The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) has registered strong opposition to a proposal for an aquaculture site off Nelson Island near Cape Cockburn.
Emerald Sea Farms has reapplied for two sites on the island for geoduck farming, but with one of the sites fronting the SCRD’s Harry Roberts Park, directors are asking the company to find “a different remote location” for the shellfish farm.
The reasons given for the board’s opposition include the overlap of the proposed site with anchor locations for beach and park access, interference with boat traffic, the area’s potential as a forage fish spawning ground, and possible plans by the SCRD to apply for a foreshore licence.
The second proposed site did not garner overt opposition, but the board did note in its referral to senior government agencies that an aggregate company holds two Crown leases upland of the site.
The board’s resolution also expresses concern about the number of errors in the applications and calls for appropriate consultation with First Nations.
Pender Harbour/Egmont director Frank Mauro spoke to the first point during the Sept. 12 planning and development committee meeting.
“It seems to me the applications are quite cavalier and not well thought out,” he said.
The SCRD emergency coordinator and Gibsons fire chief will prepare a report on public access through the Poplars Mobile Home Park in Elphinstone, the board decided at its Sept. 12 regular meeting.
The issue came forward after residents complained that the footpath between the Bonniebrook area and Poplars had been blocked since late August when management at the mobile home park erected a large fence to curb vandalism.
The report, which will come to the planning and development committee next month, will look at access through both Harry Road and the right-of-way at the end of Moondance Place.
The resolution also asked staff to set up a meeting between the Poplars property manager and Elphinstone director Lorne Lewis.
Ag workshop series
Innovative approaches to agriculture will be the focus of a series of four SCRD workshops starting next week.
Part of the Sunshine Coast agricultural area plan process, the workshops will explore market opportunities and look at potential pilot projects, with each workshop featuring a different speaker and theme.
The first workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Seaside Centre in the District of Sechelt. The guest speaker is Comox Valley farmer Moss Dance, who will talk about collaborative marketing strategies — developing a logo for the Comox region and establishing Melville Organics, a cooperative community-supported agriculture program.
Other workshop dates are: Oct. 2 at Frank West Hall in Elphinstone, with guest speaker Heather Pritchard from Farm Folk/City Folk in Vancouver on cooperative farming structures; Oct. 8 at Roberts Creek Hall, with Anna Helmer of Helmers’ Potatoes in Pemberton on agri-tourism and value-added marketing; and Oct. 15 at Coopers Green Hall in Halfmoon Bay, with Anne Macey of the Salt Spring Agricultural Alliance on small-scale meat processing.
All workshops run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and are open to the public.
For more information see www.scrd.ca/agriculture.