

The We Wai Kai First Nation’s environmental stewards are partnering with other local groups to map and monitor wetlands, watersheds and streams on Quadra Island as summers get hotter and drier, said Guardian program manager Shane Pollard. 

Continue reading A coastal First Nation’s Guardians are ‘testing the water’ to prepare for climate change

Will the heavy rains come in time for this year’s Chum run in Basil Creek?

Part 1 in a series of articles about the Fall 2023 Salmon runs; Click here for Part 2.

Very little water is trickling through Basil Creek, where Cortes Island’s principal Chum run occurs in late October. There have been few days of rain on Cortes since May, and some of the area’s shallow wells stopped producing in July. Only about 10 Chum were seen in Basil Creek during the 2022 drought. Unless water levels rise, this may be the second year in a row when there is not a significant creek for the Chum return. 

According to the Pacific Salmon Foundation, BC is going through ‘one of the most extreme periods of drought in recorded history.’ 

Continue reading Will the heavy rains come in time for this year’s Chum run in Basil Creek?

Small island community launches big effort to develop water security

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

As a landscape architect specializing in wetland restoration, Bernie Amell knows how water moves across the landscape. 

However, he has had a crash course in drought after Amell and his wife moved to their Quadra Island agricultural acreage on B.C.’s so-called “Wet Coast” three years ago. 

“We arrived in 2021, in the ‘heat dome’ summer, and the shallow well dried up,” said Amell, a member of Quadra Island’s Climate Action Network (I-CAN).

Continue reading Small island community launches big effort to develop water security

Climate Adaptation workshop on Cortes Island

Around 60 representatives from social profits on Cortes, Quadra, and a number of the other islands recently gathered at Hollyhock. One of the breakout sessions was on climate adaption. Cortes Currents subsequently met with Max Thaysen, facilitator of that workshop, as well as Bruce Ellingsen, a participant.  

“I was asked to host a conversation about climate adaptation, which we expanded into climate mitigation, stopping the pollution that’s causing the damage and adjusting our systems and life ways to be able to tolerate the pollution and the damage,” explained Thaysen.

Continue reading Climate Adaptation workshop on Cortes Island

Highway wildfire closure drives home B.C.’s need to think big about climate measures

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

British Columbia’s enormous effort to speed the partial reopening of Highway 4 on Vancouver Island — closed for upwards of two weeks due to a wildfire — is another illustration of the dramatic costs tied to climate impacts, says an economist.

“It’s a huge hit to the restaurants, hotels, and all the services that would normally be making money at this time of year and potentially jeopardizes their whole summer,” said Marc Lee, senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

“The economic disruption and costs associated with already existing climate change is something that we don’t often think about enough.”

The province’s Transportation Ministry has been pulling out the stops to get the key transportation corridor — the only paved road serving Port Alberni, numerous First Nations and the West Coast tourist hot spots of Ucluelet and Tofino — open to single-lane alternating traffic by the weekend.

Continue reading Highway wildfire closure drives home B.C.’s need to think big about climate measures