Many thanks for bringing the serious issue of illegal dumping to the editorial page of Coast Reporter.
This is an issue the Sunshine Coast Conservation Association (SCCA) has been concerned with and actively working on for many years. We have, on several occasions, acted as the sponsor group for the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up event, the last two along the Davis Bay promenade.
Whenever possible, we participate with local government in planning processes such as the solid waste management plan with the SCRD to bring environmental concerns to the table. In fact, just two days prior to your editorial, I was having an informal discussion with chair Garry Nohr and several SCRD directors on illegal dumping and the cost structure at our official waste sites that may be a contributing factor to the illegal dumping issue.
This issue, however, is much more serious than just the dumping of household and construction trash, which is bad enough, but now we are seeing the introduction of invasive species deep into our forests by people looking to dispose of garden green waste.
To a large extent, we can clean up the trash, with the exception of toxins that may enter the environment, but to remove thriving invasive plants that can completely eliminate the native plants from our forests and dramatically alter the habitat and therefore threaten the species that live there is far more difficult.
This is an insidious green invader, as opposed to a large white refrigerator, so somewhat less noticed by the public but far more destructive. Recently our local governments have taken up the challenge to address the knotweed in our area, but many other threats exist.
The SCCA will continue to be involved in this issue but we need the public's assistance. Please see www.coastalisc.com for more information.
Jason Herz, chair, SCCA