There are good reasons that boaters are not allowed to dump chemicals, sewage and other debris in Carrington Bay, Cortes Bay, Gorge Harbour, Squirrel Cove, or Manson’s Landing. “[Cortes Island] has the best oysters in the area, [possibly] because it is supposed to have such pristine clean water,” says Julia Rendall, President of the 13 member Bee Islets Growers Corporation. She explained that violations “could close us down and if we are closed down I think we have to have three tests, three weeks in a row, clear. So it could, in theory, close you down for about a month.” Cortes Island’s unique environmental features resulted in the creation of several marine parks. Contamination is a concern for all islanders, whether they are shellfish harvesters or not. These areas are currently designated as “No Discharge Zones” under federal regulations. Never-the-less, violations periodically do occur and a recent incident illustrates the difficulties of trying to stop recreational boaters from polluting Cortes Islands protected areas.
What was life like in the era before cell phones, computers and televisions. Did British Columbians feel closer to nature when they worked outside in the elements rather than within the artificial confines of a building? In this mornings program I ask Mike Manson, a descendant of one of Cortes Island’s oldest European families, and Mike Moore, one of our better known eco-tour guides, how public attitudes towards nature changed since the first settlers arrived. Continue reading How People’s Attitudes Towards Nature Changed→
When the Cortes Island Business and Tourism Association (CIBATA) was launched, it faced some tough challenges. Some believe Cortes is still stuck in the seventies and many residents would like to preserve that. Yet there is a need for the same business sectors you find everywhere else: retail, health, building and trades, tourism medical marijuana, aquaculture, learning / professional development and social profit. On February 24, CIBATA will be unveiling the draft of Cortes Island’s Local Economic Action Plan at the Klahoose Multipurpose Building, between 10 AM and 4 PM. In this morning’s program the association’s President, Colin Funk, talks about economic development while preserving Cortes’ core values.
For the past eight years Gorge harbour residents, on Cortes Island, have been cleaning up the aquaculture debris, left by industry, at their own expense. This was sometimes a source of tension between property owners and industry. Barry and Amanda Glickman, who organized these annual clean-ups, said the first year they hauled away three truck loads of debris. The most recent clean-up was last May. Now the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is stepping in and, in partnership with industry, will be holding Turn it in Week between September 11-15, 2017.