Clean-up Under the Orange Bridge
The Orange Bridge in Parksville is very familiar to MVIHES since we collect Englishman River water samples from a spot on the bridge every two weeks. In mid-November, MVIHES received a request from volunteer James Craig for help in removing a very large volume of garbage (at least two pick-up truck loads) from the riparian zone of the Englishman River located under and downstream of the Orange Bridge. The heavy rains of winter were fast approaching which meant the river would flood the riparian zone and sweep the garbage onto salmon spawning grounds downstream of the bridge and into the estuary which provides habitat for salmon smolts migrating to the Salish Sea.
Since mid-October, James had been searching for the government agency responsible for cleaning up the garbage. The location sits on the borders of multiple jurisdictions, making responsibility less than clear. One of his calls was to Brad Boyden, Bridge Area Manager for Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) in Nanaimo. Just when it appeared that MVIHES volunteers would have to clean up the huge mess themselves, Brad called James and stated he had directed Mainroad Contracting in Parksville to clean up the garbage, not just from under the bridge, but downstream as well which is well out of the highway right-of-way. Good news indeed!
On November 22, Supervisor Luke Maron and his crew of six from Mainroad Contracting in Parksville descended on the site with pick-up trucks and hand-bombed all the garbage into the back of their trucks. James Craig and Carl Rathburn (MVIHES past president) were in attendance to ensure the integrity of the riparian zone was maintained. A job well done by all.
Many thanks go out to Brad Boyden of MOTI, the gang from Mainroad Contracting, and our own James Craig for identifying the problem and persevering in solving the problem. The salmon salute you!