This years cleanup is scheduled for the 23 March 2019.
The cleanup started 6 years ago when we were replacing our wharf in the CR Estuary. We noticed half a dozen tires that were visible on the bottom, and sent a diver down to get them. We stopped pulling them up at 50+ tires that day.
Looking left and right at the other docks, and the estuary as a whole, we realized that a significant problem existed. The surface of the Spit and the estuary looks pretty good. Under the surface is a garbage pit, from 70+ years of industrial use and boat traffic.
The cleanup effort has become a community event. Phil organizes it but it is not just a Tyee Club effort any more. Last year, we had 10 commercial divers and over 30 volunteers working on the surface. To date, we have pulled over 500 tires from just the inside of the Tyee Spit (stacked up, that’s the height of a 30 story building, and we know there are at least 200+ more down there). We have also removed mountains of bottles, cans, cable, water pipe and old crab traps. We have located three sunken boats.
Why are we doing this? The garbage covers the bottom, and keep the eel grass from growing. Studies have shown that the tires do slowly break down and the bits get into the food chain. Phil’s biggest reason for doing it, is that this junk does NOT belong there.
No blame, no pointing fingers at “who has done it” and no politics of what and who, belong in the CR estuary. Lets just clean it up! This is volunteer driven, without any government help. We have been funded by the Campbell River Salmon Foundation, the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Rotary Clubs of Campbell River in the past.
I would love to get a few “heavy lifter” volunteers. The tires come up half filled with mud. They probably weigh 15-20 kilos each. Pulling tires up on a rope, and lifting them into a boat or onto a dock is heavy, muddy, sweaty work. Strong backs only! Rain gear and boots are a must.
I would also like to get a couple of outboard herring type skiffs that can hold 3-6 people and lots of weight.
If anyone can help, please contact me.
The Estuary is the center of community, the lungs of the Campbell River, and right now, its a garbage dump. Lets fix it!
Phil Griffith 250-923-0400 (home) 250-202-8547 (cell) email: philgrif’firstname.lastname@example.org